Plagiarism is a significant issue. So much in some countries even, that one in three academic essays, thesis or published articles are plagiarised. We are not talking about just accidental plagiarism either. Countries like Russia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Belarus or India have significantly higher plagiarism occurrences than Germany, Canada, Austria or the UK for example (data are taken from Oxsico’s live plagiarism map). This data about the most and least plagiarising countries, however, only shows trends and the most extreme distances from the average. In everyday business or academic life, plagiarism can be lurking just around the corner, no matter your nationality, background or current location. This informative guide is going to be on how to avoid and prevent plagiarism from seeing the light of day.
Firstly – DIY
Now there is no easier or simpler way to avoid plagiarism other than writing and doing the writing yourself. Of course, that is not always possible, so we understand that additional measures have to be also taken.
If you are a content manager, a professor or a mediator between the writer and the client, check the content yourself. Maybe make some revisions, oversee the content development, if possible and provide a hands-on type of management. Merely buying the content from someone online is not going to cut it.
If you are a member or a decision-maker in an organisation, delegate the responsibility to be as hands-on, as possible. Finding plagiarism on the later stages of content development creates huge delays and setbacks. It is best to have someone looking over or doing it and maybe the writing yourself.
Two – be aware when buying content
If you are not dealing with an in-house writer and buying text writing services from a freelancer, you have to check their writing. There are new complaints filed by people every day. They order writing and content creation services. Delivery of the order is made; clients proceed with the payment, and after a few hours or days the truth comes out. What they paid for is actually plagiarised content of no actual value at all.
To prevent that, you have to find a trustworthy and transparent writer, first of all. Collaborating with freelancers is very cost-efficient, but it can have its difficulties, also. There is computer software which, based on input keywords, generates text. Those texts are on the brink of being an unreadable SEO keyword mash. Primarily if delivered in bundles, some dishonest creators might try to slip you such content. Be aware and check everything.
Three – help is necessary
Without the proper tools, even the best in their respective regards can fail. Plagiarism avoidance is no exception. You can be a representative of a very accomplished and successful company, but if there are not any tools to help you out, the end result might be dissatisfying.
Such results might even dissuade you or your organisation from further plagiarism checking. That would be a critical mistake.
Plagiarism checking and detection software are vital to publishers, content creators, students and academic institutions altogether. Without them, the world of science, business and publishing might fall into disarray.
Choose the proper tools to help you in your quest against plagiarism. Oxsic, the Oxford Similarity Checker is amongst the top tools for individual writers seeking to up their game in producing original content.
Tips on how to write
Do not forget to quote (accurately)
Academic writing usually requires a lot of research and using someone else’s thoughts, ideas or thesis for your own work. Quoting is the primary way of benefiting and strengthening your paper from the writing of others. However, quoting has to be done correctly to bring benefits. If you happen to misquote or do it improperly, your paper itself could fall under the concern of plagiarism.
The University of Wisconsin has a strong article on writing to avoid plagiarism. These involve proper methods of using quotation marks and where or how to use quotes, in general. They should support your statements, ideas and content.
Rewriting – meh
A popular method of trying to make any content original is by rewriting something else, something that has been already written. However, rewriting will not produce original content. It instead just emphasises your take and your thoughts on a specific issue. It could seem fine, but rewriting fits best if it acts as a supporting tool rather than the base and core of your work.
All in all, rewriting is not the best method for making plagiarism-free content. It can be used in spurts or individual paragraphs, but avoid rewriting much, if possible.
Paraphrasing – be careful with it
Paraphrasing, just as rewriting, may be considered as plagiarism. Paraphrasing is mostly used to give your own take or separate your ideas from others. Nevertheless, just bombarding your thesis or article with paraphrased thoughts and opinions of others will never make it an original piece.
Besides, more advanced plagiarism detectors can spot paraphrasing without too much trouble. Again, use it in certain places to add clarity or explain something through your writing but do not base the entire paper on paraphrasing if you want to get real and sustainable value out of it.
Give your take and ideas
Fresh sets of ideas and thoughts are always welcome. If you manage to create original content, divulge and dissect problems through your prism – the paper will be immensely more enjoyable. Something new is the definition of an original and the opposite or antonym of plagiarism. Thus, giving your own ideas, analysing problems and taking things on from your POV is beneficial for writing. It also helps avoid plagiarism in a big way.
Adding to giving takes ideas, sharing insights is another excellent way of making content more original. This tip is closely related to the “Give your take and ideas”. However, whereas the previous point would accentuate giving your own views on past problems, their roots, origins and how serious things seem to you. Insights are focused more on the development of these issues, how to solve them. If you not only discuss current or past problems in your text but also share how to defuse or tackle them – writing gains so much value it is hard to neglect such an opportunity.
Translating does not make it an original
Oxsic can recognise and detect more than 100 different languages. If you are a multilingual writer and take someone’s work in French, translate it and paraphrase it to English or Spanish, Oxsic will be able to catch on. Translating a piece and calling it your own is not going to do any good for anyone. Try doing things creatively.