Why do we use bibliographic standards like MLA?
We use them so that our readers can easily find the sources to which we are referring; if that information isn't structured in a standardized format, it can be difficult follow up on previous research and find sources on our own.
Most students who are serious learners do not purposely set out to commit plagiarism just to fool professors or to steal the ideas of other scholars to sell for millions. Instead, students usually plagiarize unintentionally, as an act of desperation that reflects in an unsophisticated writing style and a total lack of understanding of how to avoid plagiarizing.
We'll spare you the tired lecture about how copying a source word for word, buying or borrowing papers and cutting/pasting blocks of texts from the Internet is only cheating yourself. By now you have probably learned what plagiarism is and a few basic rules about avoiding it. You know about summarizing, using quotes, and citing sources properly. However, even students who know all of the rules sometimes encounter difficulty in developing a writing style that does not plagiarize. Developing a few essential skills will lead to a writing style that will automatically prevent plagiarizing.
Ultimately, avoiding plagiarism boils down to one essential skill: the ability to write and recognize a good paraphrase.