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10 Ways to Prevent Plagiarism

— December 16, 2021

Most obviously the best way to prevent this phenomenon is through the use of plagiarism checkers.

What is one way to prevent plagiarism?

To help you prevent plagiarism, we asked writers and business leaders this question for their insights. From making anti-plagiarism mandatory to using plagiarism checkers, there are several ways to prevent plagiarism.

Here are ten ways to prevent plagiarism:

  • Make Anti-plagiarism Mandatory
  • Demonstrate Advancements With Plagiarism Software
  • Use Online Tools or Hire a Checker
  • Develop Your Own Unique Style
  • Copyscape As A Safe Alternative
  • Create Your References First
  • Do Your Own Research
  • Give Credit When Credit Is Due
  • Seek Inspiration, Avoid Duplication
  • Use Plagiarism Checkers

Make Anti-plagiarism Mandatory

The researchers unanimously show that a gentle reminder about someone’s responsibility usually positively impacts the obedience rates. Asking people to sign a short declaration that they were the only author of their work is time efficient and can profoundly influence plagiarism rates. When asked to sign such a declaration, people feel more aware and prone to fulfill their duties.

Rebeca Sena,

Demonstrate Advancements with Plagiarism Software

Explaining that tricking the plagiarism software is next to impossible can be very effective in preventing it. It can make many people realise that it is easier to create something from scratch than trick the system, which can search billions of sources in seconds. Even an example of how efficient a simple Google search can be in finding copied text can do the trick.

Michael Sena, SENACEA

Use Online Tools or Hire a Checker

Preventing plagiarism is easier than ever with the plethora of tools available online. Of course there are sites that check your entire document for plagiarism and will give you a score based on the similarity to other available documents. When working with a lot of data and evidence, this may alter your score since you are using other people’s work to prove your point. In this case it may be useful to hire someone to ensure you are following all rules before publishing.

Jonathan Finegold, MedCline

Develop Your Own Unique Style

Perhaps the best way to avoid plagiarism is developing your unique voice and style that will always keep you on the right track, even if you draw inspiration from multiple sources. A distinctive writing style that’s hard to replicate not only safeguards your own work from being plagiarised in the future, but also ensures that your work does not resemble the publications that you referred to for research purposes. Letting your voice shine through is key here, so it may take some experimenting till you find something you’re happy with.

Riley Beam, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.

Copyscape as a Safe Alternative

Other than citing sources, the best alternative to avoid plagiarism is using a detector such as Copyscape to scan your content. This will tell you how much of your material is used on any other sites on the web. It highlights specific phrases likely plagiarised and produces a percentage-based system to measure how much of your work is authentic. Roughly 15% or less is typically an acceptable amount of reproduced content per 1500 word article. They offer free and premium services which are well under a dollar a search and can prove beneficial if you need to repackage or repurpose content from various sources online.

Nick Shackelford, Structured Agency

Create Your References First

Legal writing is usually high-technical, leaving you more vulnerable to accidental plagiarism when you quote facts and legal references. One easy way to avoid it is to be well-prepared and organized from start to finish in the writing process, starting with your outline. Create a rough reference list before you start writing your paper, so you’re less likely to forget to source your quotes as you get wrapped up in the process.

Minesh J Patel, The Patel Firm

Do Your Own Research

Man preparing for an exam; image by 27707, via Pixabay, CC0.
Man preparing for an exam; image by 27707, via Pixabay, CC0.

The best way to prevent plagiarism is to do your own research, but that can take up too much of your time. It’s better to have someone in-house who can do that for you, and whose work you can monitor. If claims are being made, ask that they provide sources. Hopefully, you have someone on staff who understands what is being said in an original source and then excels at paraphrasing.

Guy Katabi, Lightkey

Give Credit When Credit is Due

There are billions of pieces of content published on the internet. Duplicate content is bound to happen. Nonetheless, presenting another author’s work as your own is NEVER okay. This is disingenuous to your audience, discredits your authority, and most importantly, disrespects the original author who worked to create unique and valuable content — so valuable that someone else might steal it! The bottom line is that if you feel compelled to paraphrase or quote another author’s data or writing, give credit. A hyperlink, an attribution, both(!) — anything to signal that the corresponding information is not your own.

Desiree Cunnningham, Markitors

Seek Inspiration, Avoid Duplication

There is nothing wrong in sifting through existing articles and blogs when researching a particular topic. We all learn from existing information and knowledge. While studying these topics however, it is essential to remember that making independent notes on everything you learn is always better than simply copying this information onto the sheet you are using to write out the topic. Some writers often make the mistake of copying content and then putting a spin on it, which is certainly not a safe approach. Instead, note down important pointers and take the effort to write out the final draft independently. This will guarantee a copy that is plagiarism-free and will also help you showcase your unique thoughts on the subject as well as writing style.

Krista Haws, Dripped Coffee

Use Plagiarism Checkers

Most obviously the best way to prevent this phenomenon is through the use of plagiarism checkers. However, it’s equally as important to set the rules as to what exactly counts as plagiarism (as this can be surprisingly arbitrary and subjective) as well as the severity  of consequences if one gets caught doing so. Thus, a clear set of rules and incentives to discourage said behavior are important components of any policy on plagiarizing.

Peter Bryla, Zety

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