by Sherice Jacob
Whether you’re writing an authoritative article, interviewing an expert, or sharing important findings, you want to avoid taking ideas or concepts from another author and passing them off as your own. At the same time, you want your work to have credibility, and pulling from other sources can add that boost. Plus, in today’s always-on, on-demand world, swiping a few ideas or even words can seem harmless, but it can have major repercussions, especially for content writers, publishers, and agencies.
The good news is that you can still write like an authority and incorporate key points from other publications and writers. You just have to do it the right way:
Share Your Perspective of an Idea
It’s fine to mention someone else’s idea, but what do you think about it? You likely have a unique perspective or angle that you could add to the discussion, and that would allow your thoughts (and thus your writing) to flow naturally. Don’t forget that if you’re sharing someone else’s idea or their phrasing, that you cite or quote them appropriately. We’ll share how to do that below.
Cite the Source Appropriately
One of the best ways if you’re looking for methods on how to avoid plagiarism is to cite your source. To do so, simply add information in your own writing or in a footnote that denotes the original author’s full name, the date of the publication you’re referencing and any other information that’s required. The requirements will vary depending on the style guide you’re using as a reference.
Paraphrase the Original Author
Paraphrasing simply means taking the other person’s words and altering them to the point that the concept sounds like your own. Obviously, it’s a bit of a delicate balance between plagiarizing someone else’s work and taking the core idea and putting it into your own words. You still need to cite their original idea, though, so keep that in mind even as you work to make it yours.
Don’t forget also that you want to remain true to the original idea as it was expressed. You certainly don’t want to dive into a thesaurus just replacing words without any regard for the nuances of their meanings.
An example of a properly-cited paraphrased source from Northwestern University
Quote the Original Author
One incredibly easy yet often overlooked method for avoiding plagiarism includes quoting the original author. This way, you can use their words verbatim. Don’t forget to include their name, where the phrase originally appeared, and when.
What About Open Interpretations?
What if you take information from someone’s interpretation of another work? Plagiarism doesn’t have to be a direct quotation from someone else’s work in order to be considered plagiarism. See this example from Northwestern University:
On the aforementioned page, you can also find excellent examples of using other authors’ examples when presenting your own, incorporating their charts or graphs, and even covering debatable or unusual facts.
The Bottom Line on Avoiding Plagiarism
As you can see, although there are many seemingly gray areas where you have others’ thoughts, examples, ideas and even images, the rules regarding plagiarism are clear. There are methods of citing nearly everything, even if you’re not an academician.
Outside the world of academia, oftentimes, linking back to the original example is done not just to expand on the information presented but also to give credit to the original author. Backlinks are like gold online, and the number of backlinks pointing to a specific report or finding gives it greater “clout” in the search engines.
The problem arises whether you’re a content producer, publisher, or agency. You don’t want to risk losing valuable backlink “clout”, and you definitely don’t want to risk your company’s reputation, your ranking, and other factors that affect your ability to be seen and hired by potential clients. That’s why using a plagiarism checker like Originality.AI is so important.
How Originality.AI Works:
Originality.AI goes beyond ordinary plagiarism checkers, including academic plagiarism checkers and popular online checkers that look merely for copied words and phrases from other sources. With the plethora of AI-enhanced article writing tools at our disposal, it is becoming more and more tempting for writers of all backgrounds to simply plug a few keywords into the program and let the AI cobble together something passably human at first pass.
However, Google’s rules regarding AI-generated content are clear, and more than ever, companies are scrutinizing the content they order to ensure that it’s not only factually accurate but that it hasn’t been churned out by some machine feigning readability. it’s not a matter of if search engines will catch them, but when.
And the consequences of plagiarism online for businesses are tough. A loss of reputation, visitors, clients, ranking, and more. There may even be legal or monetary damages involved.
Using a plagiarism checker like Originality.AI helps give business owners, content creators and publishers, and marketing agencies peace of mind. That’s because Originality.AI is tuned to pick out the tell-tale signs of plagiarism from even the most sophisticated content writing bots, including the newly-released ChatGPT AI content creator.
The good news is that businesses and publishers of all backgrounds can try Originality.AI on their own content risk-free. By using coupon code BeOriginal you can save 50% on your first purchase of 2,000 credits or more. One credit allows the deep-dive scanning of up to 100 words. Try Originality.AI now for yourself and see how easy it can be to avoid plagiarism while making sure your business is producing the best-quality content for your given area of expertise.
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