How to Prevent Plagiarism: The Guide

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Why should we prevent plagiarism? Nothing looks more frightening to the student than a blank page of unwritten assignment. You might be the best essay creator, the remarkable rendering composer or the analytical writer but avoiding plagiarism in academic writing might be still your concern number one. Verbatim plagiarism may seriously damage the credibility of the student, even self-plagiarism leads to the academic integrity standards violation as practice shows.

How top universities avoid and prevent plagiarism

Plagiarism considered serious problem in many educational institutions. The teachers instruct the students how to prevent plagiarism involving them in activities and collaboration during the lesson, providing them with handouts featuring all essential information about citing and referencing. It is also important to teach students how to check for plagiarism in academic writing, familiarize them with plagiarism policy and plagiarism prevention tools.


The Oxford defines plagiarism as using someone else’s words and ideas and presenting them as your own without providing a proper acknowledgment in the writing.

Almost every dictionary defines plagiarism quite the same. Using the ideas and words and failing to cite them properly is also considered plagiarism and intellectual theft, that’s why it is so important to learn how to avoid plagiarism in academic writing.


Harvard college honor code developed a set of writing rules and tutorials that prevents students from plagiarizing. The practices for avoiding plagiarism include evaluating sources, integrating sources, formatting, literature citing regulations and tips, some of them we have listed below:


  1. Citing your sources. Even the small excerpt of the material can be the thing that constitutes plagiarism. Make sure to cite sources properly: official papers, letters, federal documents, music, and even lines from movies. Don’t forget about mentioning the secondary sources like a casual website, a lecture or the Wikipedia.
  2. Understand the assignment. Misunderstanding of the directions of the instructor can lead to the various types plagiarism, from intentional to unintentional. Find out if the teacher allows the students incorporating the outside sources for the topic. Ask what source usage will be considered legitimate or ask specifically about the website you are intended to use.
  3. Providing the original ideas. It is not prohibited to use the expert opinion to strengthen the point. Cite them and reference but in order to be sure, your paper also includes original content try to agree or disagree with opinions and explain what makes you think so.
  4. Think through the structure. The structure in the writing is an important thing that helps preventing plagiarism. You can organize the narrative in the chronological sequence if you are writing the story or outline the paragraphs according to the subject of discussion.
  5. Detect plagiarism issues. If you know that you used the outer sources while writing the academic paper make sure to use the checker before making the final submissions.

The similarity checker will produce a plagiarism report, the originality rate in it will notify the writer if the paper should be revised one more time.


The last point

Academic papers are tricky, while you think you are making the appeal to the authoritative expert or the opinion it is still qualified as stolen content in case of the improper acknowledgment. Systematic plagiarism means higher chances to fail the course each time you submit the assignment with unauthentic information. Supportive instructions, tips, and tools that are used by the universities worldwide can be the good basis for starting your work with sources and writing an original piece of content.