How to Make Sure Your Content Is Original and Plagiarism Free

Throughout their academic career, every student is tasked to write essays, reports, and other types of academic assignments. While it is relatively easy to find relevant information sources for most research papers, students may face certain difficulties when attempting to add this information into their paper without copying the ideas and/or sentences of another person. However, plagiarism is something more than just the intentional or unintentional copying of other authors’ ideas and words. Plagiarism is considered a serious academic offense, so students should avoid it as a plague to make sure their papers are unique and genuine. In this article, we have summarised a set of simple yet highly effective recommendations that would help you make sure your content is original and plagiarism free.

1. Paraphrase
Paraphrasing, which is viewed as the act of rephrasing another person’s text using your own words, is one of the most effective ways to avoid plagiarism. In this case, you keep the meaning of another writer or researcher, but do not copy their exact wording. That is why it is essential to ensure that you do not directly copy sentences or verbatim more than two-three words in a row from the source you are using. If you need to use more than two-three words together from a literature source, you need to use quotation marks. However, paraphrasing should be used with caution since this technique does not give you 100% protection from plagiarism. In certain instances, paraphrasing is still considered plagiarism. For example, if you paraphrase other writers’ ideas and opinions and present your argument in a way that is highly reminiscent of their logic, you are most likely to plagiarise. That is why you should use several techniques in addition to paraphrasing to ensure your content is unique and free of plagiarism.

2. Use Citing
When you have found a source, which you feel would be beneficial to your paper, you need to cite it. Citing others’ work not only adds to your credibility as a writer but also helps you avoid plagiarism. However, citing a literature source from where you have obtained information is still not enough to make sure your work is not treated as being plagiarised. You should check that the source has been properly cited using a reference style required by your university. For example, the Harvard referencing style is very different from the Chicago style, as well as the American Psychological Association (APA) style. You should always check what referencing style is required by your university to make sure your works are properly cited. Also, remember to familiarise yourself with the required form of citation and formatting every time you start working on your next academic paper. Finally, make sure to include a reference page of works cited in your reference list/bibliography (the page needs to meet the document formatting guidelines of your university).

3. Use Synonyms
Using synonyms is another technique that can help you make your content more unique. Many students search for information sources throughout electronic libraries and online academic databases, so using search engines to find synonyms is a common practice. If you are not sure how to paraphrase a sentence, try to find different words with the same meaning online. Another way to find synonyms is to use Microsoft Word. This software has the so-called Thesaurus list, which provides you with a list of synonyms for any word you select in your document. Regardless of the method selected, using synonyms is very useful in avoiding plagiarism since it allows for altering your content and making it more unique. However, you should remember that sometimes it is difficult to find synonyms for certain words. For example, words like science, world, food, and information are very basic to our vocabulary, making it very challenging to find an appropriate synonym. If you find it difficult to use synonyms, try to change the structure of the whole sentence.

4. Passive and Active Sentences
Changing a sentence from being in active to passive voice and vice versa can also assist you in making your content more unique and plagiarism free. Just remember that while passive voice dominated in scientific writing in the 20th century, there has been a shift in this regard. Today, many academics and tutors consider using the active voice more preferable as it adds to the conciseness and clarity of writing. On the other hand, according to scholars, the passive voice makes writing feel flat. So be careful when changing your sentences from active voice to passive since your tutor may not like it. Although there is nothing wrong with this approach, you should not overdo it using passive voice, especially in academic writing.

5. Check Your Content
Even though you have followed all the guidelines outlined above, there is still a possibility that you will unintentionally use another author’s ideas or phrases. That is why many students use plagiarism checkers to make sure their content is free from plagiarism. Although there are numerous plagiarism checkers online, it is better to use the trusted ones to review your content. This is because most online checkers save checked content in their databases, which can be very risky. For instance, your content could be downloaded online, so when your university will check it, it might detect some plagiarism. Turnitin is one of the most trusted instruments that allow for identifying potential plagiarism. It compares your work with thousands of text available online, as well as your university’s internal database. In addition, many academic writing services assist students in writing plagiarism-free essays and reports, which is another way to make sure your content is unique.

As you can see, there is no universal way to avoid plagiarism in your content, since each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. That is why our main recommendation would be to wisely use all the instruments in combination to ensure that your blog article and academic paper is free from plagiarism.