The field of digital marketing largely depends on content creators, specifically those who can articulately present an idea and connect with a target audience.
On the other hand, we have academic writers who professionally create scholastic materials like research papers and essays.
However, whether you’re writing for marketing purposes or academic reasons, there are possibilities of plagiarism. To plagiarize means using someone else’s ideas or presenting them as your own with the means of paraphrasing.
Plagiarism is unethical in the realm of content writing, and it can have heavy consequences depending on whom the content is presented to.
Additionally, frequent plagiarism can affect a writer’s writing skills and limits growth opportunities.
Therefore, it’s important to avoid plagiarism in your work. Nevertheless, when writers leverage other writers’ content correctly, this can increase their content’s authority and improve SERPs ranking as per Google’s E-E-A-T metrics. So, what to do?
Best Practices to Avoid Plagiarism
Producing plagiarism-free content is possible, however, it will first require one to understand what plagiarism is and how it comes about.
In many cases, people are unaware that they are producing plagiarized content by merely using a few research papers or other writers’ copies.
There are also cases when some writers intentionally use other people’s attitudes as their own and this has serious repercussions.
Either way, here are some of the best practices that can help you avoid plagiarism in your content.
1- Understand the Different Types of Plagiarism
Although they are profoundly acknowledged in the academic writing field, the same types of plagiarism are seen in the content marketing arena.
Understanding the several types of plagiarism can help you know when they occur.
These plagiarism forms include direct plagiarism, mosaic plagiarism, self-plagiarism, source-based plagiarism, paraphrasing plagiarism, and accidental plagiarism. These can be explained as follows.
- Mosaic plagiarism:
It is a type of plagiarism where a writer cites another author’s work without utilizing quotations. It can also occur when a writer uses synonyms instead of the originally used words or follows the same structure.
- Direct plagiarism:
This is a deliberate form of plagiarism and occurs when a writer gives no credit for another writer’s work despite using the content as it is in the original form. This is 100% unethical and can result in serious disciplinary action.
It is a form of plagiarism that occurs when an individual duplicates his or her own previously published work.
You can self-plagiarize your work when you make your previously published content the sole reference for your new content. It can also happen when you simply make a few changes to produce new content.
- Source-based plagiarism:
It occurs when a writer cites a source incorrectly either intentionally or unintentionally. It can also happen when a writer cites only one source instead of all the different citations.
- Paraphrasing plagiarism:
Like the term itself paraphrasing plagiarism is where one simply molds words from different sources of work. Paraphrasing is a common form of plagiarism and can be intentional or unintentional.
- Accidental plagiarism:
It is unintended and may occur when one misquotes or cites wrong information sources.
Understanding the different forms of plagiarism can help you reflect on the possible forms of plagiarism that you can make in your content.
You can also utilize the different reflection models to think of how you can produce quality content that is plagiarism free.
2. Develop a Unique Writing Style
Writing isn’t complicated as long as you follow a few basics. Apart from minding the spelling and grammar, your writing style is one key to producing quality and plagiarism-free content.
Precisely, a writing style is how you write your content.
Writing styles may vary from one writer to another and they highly define a writer. There are different types of writing styles and pondering about the best suitable type of writing style for your content is essential.
The different types of writing styles include narrative, creative, persuasive, technical, descriptive, and objective among others.
Select a writing style where you can detail your ideas and thoughts excellently.
An ideal writing style also considers the tone, language complexity, and syntax among others. It is also essential to consider the type of audience.
Crafting content for a scientific audience will surely require a different writing style. The words may be more technical and precision is necessary.
On the other hand, writing for a common man or for product marketing purposes may require a casual tone and simple words. Where possible, try to adopt a new writing style to render your content plagiarism-free.
Besides that, try to present your own ideas. Understanding the topic before writing and writing in your own words can reduce the chances of plagiarized work.
3. Cite Sources Correctly
Facts and statistics can boost content authority and quality. There are also other times when you will find that presenting content in the original form makes more sense.
However, despite your good intentions, search engines, publishers, or professors consider this unethical.
Presenting plagiarized-free content is a quality standard that any serious publisher or educator will consider to publish or accept your work.
Therefore, where necessary, try to cite information sources correctly.
Citing sources is an act of honoring other authors’ work and besides that, it presents you as a professional writer. There are many citing online tools that you can use to avoid plagiarism in your work.
4. Leverage Paraphrasing Tools
Writers often struggle with presenting facts and statistics without changing their meaning. To avoid plagiarism, many writers try to rephrase the content themselves.
But there are tools available that can help writers paraphrase more effectively. These tools can rewrite content while preserving the original meaning and avoiding plagiarism.
These paraphrasing tools examine the content for better formats, words, and plagiarism-free paragraphs.
Using paraphrasing tools can save a lot of time and help you produce high-quality content. Search online for some paraphrasing tools to get better results.
Additionally, a paraphrasing guide can help you improve your paraphrasing skills and make your work stand out.
Being able to create original content based on a few examples can make you a more creative writer. It will also make you appreciate your work more as you develop your writing skills.
5. Use a Plagiarism Checker
Effective content writing skills come with practice, and this is one of the best active learning strategies that can lead to better creativity. Writing more can surely increase your writing creativity and improve your writing skills.
However, there are cases when certain sentences and paragraphs may continue showing plagiarism. In this case, choosing a plagiarism checker such as Grammarly, Scribbr, or Unicheck among others can help produce content without plagiarism.
These tools will quickly show you which lines are plagiarized and which aren’t.
Content writing or academic writing is governed by a range of rules and producing plagiarized-free content is among them. In fact, many content publishers and professors consider plagiarism an ethical issue.
This blog details a few approaches you can consider to avoid plagiarism in your content whether you’re a professional content writer, academic writer, or digital marketer.