How to Avoid Accidental Plagiarism

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Plagiarizing text for school, work assignments, and even your own creative work is sometimes easier than purposely plagiarizing and copying and pasting from one document to your own. Keep these tips in mind before, during, and after you write your own unique content to be sure you didn’t accidentally plagiarize.

Come Up with Your Own Idea

Are you writing a thesis paper or the next editorial for your local magazine? Before you start your research process, it’s a smart idea to decide what angle you are coming from and map our how you plan to get there. With your own ideas you can then use other resources to back you up instead of the reverse.

Speak Your Language

Now of course I don’t mean write in your own language (which you should do unless you’re writing in a foreign language) but using your own unique voice is vital. Teachers, colleagues, and even editors start to get used to your particular writing voice and if you start to sound a little different, this is when they get suspicious. While academic papers require a higher level of writing, you can still keep your voice in the narrative without coming off as a writer from elsewhere.

Use Citations

This may seem like the most obvious idea but sometimes when writing, you get so caught up in the moment you forgot to actually give credit where credit is due. Be sure to understand what kind of citation is needed (according to your teacher or editor) and quote the person who originally said what you are using.

Accidental plagiarism is something you can avoid if you are conscious about your writing. Before you complete your work, submit a scan through Copyleaks to be sure it’s free of plagiarism!