WriteCheck Blog

Filtering by Tag: how to avoid plagiarism

Knowing how to avoid plagiarism is essential, whether it's writing an academic paper or a blog post. Copying-and-pasting text from the internet can be precarious, but if you know how to correctly navigate three specific areas, you will reduce the risk of being involved with unintentional plagiarism. What are these three areas? Watch this short video to find out what English Professor Renee Nimtz recommends students learn about when it comes to attributing others' work. Watch the short video (2:35 minutes):

3 Ways to Avoid Plagiarism -- Summary, Paraphrase and Quote

There is so much talk about plagiarism these days! But how do you actually avoid plagiarizing? Three ways to save yourself from plagiarizing are summary, paraphrase and quote.

Let’s start with summary.  This is one students are pretty familiar with, but that doesn’t mean it’s so clear cut.

A summary is a condensed version of the original text that highlights the main or key ideas in YOUR own words.  So if you were going to summarize a chapter, it might be a page.  If you were going to summarize a paragraph, it might be a couple of lines.

The second way to avoid plagiarism is with a paraphrase.  A paraphrase is typically the same length as the original text but written in YOUR own words, like a summary. So a paraphrase of a page would be about a page; a paraphrase of a paragraph would be roughly the same length as the original paragraph.  The real trick to paraphrasing is making sure you use your own words and NOT using the words from the original source.

A quote seems so easy because you merely take the original text, put it in quotation marks and put it into your paper.  Well, not so fast.

Students tend to think that they should quote the most in the paper.  And why not? It’s the easiest, and tends to make the paper longer, but by quoting someone, you are saying something about the text.

You are saying that the way the person wrote the text him or herself is so powerful and so impactful that if you were to rewrite it in any way, it would lose it’s impact and value.  If that is not the case, you should summarize or paraphrase it.  You should actually quote the least.

That means that if you put “” marks around text, it better be really powerful language.

So with summary, paraphrase and quote, for which of these do you need a citation?

This is a trick question; they all need a citation.  If you borrow any ideas or language from someone or a text (or a Youtube video), you must include a citation.

A good rule of thumb for summary, paraphrase and quote, is to 1. Introduce the ethos of the author or original text, 2.  include the summary, paraphrase or quote, 3. Cite the original source and 4. Discuss the borrowed material and how it relates to the remainder of your point/paragraph or paper.

Writing with summary, paraphrase and quote is a skill that requires practice and care to get it right, but remember, there are only these three ways to borrow outside sources and each needs a citation.


Google vs Google Scholar [video]

Why isn't Wikipedia a reputable source? [video]



Published on by tiimarketing.

1 Comment

Knowing how to check an essay for plagiarism is crucial for the college student. Even if a student believes that he or she has cited, paraphrased, quoted, and referenced properly, problems can occur. If too many mistakes are made in any or all of these areas, text in a paper may be technically plagiarized.

Cite Properly

Citing properly entails checking your educational institution’s writing style guidelines (APA, ML, etc.) for citation writing instructions. Follow these rules closely. Every time another’s idea is used in the essay, a citation is needed.

Paraphrase Correctly

Paraphrasing can be time-consuming, but a student must put information or ideas found from any source into his or her own words and cite the source. Copying the words verbatim is plagiarism. This exercise also helps students understand the material that they are including in their essay. Checking an essay to ensure that ideas are paraphrased and cited correctly are crucial aspects in knowing how to check an essay for plagiarism.

Insert Quotes -- And Don't Over-Quote

Quoting is another area of concern. When using the exact words of another author, three or more words, quotation marks must be included around those words. Again, a citation is needed after a direct quote. Another issue in knowing how to check a paper for plagiarism is not using too many quotes. Each educational institution or instructor should share how much quoted information is acceptable.

Reference Accurately

References are essential defenses against plagiarism. Each citation used in an essay must be supported by a reference. As with citations, references and the reference page require a specific format. A student needs to check that each citation used in his or her essay has a reference on the reference page.

Use a Plagiarism Checker

Another way to check an essay for plagiarism and to confirm that all of the essential areas have been completed properly is to use plagiarism checker software. WriteCheck plagiarism checker is available online and convenient to use, and includes a grammar check. Or using Turnitin through a school or university is equally effective. With both options, after submitting a paper, the student receives a report that includes a similarity index percentage. The index shows three types of sources: internet, publications, and student papers. Each area that shows similarity is highlighted to show with what type of source the similarity exists. Many students find that running their papers through plagiarism checker software provides  peace of mind that they haven't made any inadvertent writing mistakes.

Knowing how to check an essay for plagiarism is vital for the college student. Checking the key areas of citing, paraphrasing, quoting, and referencing can help to safeguard against plagiarism. Using plagiarism checker software can also ensure that the essay includes original material and is free of plagiarism.


6 Ways to avoid plagiarism

Plagiarism Guide

Published on by bcalvano.

No Comments
Written by Shelley Mitchell from Oklahoma State University who is finishing her PhD in Health, Leisure and Human Performance
Why is it important to write original content?
It is important to write in your own words so that you contribute something new to society. If everyone copied someone else’s writing, it would be impossible to advance as a society (we’d still be copying each other’s petroglyphs!), not to mention how boring it would be! When you write in your own words, you say something in a new way—perhaps this new way will help someone else understand a topic they didn’t previously understand. If you explain a topic from a different angle than others do, people who think more along your lines of thinking will be able to grasp the concept better. This happens with teaching all of the time. I have a bachelor’s degree in Biological Science, but I understood biology a LOT better after having students who all learned differently. After explaining biological concepts a hundred different ways (at least!), not only did I understand a concept better, but more students did as well.
Why is it important for students to write original content?
Along the lines of teaching, I have to say that writing in your own words saves you, as a student, a lot of embarrassment and low grades. When I encountered plagiarism, I had to inform the parents of a student that they were getting a zero on an assignment because they didn’t turn in their own work. Those conversations were not fun for me, the parent, or the student. The worst case I had was a student who turned in a three-page paper, handwritten, with a quotation mark at the beginning of the paper and a quotation mark at the end. He didn’t include a bibliography (not that it would have changed his grade) either. When I called his mother, she was angry about his grade, saying, “He used quotation marks!” Whether proper credit is given or not, if you do not use your own words to explain something, teachers have none of your work to grade. Writing is more than finding specific information and cutting and pasting it into a document. We as teachers want to see that a) you understand the information, and b) you understand it enough to say it in a different way. If you cannot say it in your own words, you do not understand the information enough to pass a test on the subject, so study the information until you do. If you can explain something a multitude of ways, you really know your information. Take it from a biology major---the more you can put something in your own words, the more you know your ‘stuff’, and the more prestige you will have among your peers.
How does WriteCheck help students and writers?
WriteCheck is a big time saver and worry killer, both from a student perspective and a teacher perspective. As a doctoral candidate working on her dissertation, I use WriteCheck before submitting drafts to my committee. Although I am pretty sure I have everything documented and credited correctly, it is a big relief to submit my writing to WriteCheck and make sure everything is original before submission. Plagiarism, even if unintended, is a surefire way to end your graduate career. When you are writing 100+ pages, there is a chance you may overlook something, so it’s nice to have WriteCheck ‘have your back’ and double-check your work for you. As a teacher, I used to type suspicious sentences from student papers into a search engine, looking for plagiarism. Now I can check the whole document with ease---what a time saver! And since WriteCheck finds the original sources, it provides the evidence needed to prove plagiarism (for those helicopter parents whose students can do no wrong). Teachers and students can both breathe sighs of relief with WriteCheck proofing their papers.

Published on by Guest.


Writing Tip #24 - How to Create a Title for a Paper

Stephen King said “You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”

Think of the titles that have led you to read a book, article, or paper. Many writers have trouble creating titles. Some authors hold contests and let their readers come up with interesting titles! Since not many people are likely to be interested in a title contest for a college paper, you are on your own! The title of your paper is what your audience will read first. If the title is not appealing, you may lose readers. A dull title may also cause your audience to form a negative opinion of your paper before they even start reading it!

Dissertation titles are notoriously boring, but that is expected. If a fun title does not come to you right away, look for ideas from the ones you know. Remember, make it your own!

For example: “How to choose a cell phone” is a possible paper title, but “Buying a Cell Phone: Don’t Get Ripped Off” is more of an attention-getter.


Defining a topic and developing a thesis statement

Ways to Avoid Plagiarism


Writing Skills

Published on by bcalvano.

No Comments

What is plagiarism? You may be surprised to know that there is more than one type -- 10, in fact! Watch this short video on how to avoid plagiarism by learning key ways to improve your writing, including:

  • Documenting and citing sources
  • Paraphrasing
  • Researching so the paper contains original content

Watch the video!

Original source: Turnitin.com

Published on by tiimarketing.

No Comments