I was accused of plagarism when I was in school; the problem was I did not know what I had did wrong and the "teacher" would not tell me.
I copied this information from Writework http://www.writework.com/essay/summary-amy-tan-s-mother-tongue I hope this helps you to avoid plagarism and develop an original style of your own.
Worried about plagiarism? Read this.
Many people have reservations about using a study aid like WriteWork, because they are afraid of being accused of plagiarism.
The funny thing is that most people aren’t sure what actually constitutes plagiarism – so what they’re really afraid of is the unknown.
Let’s start by looking at the meaning of the word “plagiarism”. The Longman English Dictionary provides the following definition:
1.When someone uses another person’s words, ideas, (even if paraphrased, my parentheses ) or work and pretends they are their own.
2.An idea, phrase, or story that has been copied from another person’s work, without stating where it came from.
So to put it simply:
You’re engaged in plagiarism when you:
1. Copy an entire essay and hand it in as your own work.
2. Copy a passage from another essay without saying where you got it from – the same goes for books, websites, surveys, etc.
3. Use another person’s research without giving credit to the researcher.
You’re not engaged in plagiarism when you:
1.Get ideas for original angles by checking out what’s already been written on the topic.
2.Refer to research conducted by others and properly site the sources.
3.Learn from the structure and stylistic elements of other essays within the same genre or subject matter.
4.Compare your own work with that of others and improve your writing via examples of “do’s and don’ts”.