How To Prevent Plagiarism When Writing

It is hard to define exactly how much writing is expected form an average student during one schooling year. Anyway, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) tries to define certain statistics each year. The results of this survey, conducted by Lafayette College, are fascinating. 38% of students write more than 10 papers that are between 5 and 19 pages, and 18% have written a paper more than 20 pages in length. This data does not take into account learners writing dissertations or theses – most voluminous kinds of assignments. Dealing with such a huge amount of writing tasks students often ask the question, "How to prevent plagiarism from happening?"

Is It Important?

Such a heavy workload in regard of writing intimidates students and even makes them anxious. And it’s not all about writing skills, time-consuming research, and trouble formatting up to the APA or MLA style. We are here talking about the plagiarism issue – the biggest fear of all learners out there. Just have a look at the numbers that say it all: during the last year, 143 students were expelled for plagiarism, as the Higher Education Academy and Joint Information Systems Committee report. This issue is taken extremely seriously nowadays, to the extent that professors are forced to use plagiarism lawyer services.

Take the example of Alex, a final-year student on the brink of graduation. He decided to take a shortcut for his thesis, copying large sections from various papers he found online. When discovered, not only was his graduation delayed, but his academic reputation was tarnished. He had to retake the course the following year, facing both financial and time setbacks. Alex's story serves as a stark reminder of the long-term consequences of plagiarism.

The Core of “Plagiarism” Term

So, what is plagiarism? Basically, it is a process of stealing articles and presenting them as your own publications. Not only it offend real authors of stolen content, it is also a total disrespect for a professor who expected an original assignment but not a copied piece of someone else’s intellectual property. But what if we tell you that plagiarizing can happen unintentionally from a student’s side? How? Easy as it is.

Consider the case of Sarah, a diligent student who prided herself on her original work. For a history assignment, she extensively researched online and offline sources. While she was careful to paraphrase her findings, she inadvertently used a sentence from a source without proper citation. The plagiarism detection software flagged her work, and she faced disciplinary action. The incident was a wake-up call for Sarah, teaching her the importance of meticulous citation and the thin line between research and plagiarism.

Or imagine a typical situation at a class setting: a group of learners gets an assignment, for example, to write a three-page essay about the impact of global warming on the Arctic climate. Each member of the group gets exactly the same topic. Each of them will probably use Google and research that topic. This means they will paste similar search tags like “global warming” and “Arctic climate,” getting the same results. You might have already understood what we are trying to say. There are not that many ways to write about the same issue, and even those students who would never cheat are at risk of being accused. That is why you should find out ways to prevent plagiarism ASAP.

Emma, a literature major, once faced accusations of plagiarism for her paper on Shakespearean plays. While she had written original content, she failed to cite a famous critic's work she had referenced. The incident led to a thorough investigation, after which she was given a chance to correct her mistake. Emma learned the invaluable lesson that even when ideas become common knowledge, their original sources must be acknowledged. She now conducts workshops in her university, educating peers on the nuances of plagiarism and the importance of proper citation.

Preventing Plagiarism: Techniques to Master

No need to panic or try to convince your professor award you with special task instead of completing same assignment as the rest of the class. Instead, find out how to stop plagiarism in your papers and keep calm every time you turn anything in. Here are the top skills you have to master to prevent plagiarism:

  • Rewriting/paraphrasing. The simplest, yet the most important method of plagiarism prevention. Find a source, read it (yes, actually read it), make your conclusions and write them down or use a rewording tool. Here you go – original, written by you and only content is ready!
  • Citing. Classic technique that has been helping scholars and authors play it safe for years. Especially efficient, when working with literary source containing plenty of terms with no accurate synonyms. Paraphrasing is required as well, you have to formulate sentences yourself, but mention the source that inspired you as well.
  • Quoting. Probably, the simplest one so far. Here, a student can copy and paste a few lines from the primary source and format it with quotation marks (“…”). The key phrase here is “few lines” – inserting paragraphs as quotations will not impress your tutor.
  • Referring to your own papers. If you have already worked on related topic, using your own research is totally fine. Just do not forget to cite it as any other literary work, so that your professor would not think you try to turn it an old paper.
  • Hiring a professional. This technique might be a wisest one. If you get an assignment that distracts you from your academic or personal priorities or just need professional help, why not delegate it to a person approaching career in academic writing field? Try it once and you won’t let go this way of preventing plagiarism and dealing with boring research papers!

Useful Student-Friendly Software

Now when you are informed on how to prevent plagiarism from appearing in your papers, we should discuss one more aspect of dealing with stolen intellectual property. That is plagiarism-detecting software.  But you need to use only proven software because in the Internet, you can find a lot of ways to trick applications (for example, how to avoid plagiarism on Turnitin). The similarity index (a percentage that displays the ratio of original text to copied parts) differs greatly depending on what software you use to check papers. The thing is, various checkers use different algorithms to go through the Internet looking for matches to your essay or research paper.

EduBirdie plagiarism checker is a modern, easy-to-use, and legitimate originality checker. Before coming up with our own uniqueness checking tool, we have carefully examined the market of copywriting tools and found a blanc spot there. The studentship definitely needed an online tool that is: a) credible, b) free c) developed with an implementation of up-to-the-minute examination algorithms. So, here it is! Not only you can use EduBirdie to detect copied content in writing, you can also get immediate professional assistance there. Namely, our professional editors and writers would be happy to amend your paper until it reaches 100% uniqueness.

Detect plagiarism in your paper

Plagiarism Prevention Checklist

Before Submitting Your Assignment, Ensure You've Completed the Following Steps:

  1. Understand the Assignment:

  • I have read and understood the assignment guidelines and requirements.
  • I am aware of the expected citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago).
  1. Original Writing:

  • My work is written in my own words, and I have not copied content verbatim without proper citation.
  • I have avoided excessive use of quotes; instead, I've tried to paraphrase where possible.
  1. Proper Citations:

  • Every idea, quote, or piece of information taken from a source is properly cited.
  • I have cross-checked my citations to ensure they match the required citation style.
  • My bibliography or reference list is complete, listing every source I've referenced.
  1. Paraphrasing:

  • When I've paraphrased, I've ensured the wording is significantly different from the original source.
  • I've still cited the original source even when I've paraphrased.
  1. Direct Quotes:

  • All direct quotes are enclosed in quotation marks.
  • I've provided a citation for each direct quote.
  1. Use of Personal Work:

  • If I've used content from my previous assignments, I've cited it appropriately.
  • I've ensured that reusing my own past work is permissible according to my institution's guidelines.
  1. Collaboration & Group Work:

  • If the assignment was collaborative, I've ensured that all contributors are credited.
  • I've made sure that my contributions are original and not copied from group members.
  1. Use of Online Tools:

  • I've run my assignment through a plagiarism detection tool to check for unintentional matches.
  • I've addressed any flagged content and ensured it's properly cited or reworded.
  1. Final Review:

  • I've reviewed my assignment to ensure there's a logical flow and coherence.
  • I've proofread for grammatical and spelling errors, which can sometimes be indicators of poorly integrated or copied content.
  1. Seek Feedback:

  • I've asked a peer, tutor, or mentor to review my work for potential plagiarism pitfalls.
  • I've made revisions based on the feedback received.

Remember: Plagiarism isn't just about copying words; it's about taking someone else's ideas without giving proper credit. Always prioritize academic integrity and when in doubt, cite your sources!


Although being a student is challenging and prevent copying papers is complicated, keep in mind that there are people always ready to help you out. Do not hesitate to consult with your tutor regarding required originality index for an assignment. But what is the most important – do not be afraid and reach out for professional help. For students of 21st century this is not a cheating anymore, but a necessity due the number of academic tasks adding to athletics, hobbies, family issues, social events, and personal life. Getting a high-quality, absolutely original, and carefully formatted essay written in your personal writing style is not a fantasy anymore. Order one and assure yourself today!

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Related Blog Posts

Join our 150К of happy users

  • Get original papers written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
Place an order