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How To Avoid Plagiarism: Don’t Devastate Your Writing Career

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How To Avoid Plagiarism: Don’t Devastate Your Writing Career

Plagiarism isn’t just a systematic issue, it can be a big problem for all types of writing: blogging, journalism, sales copy, and technical or medical writing by idea authors.

This guide provides viable strategies for avoiding plagiarism and defines what constitutes actual plagiarism.

What is Plagiarism? When is it not plagiarism?

Merriam-Webster provides a more formal definition. Plagiarism can be defined as the conscious act of copying one’s own ideas and misappropriating them as one’s own.

However, it is important to distinguish between plagiarism and what is not.

Borrowing or explaining your own ideas is not necessarily plagiarism when it comes to original texts and sources.

For example, if you write a short blog in your own words about SEO basics, you don’t need to credit or cite who originally coined the term SEO to avoid plagiarism.

Sharing ideas is essential to developing a knowledge base in any field.

Also, what is considered common knowledge does not constitute plagiarism. When you say Joe Biden is the President of the United States, you don’t have to cite sources. Furthermore, idiotic citations such as “crossing the Rubicon” do not require attribution from Caesar.

However, it is plagiarism if you write almost exactly what someone else wrote without quoting it as is, so if you copy and paste the last sentence on your blog, it will be intentional plagiarism.

That said, we believe that most plagiarism incidents are not caused by malicious acts, but by ignorance or haste.

Common sources of plagiarism

Plagiarism is easily prevented with modern tools and forward-looking planning. For example, many scholars plagiarize because they procrastinate or don’t know how to cite things properly.

Common sources of plagiarism include:

  • deliberate theft.
  • Incorrectly quoted citation.
  • A badly paraphrased study.
  • Citing something with a broken hyperlink.
  • Do not understand that something is not common sense.
  • Reusing your own previous work without being aware of it or properly citing it.


To avoid plagiarism, we’ve put together seven practical tips that you can incorporate into your writing process to keep your writing clean.

1. Take notes when citing other sources

If you’re like me, you’ll open a dozen tabs to research a topic right before you actually write a word.

In many cases, plagiarism can be caused by simply forgetting to cite something you posted or wrote down in a draft without noticing it.

For this reason, proper citation tracking is essential, especially if the article uses direct citations or needs to cite statistics or research points.

Add comments, highlight, and hyperlink material you get from others to keep track of what you get. If you’re not sure if the source is needed, add a hyperlink or citation for safety.

In any case, from an SEO point of view, linking to trusted third-party sites is considered a best practice.

2. Add quotes and links to your text

Next, you need to figure out how to cite the sources you want to include in your documentation.

At this time, much of science requires APA citations. That is, after each citation from the source or quote within parentheses: a footer should be added.

Outside of academia, citations are as simple as inserting a hyperlink into the portion of the anchor text that relates to the source. For example, if CNN lists Zeus as the world’s largest dog, you could use “Zeus”, “CNN”, or “world’s biggest dog” as the anchor text for your source link.

Finally, adding citations and citing authors or sources can be good forms of citation in more informal areas outside of academia.

For example, it’s appropriate to quote Steve Jobs as “Stay Hungry, Be Stupid” without linking or creating a formal citation.

3. Rephrase the information with your own ideas

Unless you’re copying someone else’s idea exactly, you probably don’t need to get it from the source.

Ideally, encourage Professional ghostwriters to rewrite their ideas and present them with a new perspective. Use the ideas you glean from your research to support your own ideas and conclusions that you will need to draw on your own once all the facts are gathered. Not only does this help you write cleanly, but it also encourages you to think more critically.

What’s the point of writing about other people’s ideas if they don’t offer a fresh perspective?

Always use paraphrased information as information rather than gospel to avoid plagiarism.

4. Do rigorous proofreading and editing

The easiest way to avoid plagiarism is to find it before you publish your work. By taking the time to edit your articles and citations, you can keep your articles clean and avoid the risk of ethical violations.

Please double-check that the text is original and that the authors have drawn their conclusions. It also makes you a better editor or takes help from a Professional ghostwriter.

5. Use a plagiarism checker like Grammarly

A plagiarism tool can be very helpful in finding errors that people will not see.

To test Grammarly’s plagiarism checker, I copied some text from a recent article on SEJ and pasted it into the Grammarly editor.

Grammarly confirmed that the inserted text matched that published in the SEJ article. I also included a link to the SEJ article that I can use as a reference/quote for the text included.

6. Plan ahead

If you want to avoid delays, allow yourself enough time to proofread the part and draft the outline accordingly.

This way, you can keep track of all your sources, find out how to cite them correctly, and avoid other mistakes.

7. Commit to presenting original ideas

Finally, this point speaks to the spirit of why we write. If you choose to be an independent writer and thinker, you don’t have to worry about plagiarism. Most importantly, it will make you more successful.

Avoiding plagiarism isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does require discipline and good planning.