How To Prevent Plagiarism When Writing

Whether interviewing subject matter experts or presenting the key findings of a report, third-party sources can provide your business with additional empowerment. But there’s a difference between weaving outside sources into your composition for effect and misrepresenting a source’s ideas or words into your own.

Here’s why preventing plagiarism is important and how to prevent it in your work.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the appropriation of the work, data, research, and insights of others without giving due credit. As with all forms of plagiarism, whether intentional or not, the absence of a source, reference, or citation equates to plagiarism of ideas, not just words.

However, it is important to understand that an instance of plagiarism may not be intentional or intentional. Maybe the authors didn’t know they were supposed to cite sources or how to do it properly, or, more likely; they thought the material was already common knowledge (more on that later).

Also, there’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from or even adding to other people’s work. Authors do this all the time, but it’s another item to pass off someone else’s work as your own.

There are two main types of plagiarism:


The most egregious and blatant plagiarism is copying sentences or paragraphs verbatim without acknowledging their source. Again, this is planned and the easiest to spot.

However, the definition of plagiarism need not be limited to the verbatim copying of syllables; there are also more subtle forms, such as structural plagiarism, defined below.


“Plagiarism,” as some call it, occurs when an order or arrangement of ideas and structure is copied from one source to another without citation or credit of any kind. For example, the same institution may use different words and sentences. However, the subtitles and their order may be nearly identical to another source, which is still plagiarism if the cited source is not cited.

Why prevent Plagiarism?

In essence, plagiarism is a moral issue. Authors who submit plagiarized work are stealing and hoping to profit from the theft. This is true whether you’re submitting a school paper to get an “A” or a business writer looking to receive monetary compensation.

As a writer, preventing plagiarism is crucial because it risks your integrity. In addition to losing the respect of your mentors and peers, this can cost you valuable professional referrals and future career advancement. Furthermore, if you are still in school, plagiarism could result in the loss of financial aid or leadership roles.

Additionally, you receive credit or profit from the work’s original creator, which could cause even more trouble if the publisher takes lawful action against you.

How Writers Can Prevent Plagiarism When Creating Content For You

When plagiarism occurs, everyone involved loses. Not only are the victims of stolen works and ideas, but also the writer who commits the theft, the publisher who hires or sponsors the writer, and even the readers of the plagiarized work.

When plagiarism occurs, everyone involved loses. Not only are the victims of stolen works and ideas, but also the writer who commits the theft, the publisher who hires or sponsors the writer, and even the readers of the plagiarized work.

First, let’s review some definitions of plagiarism. Then we will deal with plagiarism not only as a moral case but also as a cultural issue. Finally, we’ll cover some steps to prevent plagiarism when working with authors, whether they are internal authors or extensions of your team.

The major difference between “common sense” and plagiarism.

Unfortunately, there must be a clear distinction between what counts as common knowledge and what must be cited.

Generally, a fact can be considered public knowledge if found in at least five reputable sources. If readers can accept the fact in an article without including looking it up because most individuals already know it, then it can also be deemed common knowledge. To be on the safe side, authors should cite sources whenever there is any doubt as to whether what they have written is known.

What happens when plagiarism is discovered?

When plagiarism occurs and is discovered, it affects more than one person. What’s happening is a potentially very harmful domino effect.

The first is reputational damage, not only to the offending author but also to the publisher distributing the plagiarized work. While this calls into question their professional integrity, the harmful effects don’t stop there.

Plagiarism can result in lost revenue for publishers and authors of original works. There may also be potential legal issues related to copyright infringement, especially in serious cases of plagiarism. Plagiarism isn’t just cheating; it’s a cultural issue.

Why do writers plagiarize?

Assuming this is intentional, it’s probably a combination of laziness and poor work ethic when properly listing all references and citing sources. This may also be the final result of the original author’s recklessness and ignorance to “get ahead.”

Or it could be out of desperation, procrastination, or poor planning – as we have seen some college students piece together final papers with someone else’s work at the last minute to get a passing grade.

Plagiarism reflects a fundamental cultural problem.

To be clear, it distinguishes between writers who plagiarize and those who do not. Then examine the culture of plagiarism writers.

Many writers are proud of their work and consider plagiarising someone else’s work shameful. They want their work to be their creation and remain completely original. As such, they do not plagiarize the work of others and always cite references when using work that is not their own and not considered public knowledge.

However, some writers who do plagiarize may not see it that way. It may sound strange, but they may consider it rational to copy someone else’s work without proper credit – because they consider the work to be “general knowledge” rather than being attributed to a specific individual or organization. So they might not even see a problem. These views may be more common outside the West, especially in collectivist cultures.

On the other end of the spectrum, quite a few writers are truly evil, plagiarizing, knowing what they are doing is wrong. These writers likely never had a work ethic and a culture of respect for the hard work of others, whether through themselves, their parents, or their academic environment.

Either way, on both ends of the spectrum above, and everything in between, it comes down to civilization. So if we want to prevent or avoid plagiarism, we need to start by looking at the culture surrounding the writer. Both the culture in which the writer was raised and the culture in which the writer is currently.

Easiest Ways to Prevent Plagiarism in Your Writing

Fortunately, it’s not all suspicious. Now that you have a basic knowledge of plagiarism, it’s easy to prevent plagiarism. To help you sidestep this taboo, here’s how to prevent plagiarism in your writing.

State your source

When citing ideas or wording that are not your own, add a citation to your essay stating the source’s full name, publication date, and any other citation elements required by the style guide. Shows that it persists.

Including quotes

If you include source words verbatim in your work, one of the easiest and most obvious ways to avoid plagiarism is to use quotation marks around the text to indicate that the words are not your own. Direct quotes should also indicate the source so the reader knows where the quote comes from.


Paraphrasing is rewriting an idea or source information in your own words without changing its meaning. But be careful: if paraphrased incorrectly, it can turn into plagiarism.

Triumphant recasting without plagiarism requires a little dancing. Paraphrase and format your essay initially, and avoid using too many words or phrases that resemble the source. The key is to do this without changing the meaning of the idea itself. Remember, you’re still using someone else’s ideas, so you must cite sources.

Submit your ideas

Instead of repeating a source’s thoughts or words, explore what they have to say about it. Ask yourself what perspective or unique point of view you can bring to your writing that is entirely yours. Note that if you imply source ideas or words to express your opinion, you must apply the above guidelines to avoid plagiarism.

If you write about the same topic for multiple assignments, it may be tempting to reuse some of your old words, known as “self-plagiarism.” If neither your editor nor your advisor has permitted you to reuse your previous work, the risk of self-plagiarism is equally high.

Specific phrases or sentences strike you so strongly when researching a topic that you may inadvertently include them in your writing without citations. When in doubt, an online plagiarism checker tool can help you spot these issues before submitting your work.

In conclusion

There is no 100% surefire way to prevent plagiarism. However, you can find writers who take pride in their work while also respecting the work of others.

With the right team and ethical writers in place, you can create a culture in your organization where plagiarism is less likely to occur, and if it does, you can catch most plagiarism long before the content is published. Or, for any plagiarism-free assignment, you can hire the best assignment writers today. 

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