TL;DR For those in a hurry, here’s a quick answer to the question “How to plagiarize (read: copy and paste) without plagiarizing?”
1. Use the enemy: Plagiarism checkers
Plagiarism checkers like Grammarly can be used to detect what exact pieces of content are plagiarized. After finding this, all you do is simple rework these sentences with filler words.
2. Use A LOT of filler text
It’s always a good idea to bury your plagiarized text in fillet text. However, you should be smart about it and use words that empower your content. For instance, adjectives, changing the voice (if passive), adding relevant examples.
I’ll be blunt. Much of the content today is an “inspiration” from another competitor.
Yes, there are exceptions, but in most cases, the content is just a better version of the competitor, aka sky scrapper technique.
No, this isn’t explicitly plagiarism, but there is going to be a bit of copy-pasting involved while writing the article—and this—if not done right will most definitely trigger a plagiarism checker like Turnitin or Grammarly.
So how do you copy and paste without plagiarizing?
Well, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but there are a few critical practices you can follow can help.
Whether you’re looking for the best way to avoid plagiarism on a documentwide level, essays, research papers or plagiarism in general… these practice work in most case scenarios.
So let’s get started!
What is copy-paste plagiarism?
Before I get into the nitty-gritty, here’s a copy-paste plagiarism example—
As you can see, I only copy-pasted a few sentences, but Grammarly was still able to detect and match it to its respective source.
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You see, most people think they can take a few pieces of content from sources without attribution, and this won’t trigger plagiarism checkers, but this couldn’t be further from the truth!
It’s 2019 and Google (and most plagiarism checkers) can do both hard copy (against books) and soft copy scans from their extensive data libraries.
Is it plagiarism if you cite the source?
No, it’s not. You can cite someone else’s work (think: quotes, paraphrases, etc.). However, you have to correctly attribute the author by giving a citation in the alt-text or footnotes of the article.
So whether you take a full piece or just a few sentences here and there, it still counts as plagiarism.
Know your enemy: Plagiarism Checkers
Before we get into the techniques of avoiding plagiarism, let’s talk about how plagiarism is precisely detected.
As the old adage goes, it’s essential to know your enemy to beat them or use them to your advantage (more on this later 😉).
Now, if you’ve down your research, you’ve already looked up Google with queries like how to not get caught by Turnitin, Grammarly and other plagiarism checks.
After all, these are the #1 enemy when it comes to copy-paste plagiarism. You see, these plagiarism checkers can catch strings of similar texts from both hard and soft copy sources.
And guess what?
Most editors, professors, teachers, and even Google use them. So if you’re trying to get away with plagiarism, these guys are your number one enemy.
Which brings me to my next point…
How to copy and paste without plagiarizing
Now, that we’ve covered what copy-paste plagiarism is and how it is detected, let’s get into the best ways to avoid plagiarism in 2019.
So, let’s get started.
Method 1: Use a plagiarism Checker (Highly recommended)
As mentioned before, you need to know who your enemy is to beat them, but in this case, it’s better to use your enemy.
You see, most people hate plagiarism checkers and look at them as their worst enemies. However, there’s a rule against using plagiarism checkers to detect and rework plagiarized pieces of content.
After all, plagiarism can be easily avoided by adding a few filler words here and there. In fact, I do this all the time and use Grammarly for the same purpose, so obviously I recommend Grammarly.
Recommendation: Grammarly Plagiarism Checker
Grammarly is one of the most powerful plagiarism checkers on the internet, so if it detects a 100% unique content, it’s most likely going to pass all plagiarism checks.
I’ve been using Grammarly for over a year now, and have nothing but good things to say about it. What’s more, they’ve revamped their plagiarism checking capability and can now scan against hard and soft copy making them an even more reliable plagiarism checker.
Now, reviewing Grammarly Pro is beyond the scope of this article, but here’s a short illustration to show you how you can use it to bypass copy and paste plagiarism.
Let’s go back to the previous example —
(snippet before content rework)
Now that we’ve detected plagiarism, all you need to do is simple rework the pieces of content that’s marked with plagiarism —
As you can see, a few minor edits completely removed the detection!
Yes, there is a little bit of work required, but then again, you can’t just copy and paste other people’s content that they’ve possibly put a ton of resources to create, and get away with it.
What’s more, this technique is a great way to improvise without spending a ton of resources on ideating content that’s totally unique, aka reinventing the wheel.
Method 2: Rework Copy-paste content
As mentioned, most people copy-paste their content when writing first drafts of essays, articles, and even thesis.
However, it’s essential to add in your own words in between the content to make it your own (and avoid plagiarism detection). Reworking content (a bit) is an excellent rule to follow to prevent plagiarism.
Here are a few smart additions to avoid plagiarism:
- Add adjectives and adverbs
- Change the voice of the sentence (from active to passive)
- Use synonyms
- Use LSIs and Keywords (for blog articles)
- And many more.
Plagiarize, but be smart about it
Whether you’re looking to plagiarize a paper without getting caught or change plagiarized essay, make sure you remember one thing —
There are no shortcuts, and you can’t get away with plagiarism if you blatantly copy a sentence word-by-word.
In my case, I always use references to cite sources, and always make sure to rework copy-pasted content.
What’s more, I only use competitors as inspiration and not blindly sources I can steal my content from.
I highly recommend using plagiarism tools like Grammarly Pro to keep a check on your plagiarism as a precautionary measure.
The last thing you want is to get caught for plagiarism and have to deny it (spoiler alert: this doesn’t end well)’
A good rule of thumb to avoid plagiarism is to always use protection. 😉
On another note, check out my other article on the best copyscape alternatives to get more information.