One of the most popular reasons of plagiarism accusation is the Internet expansion. More and more sources are now available through the World Wide Web where each author can be freely published. Some of the authors do not really care of where they use ideas from, it often occurs the Internet source has simply copy/paste somebody’s ideas without any acknowledgement.
Thus, if you use Internet source, give the full reference for it by providing the title, the author (if applicable), the website and the direct link where you have taken the idea from. Even if you are accused in plagiarizing the idea from somebody you have never even heard about you may defend your essay by giving the online resource reference (you might not really have known that the source was incorrectly formatted).
If your paper is supported by the sources which were not used during the course or are not available at your university or college you should inform your teacher/tutor about these sources. Be ready to give the tutor full information about these sources and explain where you have taken them from. You would not be accused if you used your friend’s books or were able to get access to another university library.
Each time you are ready with your essay or term paper carefully check what you are going to submit. It is very easy to submit the wrong file when you submit your term papers via email. Double-check what you file you attach, because you previous drafts may have the similar file names and you may have submitted your drafts! Usually drafts do not contain proper referencing and you will inevitably be accused in plagiarism. It would be very hard to prove your innocence by unintentional sending the incorrect file. Remember that each file which you submit to your university/college as your term paper is considered as it is. Thus, university can hardly believe you have mistaken.
If you were not given plagiarism instructions by your university/college administration ask to get them in written form before writing your first essay. These written instructions should be stuck on your monitor or wall by providing you clear idea of what must be strictly avoided. Do not hesitate to ask your tutor about plagiarism instructions in written form because they are always available at any university. It is useful to know that plagiarism instructions may slightly differ depending on each university/college plagiarism policy.
If you were accused in plagiarism at your university the first thing you should do is to prove you have done it unintentionally: you used online incorrectly formatted resources, you attached incorrect file or haven’t read the university plagiarism instructions. Of course this will not work if you have intentionally plagiarized. In such case you would be lucky if the university did not expel you.