How to avoid plagiarism in academic writing?

If you’re reading this article, you’ve most likely got one (or all) of the following queries:

  • How to plagiarism successfully without getting caught by Turnitin?
  • Or maybe how to avoid plagiarism easily?

Whatever the reason, you’re looking for a solution to copy and paste but still stay out of the plagiarism issue.

How to avoid plagiarism in academic writing

Plagiarism checkers as Grammarly is used to determine plagiarism from billion results out there – among online and offline. Once figuring it, by simply paraphrase these contents, you can nail these ideas in your own ways

  • Revising grammar and spelling checks.
  • Rework on plagiarized content by adding values (tone, word choice, synonyms, conciseness, and more).
  • Fill your text with relevant examples to enhance the unique.
  • Use Plagiarism detector which compares more than 16 billion web pages and academic papers.

[Get Grammarly now]

What is plagiarism and how can you avoid it?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “Plagiarism is the representation of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions as one's own original work.” This definition applies to any aspect regardless of where they are located such as in a book, on a website, or in an email. There are 6 common types of plagiarism traps that you usually suffer:

  • Copy & Paste: we copy every single word from multiple sources and paste them together without any credit
  • Find & Replace: we replace a few words or phrase based on original source to pass work off as your own
  • Sharing work: we share work with colleagues then they submit as their own or in contrast, you take the common result and submit as of yours.
  • Self-plagiarism: we recycle your work from previous documents/papers without asking permission from your instructor
  • Purchasing: we purchase an assignment from someone else and take it as your own work
  • Incorrect citation: we fail to deliver proper information in our source citation

For an easier understanding, I made a copy and paste an example below.

Grammarly Plagiarism Checker

Grammarly Plagiarism Checker

The Plagiarism function able to highlight and give the respective resource I took from.

How to avoid plagiarism in acadameic writing?

Most people regard the copy-and-paste action harmless, especially in this technology millennium. However, taking someone else’s work without giving their credit, whether you meant to do it or not, can lead to unexpected problems. It is worse for students to fail the grade, academic probation coming to plagiarism. Having said that no one wants to see their papers thrown in the garbage after spending tons of time working on it.

To avoid this issue, it is critical to know some tips to help you stay out of trouble. Following is my best tips to win your writing game:

1. Use a reliable Plagiarism Checker

When dealing with research papers or long essays, take advantage of the Plagiarism Checker and make it your best friend, I recommend. Most of the tools will let you know if parts or whole content is plagiarized. Some can even point out specific words from exact sources where it is original from.

Just make sure that you choose a reliable plagiarism checker that features powerful and speedy scans function on your content. There are a lot of good sources and Grammarly Pro is my suggestion with the largest database (approximately 16 billion results from soft to hard copies) and robust privacy.

By using this appliance, you will get a plagiarism alert once your text matches any written articles on the Internet. Also, this checker will not make your writing publicly. No one can see your text.

I have been using Grammarly for over a year so far and nothing much to complain about. For me, if Grammarly reveals the result of 100% unique content, it seems like you can successfully pass all other plagiarism checkers

2. Paraphrase

Paraphrasing is probably an effective way to deal with rewording a sentence without losing its meaning. It’s important to well understand the core message of the text before you write the text in your own words. Managing this task does help to make your result something unique.

Below are a few smart enhancements to twist your writing:

  • Use synonyms
  • Use LSIs and Keywords (for blog articles)
  • Insert adjectives and adverbs
  • Alter the sentence tone of the voice (change from Passive to Active)
  • And many more.

3. Enhance the content value

Try to use all of your resources can be overwhelming. Let’s try to add some additional value to the topic by:

  • Give your own insights
  • Give an example
  • Tell your own stories

Continuously ask yourself what you can contribute to making the content entirely yours. Is there any unique perspective or point that attracts readers? By doing this, it proves that you totally understand that you are mentioning. And trust me, this is the way I used to get better scores in school. You are just able to to it by researching in detail until you get to a point where everything is clear.

4. Quote

When using the quotes to indicate the text, apply it exactly in the way it appears. Remind yourself to not quote entire the paragraph. Lots of quotations can make your content really hard to read. Therefore, try to limit the number of quotations on one page at the right length, enclose the phrase in quotation marks and include an in-text citation.

5. Cite the source based on what’s read

From my experience, credit every source you’ve taken is never a waste. Although it is not clear how much you lend from that, this action will eliminate the risk of plagiarizing someone’s work without permission. Doing so proves your reader’s sense of honesty.

In some cases, the reader can locate the source of your information if they want to do any related topic research.

Additionally, in case you translate a paragraph or a phrase from a different language, you need to cite exactly the original source. It is still plagiarism if the translation goes without a source because you are using other’s ideas.

Another situation is when you take the content from your own previous documents, don’t forget to cite yourself.

6. Proofread

Proofreading doesn’t take much time but works quite efficiently. Scan through your paper or article and check whether you cited every single source correctly. Proofread also is a requirement for your writing and helps you avoid plagiarism. This process is easy to apply and keeps your works good. Run scans on your content carefully before submitting it, why not?

7. Reference page

Don’t wait until you are done with paper to insert the reference page as 90% of people will forget it. Be smart and time-saving to include a reference page at the beginning point. Just by simple step, you can do your research easier and know exactly what you want to show.

8. Consult with your instructor

“To know oneself is true progress.”

Talking and asking your instructor to capture the guideline and main points of your document. Have questions about plagiarism? What is better than getting advice, reference, intext citation from that person if required. I’m sure that he/she is happy and willing to guide you as long as you keep working. It does help to save a lot of time and get you well prepared for your writing.

9. Plan your paper

Once you can plan well, you plan for success await.

Plan your paper is the first and foremost process you can take to prevent plagiarism. Sound like a piece of cake but not many people can well organize this. Writing an outline, followed by a thesis statement then plan the source of information you need. Also, try to point out how will you include in your document.

This step draws the boundary in content between your ideas and other reference sources.

10. Kick-off your work as soonest as possible

It’s 2020 and said this thing gives me feeling like an 80s man. However, when you give yourself more time to prepare, you are better to avoid plagiarism. Rushing makes you forget here and there. When having enough time, you can do research more carefully and put more attention in the content to push your boundaries.

So How do you avoid plagiarism in academic writing?

Plagiarism is a serious offense and therefore, it has legal consequences. The penalty entirely depends on the nature of plagiarism. You won't be thrown in jail for plagiarizing some part of your essay, but if you plagiarized your research, then the consequences can be much worse.

This is the reason why you must start taking it seriously and learn the ways to avoid it in the future as well.

Plagiarize can be an issue but it is not all scary. Avoiding plagiarism is actually easy to do if you own a foundational understanding of what it is and how do you plagiarize successfully.

I hope these above suggestions can be helpful to you in dealing with plagiarism. Remember that you can stay away from it if you manipulate all the provided tips in your daily life. With long assignments or essays, save your time with a plagiarism checker like Grammarly to scan your content thoroughly.

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Mark Quadros is a Content Marketer for SaaS and Online-business. He also runs 'The Real Mark', a blog about travel, remote work, and online marketing.Affiliate Disclosure.

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