How to Avoid Plagiarism in Writing — Five Rules

Before we start writing, we must do some research first. For example, if we are writing a scientific paper, we’ll need to process a large amount of specific data. On the other hand, informative articles require reliable sources and accurate information. Lastly, creative writing demands hours spent reading other authors in order to be more inspired and become a better writer.

How to Be 100% Original?

Writing one good article, essay, or book isn’t just a copy/paste process. Writing is not about taking different pieces from different authors and putting them together. It is about creating something entirely new and unique, supported by reliable information and experience. Therefore, there’s no room for plagiarism.

How to Avoid Plagiarism?

Even though plagiarism is considered unacceptable in writing, it happens rather often. However, that doesn’t mean it is always intentional. Any writer who uses someone else’s thoughts carelessly, writes a quote that is not under quotation marks or uses a random phrase that everyone uses is, in fact, committing plagiarism.

In literary work, you have to be very careful about how you use your words. To avoid casting doubt on your originality and talent, use some of the following five pieces of advice that will help you avoid committing plagiarism.

Set Your Mind on Writing

Before you start, you should have at least an idea of what you are going to write. It is not only about the content, but also about your style, dynamics, text length, etc.

Do your research and start slowly. Try not to let anything distract or pressure you. When you are not relaxed enough and focused on what you are doing, it is easy to start looking for shortcuts. That can, instead of creating, turn into copying others.

Be Fair When Citing and Quoting

When you read tons of papers and other people’s work and write a lot of your own content, you are no longer sure which thoughts are yours and which are not. However, when you write down a sentence, you can always feel if it is 100% original or not. And if you sense other authors and sources in there, you have to cite. 

  • Cite Names

You must learn how to cite correctly and give credit to everyone who contributed to your excellent work. Therefore, cite other authors, references, scientistic facts, etc. 

  • Cite Online References

If you come across some information on the Internet that is not signed by any author, you should know that it didn’t just mysteriously appeared out of nowhere. Every content available on the Internet is already part of some books, published articles, or documents. Therefore, to avoid committing plagiarism, always cite a website that helped you obtain information.

  • Don’t Forget to Cite Yourself

Did you know you are obligated to cite yourself if you use your previously published work as a source? There is a thing called auto-plagiarism. Believe it or not, this type of plagiarism is not acceptable, just like claiming other people’s work.

Once you master all the things mentioned, you can freely use other people’s knowledge without stealing it.

Paraphrase and Add Your Own Signature

It is acceptable to use material from other sources as long as you learn how to paraphrase correctly. Use synonyms, terms, and phrases without losing the true meaning of words. 

Also, holding tight to your source doesn’t mean to paraphrase sentences from it blindly. Feel free to add something personal to those lines such as your style and philosophy. Also, depending on the content, you can add your knowledge or judgment. 

This way, your content will be more authentic and you’ll still be able to keep all the relevant information.

Use Plagiarism Checkers

The online world is a great place where you can find some excellent tools for detecting and removing plagiarism from your work. 

Plagiarism checkers use a vast online database while scanning your text in order to spot plagiarized content. If they do find something, they will highlight all the segments that are not original and need to be paraphrased. 

Always Be Yourself

You can’t just write down some randomly assembled facts and thoughts and be a good writer — it’s not that easy. This kind of work demands a lot of research, constant learning, and absorbing a lot of information. It also requires quoting other people’s thoughts, statistics, numbers, years, scientifically proven facts, and more.

But the most important thing for any good writer is writing the content between all those facts and cited words. In those segments, there lies the writer’s imagination, personal style, and originality. Once you manage to combine these two things into one written piece, you’ll be able to create reliable and high-quality content that will be plagiarism-free.

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