Blogging is a popular venture that can be pursued either as a hobby or for business. It has tremendous potential for marketing and as such, it is valued quite highly. However, there are a few notable pitfalls that one needs to be aware of before delving into blogging.
Chief among them is plagiarism. Plagiarism is an immoral act in which a person steals another’s content and claims it was theirs. If you post plagiarized content on your blog either intentionally or unintentionally, then it will get a penalty from the search engines. Search engines can either reduce the rank of that webpage or remove it from their index.
This is very bad for any marketing efforts that were relying on that content because it will fail to generate any publicity. But plagiarism is very easy to do, so how can writers avoid it? Read on to find out.
Table of Contents
How to Avoid Plagiarism in Your Writing?
Here are a few steps that you can take to completely sidestep plagiarism in your writing.
1. Conduct Research from Various Sources
One of the most common reasons for committing plagiarism is that the writer is too affected by one or two sources that they read. When you read about a topic from only one perspective, you develop a biased view. This bias is reflected in your writing and you unconsciously copy the source, as your views are the same.
However, this unconscious plagiarism can be easily avoided if you conduct thorough research. By reading up on your article topic from many sources that provide different perspectives, you can develop an unbiased view.
This will allow you to write your own opinions on the matter without being affected by anyone else. As such you will be able to avoid plagiarism due to unintentional copying.
2. Keep Track of Your Sources
Keeping track of all your sources and which ideas or data you got from them is one of the easiest steps you can take to avoid plagiarism.
This allows you to avoid accidental plagiarism. Now, what is accidental plagiarism? It is when an author cites their sources incorrectly. The incorrect citations can be due to spelling errors, wrong author names, wrong publication dates, an incorrect journal name, or attributing the wrong information to the wrong publication.
These are a few ways in which accidental plagiarism can occur. Now, if you keep track of your sources, you will always know what kind of information came from which source. This will help you in avoiding accidental plagiarism. Any time you have some confusion, you can check the notes that you use to keep track of your sources.
3. Utilize Plagiarism Checking Tools
Even if you try to do all you can to avoid plagiarism, it is still in the realm of possibility that you copy someone by sheer coincidence. That’s because there are too many publications on a variety of topics, so much so, that it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it “content saturation.”
So, what you can do to ensure that something like that doesn’t bite you later on, is to use a plagiarism checker. Now there are multiple types of plagiarism checkers, some are free and others are paid. But the difference between them is not accuracy, but in the number of words, they can check in one session.
Hence bloggers can utilize a plagiarism checker free if they don’t write long-form articles. As with most tools, blog posts/articles are usually under or around 1,000 words. They can be easily checked using free tools most of which allow you to submit 1,000 words per query.
Plagiarism checkers can point out which parts of your content are copied from other sources and they can even give you the links to them as well. This makes it easy to cite them and avoid plagiarism.
4. Edit Where Necessary
When you have checked your content for plagiarism using a tool, sometimes you will find that the plagiarism is not due to citation errors.
There are two main types of plagiarism; one is due to using the ideas and works of other people, and one is simply due to copying the exact wording of someone else.
The second type is different from the first because, it’s the wording that is copied, not the content. Anyone in the world can use any idea or information that is a part of the public domain without fear of plagiarism. However, they have to make sure that they don’t use the same wording as someone else when they use such information.
If there is this type of plagiarism in your content, then you need to edit it. Completely changing the wording or removing the content are valid techniques for avoiding this kind of plagiarism.
In this article, we discussed what is plagiarism, why it is necessary to avoid it, and some steps that bloggers can take to do so.
These four methods of avoiding plagiarism in your article writing are very easy to implement as they don’t require you to necessarily spend money. All you need to expend is a bit more effort on your part.