Plagiarism is a hot topic in the Philippines these days, for the first time someone ruled that software was at fault on a plagiarism case because it did not detect that an idea was copied from somewhere else and was not cited properly. While this would have been a great feature request to the software company – there are actually ways to help you keep track of copy and pastes, and sources using the same software.

Tip #1: Do not paste directly to your working document, instead paste on to Microsoft OneNote – to keep track of your copy and pastes (as well as sources)

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Microsoft Office OneNote has this great feature that when you paste something there it indicates the URL / location of your source. Now you would know that the passage you copied is not entirely yours. The best thing is that you can go back to the source and get additional details such as Author, etc.

Tip #2: Use Citations and Bibliography in Microsoft Word

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Use the Manage Sources function in Microsoft Word to organize and keep track all your sources (books, websites, etc.). After entering all your sources choose a citation style that is appropriate for the document you are working on (e.g. Decisions, Papers, etc.). Then insert citations away, no need to consult those thick manuals and determine which format is the best to use this way.

Tip #3: Mark as Final

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Of course there is still a danger that someone might unintentionally delete your citations while reading your document. To avoid this make sure that after proof-reading your document many times (making sure that you are not committing plagiarism) use the Mark as Final function in Microsoft Word to make the document read-only and protect it from unintentional further editing.

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