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Harvard Guide to Using Sources 

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How to Avoid Plagiarism

It's not enough to know why plagiarism is taken so seriously in the academic world or to know how to recognize it. You also need to know how to avoid it. The simplest cases of plagiarism to avoid are the intentional ones: If you copy a paper from a classmate, buy a paper from the Internet, copy whole passages from a book, article, or Web site without citing the author, you are plagiarizing. Here's the best advice you'll ever receive about avoiding intentional plagiarism: If you're tempted to borrow someone else's ideas or plagiarize in any way because you're pressed for time, nervous about how you're doing in a class, or confused about the assignment, don't do it . The problems you think you're solving by plagiarizing are really minor compared to the problems you will create for yourself by plagiarizing. In every case, the consequences of plagiarism are much more serious than the consequences of turning in a paper late or turning in a paper you're not satisfied to have written.

"...the consequences of plagiarism are much more serious than the consequences of turning in a paper late..."

The consequences of accidental plagiarism are equally daunting and should be avoided at all costs. Whether or not you intended to plagiarize, you will still be held responsible. As a member of an intellectual community you are expected to respect the ideas of others in the same way that you would respect any other property that didn't belong to you, and this is true whether you plagiarize on purpose or by accident. The best way to make sure you don't plagiarize due to confusion or carelessness is to 1) understand what you're doing when you write a paper and 2) follow a method that is systematic and careful as you do your research . In other words, if you have a clear sense of what question you're trying to answer and what knowledge you're building on, and if you keep careful, clear notes along the way, it's much easier to use sources effectively and responsibly and, most of all, to write a successful paper. If you have questions about plagiarism at any point in your research or writing process, ask. It's always better to ask questions than it is to wait for an instructor to respond to work that you have turned in for a grade. Once you have turned in your final work, you will be held responsible for misuse of sources.

With these principles in mind, here are some guidelines for conducting research responsibly:

Keep track of your sources; print electronic sources

While it's easy enough to keep a stack of books or journal articles on your desk where you can easily refer back to them, it's just as important to keep track of electronic sources. When you save a PDF of a journal article, make sure you put it into a folder on your computer where you'll be able to find it. When you consult a Web site, log the Web address in a separate document from the paper you're writing so that you'll be able to return to the Web site and cite it correctly. You should also print the relevant pages from any Web sites you use, making sure you note the complete URL and the date on which you printed the material. Because electronic sources aren't stable and Web pages can be deleted without notice, beware of directing your readers to sources that might have disappeared. Check when the Web site you're using was last updated and update the URLs as you work and once again right before you submit your essay. If an electronic source disappears before you submit your work, you will need to decide whether or not to keep the source in your paper. If you have printed the source and can turn it in with your paper, you should do so. If you have not printed the source, you should consult your instructor about whether or not to use that source in your paper.

The library has several helpful resources for managing your sources, including RefWorks .

Keep sources in correct context

Whenever you consult a source, you should make sure you understand the context, both of the ideas within a source and of the source itself. You should also be careful to consider the context in which a source was written. For example, a book of essays published by an organization with a political bias might not present an issue with adequate complexity for your project.

The question of context can be more complicated when you're working with Internet sources than with print sources because you may see one Web page as separate from an entire Web site and use or interpret that page without fully understanding or representing its context. For example, a definition of "communism" taken from a Web site with a particular political agenda might provide one interpretation of the meaning of the word—but if you neglect to mention the context for that definition you might use it as though it's unbiased when it isn't. Likewise, some Internet searches will take you to a URL that's just one Web page within a larger Web site; be sure to investigate and take notes on the context of the information you're citing.

Research can often turn out to be more time-consuming that you anticipate. Budget enough time to search for sources, to take notes, and to think about how to use the sources in your essay. Moments of carelessness are more common when you leave your essay until the last minute and are tired or stressed. Honest mistakes can lead to charges of plagiarism just as dishonesty can; be careful when note-taking and when incorporating ideas and language from electronic sources so you always know what language and ideas are yours and what belongs to a source.

Don't cut and paste: File and label your sources

Never cut and paste information from an electronic source straight into your own essay, and never type verbatim sentences from a print source straight into your essay. Instead, open a separate document on your computer for each source so you can file research information carefully. When you type or cut and paste into that document, make sure to include the full citation information for the print source or the full URL and the date you copied the page(s). For Web sources, make sure to cite the page from which you're taking information, which may not necessarily be the home page of the site you're using. Use logical and precise names for the files you create, and add citation information and dates. This allows you to retrieve the files easily, deters you from accidentally deleting files, and helps you keep a log of the order in which your research was conducted. It's a good idea to add a note to each file that describes how you might use the information in that file. Remember: you're entering a conversation with your sources, and accurate file names and notes can help you understand and engage that conversation. And, of course, always remember to back up your files.

Keep your own writing and your sources separate

Work with either the printed copy of your source(s) or (in the case of online sources), the copy you pasted into a separate document—not the online version—as you draft your essay. This precaution not only decreases the risk of plagiarism but also enables you to annotate your sources in various ways that will help you understand and use them most effectively in your essay.

Keep your notes and your draft separate

Be careful to keep your research notes separate from your actual draft at all stages of your writing process. This will ensure that you don't cut language from a source and paste it into your paper without proper attribution. If you work from your notes, you're more likely to keep track of the boundaries between your own ideas and those in a source.

Paraphrase carefully in your notes; acknowledge your sources explicitly when paraphrasing

When you want to paraphrase material, it's a good idea first to paste the actual quotation into your notes (not directly into your draft) and then to paraphrase it (still in your notes). Putting the information in your own words will help you make sure that you've thought about what the source is saying and that you have a good reason for using it in your paper. Remember to use some form of notation in your notes to indicate what you've paraphrased and mention the author's name within the material you paraphrase. You should also include all citation information in your notes.

When you decide to use paraphrased material in your essay, make sure that you avoid gradually rewording the paraphrased material from draft to draft until you lose sight of the fact that it's still a paraphrase. Also, avoid excessive paraphrasing in which your essay simply strings together a series of paraphrases. When the ideas taken from your sources start to blend in deceptively with your own thinking, you will have a more difficult time maintaining the boundaries between your ideas and those drawn from sources. Finally, whenever you paraphrase, make sure you indicate, at each logical progression, that the ideas are taken from an authored source.

Avoid reading a classmate's paper for inspiration

If you're in a course that requires peer review or workshops of student drafts, you are going to read your classmates' work and discuss it. This is a productive way of exchanging ideas and getting feedback on your work. If you find, in the course of this work, that you wish to use someone else's idea at some point in your paper (you should never use someone else's idea as your thesis, but there may be times when a classmate's idea would work as a counterargument or other point in your paper), you must credit that person the same way you would credit any other source. On the other hand, if you find yourself reading someone else's paper because you're stuck on an assignment and don't know how to proceed, you may end up creating a problem for yourself because you might unconsciously copy that person's ideas. When you're stuck, make an appointment with your instructor or go to the Writing Center for advice on how to develop your own ideas.

Don't save your citations for later

Never paraphrase or quote from a source without immediately adding a citation. You should add citations in your notes, in your response papers, in your drafts, and in your revisions. Without them, it's too easy to lose track of where you got a quotation or an idea and to end up inadvertently taking credit for material that's not your own.

Quote your sources properly

Always use quotation marks for directly quoted material, even for short phrases and key terms.

Keep a source trail

As you write and revise your essay, make sure that you keep track of your sources in your notes and in each successive draft of your essay. You should begin this process early, even before you start writing your draft. Even after you've handed in your essay, keep all of your research notes and drafts. You ought to be able to reconstruct the path you took from your sources to your notes and from your notes to your drafts and revision. These careful records and clear boundaries between your writing and your sources will help you avoid plagiarism. And if you are called upon to explain your process to your instructor, you'll be able to retrace the path you took when thinking, researching, and writing, from the essay you submitted back through your drafts and to your sources.

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How to Avoid Plagiarism | Tips on Citing Sources

Published on 6 December 2021 by Tegan George . Revised on 3 April 2023.

When you write an academic paper, you build upon the work of others and use various credible sources for information and evidence. To avoid plagiarism, you need to correctly incorporate these sources into your text.

How to avoid plagiarism?

  • Keeping track of the sources you consult in your research
  • Paraphrasing or quoting from your sources (and adding your own ideas)
  • Crediting the original author in an in-text citation and in your reference list
  • Using a plagiarism checker before you submit

Even accidental plagiarism can have serious consequences , so take care with how you integrate sources into your writing.

Table of contents

Keeping track of your sources, avoiding plagiarism when quoting, avoiding plagiarism when paraphrasing, citing your sources correctly, using a plagiarism checker, checklist: plagiarism prevention, free lecture slides, frequently asked questions about plagiarism.

One of the most common ways that students commit plagiarism is by simply forgetting where an idea came from and unintentionally presenting it as their own. You can easily avoid this pitfall by keeping your notes organised and compiling a list of citations as you go.

Clearly label which thoughts are yours and which aren’t in your notes, highlight statements that need citations, and carefully mark any text copied directly from a source with quotation marks.

In the example below, red indicates a claim that requires a source, blue indicates information paraphrased or summarised from a source, and green indicates a direct quotation.

Notes for my paper on global warming

  • Greenhouse gas emissions trap heat and raise global temperatures [cite details]
  • Causes more severe weather: hurricanes, fires, water scarcity [cite examples]
  • Animal habitats across the world are under threat from climate change [cite examples]
  • Just this year, 23 species have been declared extinct (BBC News 2021)
  • ‘Animals are changing shape… some are growing bigger wings, some are sprouting longer ears and others are growing larger bills’ in order to cool off (Zeldovich 2021)

Managing sources with the Scribbr Citation Generator

To make your life easier later, make sure to write down the full details of every source you consult. That includes not only books and journal articles, but also things like websites, magazine articles, and videos. This makes it easy to go back and check where you found a phrase, fact, or idea that you want to use in your paper.

Scribbr’s Citation Generator allows you to start building and managing your reference list as you go, saving time later. When you’re ready to submit, simply download your reference list!

Generate accurate citations with Scribbr

Prevent plagiarism, run a free check..

Quoting means copying a piece of text word for word. The copied text must be introduced in your own words, enclosed in quotation marks , and correctly attributed to the original author.

In general, quote sparingly. Quotes are appropriate when:

  • You’re using an exact definition, introduced by the original author
  • It is impossible for you to rephrase the original text without losing its meaning
  • You’re analyzing the use of language in the original text
  • You want to maintain the authority and style of the author’s words

Long quotations should be formatted as block quotes . But for longer blocks of text, it’s usually better to paraphrase instead.

Paraphrasing means using your own words to explain something from a source.

Paraphrasing does not mean just switching out a few words from a copy-pasted text. To paraphrase properly, you should rewrite the author’s point in your own words to show that you have fully understood it.

Every time you quote or paraphrase, you must include an in-text or footnote citation clearly identifying the original author. Each citation must correspond to a full reference in the reference list or bibliography at the end of your paper.

This acknowledges the source of your information, avoiding plagiarism, and it helps your readers locate the source for themselves if they would like to learn more.

There are many different citation styles, each with its own rules. Your instructor may assign a particular style for you to use, or you may be able to choose. The most important thing is to apply one style consistently throughout the text.

The examples below follow APA Style .

Citing a single source

Citing multiple sources.

If you quote multiple sources in one sentence, make sure to cite them separately so that it’s clear which material came from which source.

To create correctly formatted source citations, you can use our free Citation Generator.

APA Citation Generator MLA Citation Generator

And if you’re citing in APA Style, consider using Scribbr’s Citation Checker , a unique tool that scans your citations for errors. It can detect inconsistencies between your in-text citations and your reference list, as well as making sure your citations are flawlessly formatted.

Most universities use plagiarism checkers like Turnitin to detect potential plagiarism. Here’s how plagiarism checkers work : they scan your document, compare it to a database of webpages and publications, and highlight passages that appear similar to other texts.

Consider using a plagiarism checker yourself before submitting your paper. This allows you to identify issues that could constitute accidental plagiarism, such as:

  • Forgotten or misplaced citations
  • Missing quotation marks
  • Paraphrased material that’s too similar to the original text

Then you can easily fix any instances of potential plagiarism.

There are differences in accuracy and safety between plagiarism checkers. To help students choose, we conducted extensive research comparing the best plagiarism checkers .

When using someone else’s exact words, I have properly formatted them as a quote .

When using someone else’s ideas, I have properly paraphrased , expressing the idea completely in my own words.

I have included an in-text citation every time I use words, ideas, or information from a source.

Every source I cited is included in my reference list or bibliography .

I have consistently followed the rules of my required citation style .

I have not committed self-plagiarism by reusing any part of a previous paper.

I have used a reliable plagiarism checker as a final check.

Your document should be free from plagiarism!

Are you a teacher or lecturer who would like to educate your students about plagiarism? You can download our free lecture slides, available for Google Slides and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Open Google Slides Download PowerPoint

Accidental plagiarism is one of the most common examples of plagiarism . Perhaps you forgot to cite a source, or paraphrased something a bit too closely. Maybe you can’t remember where you got an idea from, and aren’t totally sure if it’s original or not.

These all count as plagiarism, even though you didn’t do it on purpose. When in doubt, make sure you’re citing your sources . Also consider running your work through a plagiarism checker tool prior to submission, which work by using advanced database software to scan for matches between your text and existing texts.

Scribbr’s Plagiarism Checker takes less than 10 minutes and can help you turn in your paper with confidence.

To avoid plagiarism when summarising an article or other source, follow these two rules:

  • Write the summary entirely in your own words by   paraphrasing the author’s ideas.
  • Reference the source with an in-text citation and a full reference so your reader can easily find the original text.

Plagiarism can be detected by your professor or readers if the tone, formatting, or style of your text is different in different parts of your paper, or if they’re familiar with the plagiarised source.

Many universities also use   plagiarism detection software like Turnitin’s, which compares your text to a large database of other sources, flagging any similarities that come up.

It can be easier than you think to commit plagiarism by accident. Consider using a   plagiarism checker prior to submitting your essay to ensure you haven’t missed any citations.

Some examples of plagiarism include:

  • Copying and pasting a Wikipedia article into the body of an assignment
  • Quoting a source without including a citation
  • Not paraphrasing a source properly (e.g. maintaining wording too close to the original)
  • Forgetting to cite the source of an idea

The most surefire way to   avoid plagiarism is to always cite your sources . When in doubt, cite!

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

George, T. (2023, April 03). How to Avoid Plagiarism | Tips on Citing Sources. Scribbr. Retrieved 19 February 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/preventing-plagiarism/avoiding-plagiarism/

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13 Surefire Ways to Avoid Plagiarism in Essays

Adela B.

Table of contents

“It was an accident. I did not mean to!” you exclaim, but it is too late. You are found guilty of submitting a plagiarized paper; there is nothing you can do to save yourself.

If these are what your nightmares are made of, you have a valid reason to worry. Plagiarism is considered to be a serious offense in the world of academics. It can result in expulsion and may have legal repercussions while jeopardizing your reputation.

While many think plagiarism only refers to a word-for-word copy of someone else’s work, the truth is there are other kinds of plagiarism, too, such as conveniently rewording another person’s work, not citing sources, or even submitting an already submitted essay to another class.

How to Smartly Avoid Plagiarism in Essays

Well, plagiarism is not always intentional. There are instances when students tend to make an “innocent mistake” just because they don’t know any better.

Intentional or not, plagiarism is certainly a grave matter. So, make sure you don’t find yourself in that situation and follow these 13 innovative ways to write an essay devoid of plagiarism.

1. Understand the topic

We have all been told since school to “understand” what we are studying, and the same holds even today. When you understand the topic you are writing about, you realize that you do not need to look into what someone else has to say about it because you can articulate it in your own words.

Doing this adds value and shows your comprehensive understanding of the concept. So, the next time you are working on an essay or research paper, brainstorm and think of the stand you are taking before clouding your opinion with someone else’s words.

2. Understand the different types of plagiarism

There are different types of plagiarism, each with its consequences. The first step towards avoiding plagiarism as a student is to understand the different types and what you should avoid them.

Here are the seven main types of plagiarism to watch out for when writing your essays:

a. Direct plagiarism

Direct plagiarism is the most blatant form of plagiarism. It occurs when you copy and paste another person's words from a website or a document verbatim without giving them credit. The consequences of direct plagiarism can be severe– a failing grade, suspension, or expulsion.

To avoid direct plagiarism, make sure to put quotation marks around any direct quotes and include a citation at the end of the quote.

b. Complete plagiarism

Complete plagiarism is where you submit someone else’s essay and claim it to be your own. For instance, submit an essay that was written by your sister, who took the same class before you.

This type of plagiarism is often considered stealing and attracts heavy penalties, including expulsion from the college. To avoid committing complete plagiarism, always spare enough time to research and write your essays, no matter how hard it seems.

c. Paraphrasing plagiarism

Paraphrasing plagiarism is when you take someone else's ideas or words and rephrase them in your own words without giving credit to the original author.

Even if you don't copy the exact words, if you don't give credit where it's due, it's still considered plagiarism. This type of plagiarism is often more difficult to detect because it's not an exact copy, but it's still just as serious as direct plagiarism.

To avoid paraphrasing plagiarism, always take note of your sources when you're researching. That way, if you need to paraphrase something later, you'll be able to give credit where it's due.

d. Self-plagiarism

Self-plagiarism occurs when you reuse your previously published work without citing yourself as the source.

For instance, last semester, you wrote a paper about the American Revolution for your History 101 class. When this semester came around, your professor assigned a paper on the same topic for History 102. So, instead of doing new research and writing a fresh paper, you copy last semester’s paper and hand it in again.

While this may look like saving time, it's still considered plagiarism even if you wrote the original paper. If you're going to reuse your work, make sure to cite yourself accordingly to avoid any potential penalties.

How to avoid self-plagiarism?

Self-plagiarism is when you reuse your previously published work without citing yourself as the source. To avoid self-plagiarism, make sure you cite your previous work when using it in a new context.

e. Patchwork plagiarism

Patchwork plagiarism is similar to direct plagiarism, but instead of copying and pasting entire paragraphs or sections, you put together sentences from multiple sources to create your paragraphs. In the end, you don't put any quotation marks or cite the sources.

Always acknowledge each source of information you use and either enclose direct words in quotation marks or rewrite them in your own words.

f. Source-based plagiarism

Source-based plagiarism is when you use someone else's ideas but don't include a reference list or bibliography at the end of your paper. This might seem like an innocent oversight, but it's a form of academic dishonesty since you're not giving proper credit to your sources.

Always include a list of references or bibliography at the end of your essay to avoid source-based plagiarism.

g. Accidental plagiarism

Accidental plagiarism occurs when you accidentally forget to cite a source or misquote a source without meaning to. This type of plagiarism is usually less serious but can still lead to disciplinary action.

To avoid accidental plagiarism, double-check your work before turning it in to ensure all your sources are correctly cited and referenced.

3. Spend enough time on research

One common reason students plagiarize is that they don't spend enough time on research and try to make up for the lost time by copying someone else's work.  When you don't research enough, you’ll be short of ideas when writing and can easily copy-paste or self-plagiarise.

To avoid plagiarism in essays, spare enough time to research and collect all the relevant reference information you need. It’s always better to have too much information than too little.

Therefore, try to spend an extra day or two on research and have your original information (together with the citations) in place before you start writing.

4. Keep track of your sources

One of the simplest ways to avoid plagiarism in essays is to keep track of your sources while conducting your research. Always note where you find each piece of information you intend to write in your essay. This includes direct quotes or ideas and concepts you intend to borrow and paraphrase.

Keeping track of your sources can be as simple as bookmarking the source websites or taking short notes on where you found which information. You can also use note-taking apps to help you track your sources.

Having all your sources in order will save you a lot of time since you can quickly go back and add citations and a bibliography once you finish writing the essay.

5. Plan your work before your start writing

Failing to plan your work before you start writing can easily lead to writer’s block and, in turn, the temptation to plagiarize. That’s why it’s always essential to plan your essay before you start writing.

Planning your essay means brainstorming ideas, doing additional research if necessary, and organizing your thoughts into brief notes. You should also come up with a clear thesis statement and an outline so that you know exactly what points you need to make and where they belong in your paper.

Having a plan will help keep you focused while writing and lower your chances of accidentally copying someone else's work.

6. Paraphrase effectively

There are times when the meaning of the original source of work is more important than the exact wording. In such cases, it is best to paraphrase so that you don’t crowd your essay with quotes.

Now, paraphrasing is a delicate matter and, if not done effectively, can result in plagiarism. So, how do you paraphrase without plagiarizing? The trick is to read the original work and get a thorough understanding of it such that you can write it entirely in your own words. The essence should be the same, but the words need to be original.

You might also want to add citations wherever necessary while paraphrasing.

Is paraphrasing plagiarizing?

No, paraphrasing is not plagiarizing. Paraphrasing is when you take someone else's idea and rewrite it in your own words. As long as you give credit to the original author through proper citation, paraphrasing is not plagiarism.

Can paraphrasing be detected?

Yes, plagiarism checkers can easily detect when someone has paraphrased text without giving credit to the original author. That's why it's always important to cite the source of the information you're paraphrasing properly.

How to rewrite a paragraph to avoid plagiarism?

One way to rewrite a paragraph without plagiarism is to first read the source material, note down the main points, and then express the ideas in your own words without looking at the source again.

You can also add your own analysis or interpretation of the information to make it more original. However, don’t forget to cite the original source when doing this.

7. Use quotes

Sometimes including a direct quote makes for a strong piece of evidence and strengthens the claim you are making in your essay. It is during such times that you need to use quotations which refers to using the exact words of the author.

While quoting, use quotation marks and preferably a different font to imply that those are the author’s words and ensure the inserted quote is in context. If you are quoting a long quote, only stick to retaining the parts that are relevant to your essay and add value to your argument/claim.

8. Add your insights and perspectives

Another way to avoid plagiarism is to make your essay original by adding your insights and perspectives. While it’s true that you’ll get most of your information from already published sources, you don't just need to regurgitate someone else's ideas and submit them in your essays.

You can always add value to existing content by including your own opinions, analyses, or opposing points of view about the subject matter. This will show the professor you’ve understood and brainstormed about the topic. It will also keep you from the temptation to copy-paste or simply rewrite other people’s content in your essay.

9. Cite sources correctly

Many students make the mistake of leaving citations for the eleventh hour, which results in haphazard, last-minute work and mistakes. The inability to cite sources correctly can be risky and may result in accidental plagiarism.

By citing sources, you are acknowledging and giving due credit to the original source/author. Citing information includes the name of the author, date of publication, and title of the journal/book.

To avoid citing incorrectly, it is important to make notes while doing research and maintain a list of references that you can include in your work in the form of in-text citations and a bibliography in the format required.

10. Always add a references page

As a college student, you know that all your essays should have a references page or bibliography at the end. This is a list of all the relevant sources you used in your essay and will show your professor that you gave credit where it was due.

Your references may include books, articles, websites, journals, or any other credible sources from which you got information.

Including a reference page is one of the best ways to avoid plagiarism since it shows that you've done your research and acknowledged your sources. Additionally, it will prevent you from committing accidental plagiarism, which occurs when you forget to cite a reference source.

Always ensure that the citations on the reference page are in sync with your in-text citations.

11. Use plagiarism checkers

While this is a no-brainer, not many take the help of plagiarism checkers when they are done writing their essays. A crucial step, this makes you doubly sure that you are submitting an essay devoid of plagiarism.

So, once you are done proofreading, make it a practice to use a plagiarism checker such as PlagScan and submit your essay with complete peace of mind. Most plagiarism checkers share a comprehensive report which you can consider submitting with your essay to prove that your work is completely original.

12. Proofread and revise your essays

Finally, always spare time to carefully revise your essays once you've finished writing. This will help you catch any accidental instances of plagiarism. If you're unsure how to proofread your work, plenty of resources available online can help you identify errors.

Some of them include Grammarly and the Hemingway Editor. Alternatively, you can always ask a friend or a classmate to help you proofread your essays.

A few quick proofreads will not only help you identify and remove plagiarism but will also ensure that your essay is free of typos and grammatical errors.

13. Work with reliable writing services

Whether you find yourself stuck while writing an essay or are struggling to begin due to your busy schedule, there are times when the best solution is to get help from essay writing services.

While there are several writing services in the market, what’s important is to work with one you can trust. The last thing you want is to outsource your assignment to a writing service that delivers plagiarized work.

So, assess your options and work with only reliable essay writing services . Writers Per Hour is one such service. With strict policies against plagiarism, we guarantee to deliver only 100% plagiarism-free essays that are authentic and written from scratch. We also provide a free plagiarism report with your order!

It’s essential to be highly attentive while writing and ensure everything you include is your own or cited adequately. Don’t let your years of hard work go waste and fall into the trap of plagiarism – knowingly or unknowingly. Abide by these 13 intelligent tips while writing your essay, and you are sure to keep plagiarism at bay!

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What Is Plagiarism? | Definition & Examples

Plagiarism means using someone else’s work without giving them proper credit. In academic writing, plagiarizing involves using words, ideas, or information from a source without citing it correctly. In practice, this can mean a few different things.

Table of contents

Common questions about plagiarism, more tools and resources for avoiding plagiarism, frequently asked questions about plagiarism.

It’s easy to understand why you shouldn’t buy essays, but students often struggle with the details of quoting , paraphrasing , and citing sources . Below, we address some questions and misconceptions students often have about plagiarism.

I need to quote and paraphrase a lot. Won’t my paper be full of distracting citations?

It’s true that some papers do feature a lot of citations. There are ways to reduce clutter by citing more efficiently, such as:

  • Combining multiple citations into one set of parentheses (usually separated by semicolons )
  • Not repeating the full citation when you cite the same source multiple times in a row
  • Using “ ibid. ” to indicate a repeated citation (in certain styles)
  • Omitting citations for information that is common knowledge

Do I need to cite a certain number of sources? Can citing too much be a bad thing?

There’s no fixed number of sources you should cite. Your use of sources should be based on strengthening your argument, not meeting a quota. A high number of citations isn’t inherently a good or bad thing. Some types of academic text (e.g., a literature review ) are more likely to cite a lot of sources than others.

When you do think you’ve cited too much, it’s worth considering whether you need all the information you’ve included. All information should directly contribute to your argument, not just be tangentially related.

One thing you should avoid is quoting too much. If large portions of your text consist of someone else’s words, it distracts from your own arguments. It’s usually better to paraphrase unless you’re specifically analyzing the language of the source (e.g., in literary analysis ).

Is it better to just avoid using sources so I don’t risk accidental plagiarism?

No, using sources is an essential part of academic writing . Academic research is an ongoing conversation between researchers. Drawing on other sources, and positioning your own ideas in relation to them, is not optional.

But it’s understandable to be concerned about plagiarism. If you’re worried about the possibility of accidental plagiarism, make sure to:

  • Quote and paraphrase sources correctly
  • Manage and cite your sources using a citation generator
  • Use a plagiarism checker before submitting your work to detect any problems
  • Use generative AI tools responsibly (outputs may be detected by an AI detector )

Is paraphrasing a kind of plagiarism?

No, paraphrasing is just a way of incorporating information from a source into your text by putting it into your own words. As long as you cite the source correctly, paraphrasing is the best way to incorporate information in most cases.

However, paraphrasing can be considered plagiarism if you:

  • Don’t cite the source of the information, or cite it incorrectly
  • Phrase the information in a way that’s too close to the original (e.g., just swapping out a couple of words instead of reformulating the sentence)

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Scribbr offers a variety of tools and services designed to help you with citations and plagiarism checking, including the best plagiarism checker available.

Plagiarism Checker

Citation Generator Citation Checker Citation Editing

And you can check out the in-depth articles below to learn more about the different kinds of plagiarism, its consequences, and how to avoid it:

  • Types of plagiarism
  • Self-plagiarism
  • How to avoid plagiarism
  • Consequences of plagiarism
  • Academic integrity vs. academic dishonesty
  • Common knowledge
  • How plagiarism checkers work
  • Examples of plagiarism
  • Plagiarism resources for educators

The consequences of plagiarism vary depending on the type of plagiarism and the context in which it occurs. For example, submitting a whole paper by someone else will have the most severe consequences, while accidental citation errors are considered less serious.

If you’re a student, then you might fail the course, be suspended or expelled, or be obligated to attend a workshop on plagiarism. It depends on whether it’s your first offense or you’ve done it before.

As an academic or professional, plagiarizing seriously damages your reputation. You might also lose your research funding or your job, and you could even face legal consequences for copyright infringement.

Paraphrasing without crediting the original author is a form of plagiarism , because you’re presenting someone else’s ideas as if they were your own.

However, paraphrasing is not plagiarism if you correctly cite the source . This means including an in-text citation and a full reference, formatted according to your required citation style .

As well as citing, make sure that any paraphrased text is completely rewritten in your own words.

Accidental plagiarism is one of the most common examples of plagiarism . Perhaps you forgot to cite a source, or paraphrased something a bit too closely. Maybe you can’t remember where you got an idea from, and aren’t totally sure if it’s original or not.

These all count as plagiarism, even though you didn’t do it on purpose. When in doubt, make sure you’re citing your sources . Also consider running your work through a plagiarism checker tool prior to submission, which work by using advanced database software to scan for matches between your text and existing texts.

Scribbr’s Plagiarism Checker takes less than 10 minutes and can help you turn in your paper with confidence.

Plagiarism can be detected by your professor or readers if the tone, formatting, or style of your text is different in different parts of your paper, or if they’re familiar with the plagiarized source.

Many universities also use plagiarism detection software like Turnitin’s, which compares your text to a large database of other sources, flagging any similarities that come up.

It can be easier than you think to commit plagiarism by accident. Consider using a plagiarism checker prior to submitting your paper to ensure you haven’t missed any citations.

The accuracy depends on the plagiarism checker you use. Per our in-depth research , Scribbr is the most accurate plagiarism checker. Many free plagiarism checkers fail to detect all plagiarism or falsely flag text as plagiarism.

Plagiarism checkers work by using advanced database software to scan for matches between your text and existing texts. Their accuracy is determined by two factors: the algorithm (which recognizes the plagiarism) and the size of the database (with which your document is compared).

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What is your plagiarism score?

As a student, you are expected to write an essay as a part of almost all your courses. When faced with the task of submitting multiple assignments, essays, term papers, etc. you might be tempted to write an essay by copy-pasting someone else’s work.

Copying someone else’s work without giving them due credit constitutes plagiarism. Sometimes due to a lack of experience or knowledge, you might plagiarise someone else’s work. Submitting plagiarised work is unethical and dishonest.

Write an essay

Write an Essay: Plagiarism Free

When you write an essay with plagiarised content you can land into serious trouble at your University. Plagiarism is considered to be a serious offense that can lead to you failing the course or facing a possible suspension. Submitting a plagiarized essay is similar to committing theft. 

When you write an essay you need to ensure that your work is 100% original and wherever you have used information from somewhere its sources are cited correctly. 

Write an essay

Give yourself time

Giving yourself ample time is required to carry out in-depth research and avoid plagiarism of someone else’s work due to lack of time. Before you start to write an essay, you should list out what you intend to add to the essay. This will help you know how much information from other sources you plan to add. 

In-depth research will also increase your interest in the topic making it easier for you to add your own ideas when you write an essay. This way you will be less tempted to copy someone else’s work. 

Keep a track of sources

Before you begin to write an essay, keep a diary or a notebook handy. Note down all the sources you have used along with the name of the author, the title of the book or the paper, year of publication, and the relevant page numbers.

When you are reading multiple books and other reference materials it is easy to get confused in what piece of information was taken from which source. Keeping the details of your sources in one place can help you with referencing at a later stage. 

Proofread your work

Proofreading after you write an essay not only helps in correcting grammatical and typographical errors but can also help in identifying plagiarism. When you proofread your essay you get an option of giving due credit wherever you might have missed out earlier. 

Cite correctly

Accurately citing all sources when you write an essay is very important. Sometimes the same information might be present in different sources, taking out some time to trace the primary source is vital. A correct way to cite is to provide all the necessary information of the primary source i.e. the author.  It is also important to follow the correct citation style.

There are various academically recognized citation styles such as APA, Chicago, MLA, etc. You can find out the one your institution follows or can use one of the standard styles.  Information that is common knowledge indeed not be cited. As facts and common knowledge are not copyrighted.  

Each in-text citation should correspond with the complete bibliography or reference list given at the end of your essay. 

Paraphrase when needed

Paraphrasing involves interpreting the idea and describing it in your own words. Do not repeat the original idea verbatim. After paraphrasing, remember to give credit to the original author for the idea. You can give credit to the author at the beginning of the paragraph and then go on to explain the idea or concept yourself.  An easy way to check this is to make sure that no two words in a row are repeated verbatim. 

Write an essay

Quote appropriately

Any quotes used while you write an essay should be written precisely as it was written by the original author. Try to use shorter quotes and limit the number of quotes you use. Every quote has to be enclosed within quotation marks. Do remember to add a citation after the quotes so that due credit is given to the original author. 

Add your own inputs

Add your own insights and thoughts on the topic. Do not rely completely on other sources for writing an essay. This will demonstrate that you have studied the topic in-depth and will help you score a better grade. Just paraphrasing content from books and the internet will not count as your own work. You have to understand the topic, read the viewpoints of various authors and add your own ideas to it.

Use a plagiarism checker

When you write an essay make sure to run it through a plagiarism checker There is various software available online which can check your essay for potential plagiarism in minutes. You have the option of choosing from paid or free plagiarism checkers. 

Even after using a plagiarism checker, re-read your work to make sure that your essay is 100% original. So if you’re wondering how to check plagiarism just know that it’s simple and you can google it itself.

Avoid self-plagiarism

If you have earlier written an essay or a paper on the same or a similar topic you might feel it is okay to copy from that as it was your own work. But if that work has already been submitted you cannot borrow ideas from it without giving yourself credit. Copying from your own work without giving credit would be considered as self-plagiarism and is not acceptable. 

Take essay writing help

To write an essay that is completely free from plagiarism takes practice and patience. Even after following the above steps if you feel you are unable to write an essay that can pass the plagiarism test you can take help. 

Plagiarism-free essay writing with TutorBin

The essay writing help service at TutorBin can provide you with essays that are 100% original, free from plagiarism. These essays are not only plagiarism-free but also of the highest quality ensuring that you score good grades. 

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How To Write An Essay

How to Write an Essay

how do you write an essay without plagiarizing

How To Write An Essay

‍ Start by thoroughly analyzing the question to grasp its essence. Define your central argument or thesis. Support your argument with a combination of solid evidence, logical reasoning, and references to scholarly works. Ensure the essay is well-organized, presenting ideas coherently. Maintain clear and concise writing throughout. Finally, accurately cite all sources and evidence used, adhering to appropriate academic referencing standards.

All you need to know about essay writing is right here. So, let’s take some consistent baby steps.

Read through our guide until the end, and in time, you’ll become an exceptional essay writer, and the process will become automatic and natural to you. ‍ ‍

Pre-writing Tips

Get to know pre-writing tips to help you figure out how to write a good essay. Before you start writing, consider all of the following without skipping any steps:

  • Truly understand your task : Make sure you grasp what the essay task is asking.
  • Brainstorming : You can try to use techniques like mind mapping and freewriting to let yourself generate ideas in a free flow.
  • Create an outline : You’ll save yourself some time and effort by outlining. This helps you structure your ideas and main points.
  • Consider your audience : Make sure you remember who you’re writing for.

Lay the groundwork for your essay writing by considering the points above. If you want a smoother process, then work smart and not hard. 

Learning The Importance of Essay Structure

Structure and adaptation are important when it comes to figuring out how to write a good essay.

Organizing Your Essay Writing Process Effectively

Make sure that your college essay is well-structured. This is crucial, and it ensures you are presenting your arguments as logically and comprehensively as possible. You need your ideas to flow smoothly and to engage your audience. 

By organizing your essay, you convey your ideas logically and creatively. This boosts your power to not just inform but to persuade as well. Master how to write an essay in an organized manner, and you've already mastered half of it.

Adapt To Different Prompts

Adapting to various prompts involves fitting your writing to the specific requirements. Do this by remembering these tips: 

  • Analyze the prompt.
  • Identify the essay type and topic.
  • Tailor your writing style, tone, and approach to the criteria.

If you need help to write an essay don't forget Studyfy, since you'll find plenty of writing help on the platform.

Picking Your Topic

Picking the right topic is a crucial element in how to write a compelling essay. The right topic captures your audience’s interest easily. Moreover, the right topic also resonates with YOU. Still confused? If you need help writing an essay, you know where to go.

And please, do be mindful of the following: 

  • Consider what you’re interested in and what you already have prior knowledge of.
  • Take into account who your audience is.
  • Take into account the essay’s purpose and aim.
  • Make sure that your chosen topic is actually manageable to write but also allows for in-depth analysis and exploration.

Creating A Good Title

If you want to draw your audience in from the get-go and if you want to come off strong, after choosing your topic, you’ll want to create a captivating title. It should be engaging and relevant. Does this confuse you? You can send a “ write my essay ” order on Studyfy right now, and it’s off your hands and into an expert’s hands.

Here are a few pointers to remember: 

  • Create a title that’s relevant to your essay’s thesis but is also capturing/engaging. The first impression you give to your readers can set the whole tone for how they take in your essay.
  • Be concise but also descriptive. Find the good middle. 

Building Your Thesis, Body, and Conclusion

Writing an essay can be rewarding once you get the hang of it. If you learn and apply effective ways to construct and write its parts, you can truly create something impressive. The three central pillars of your essay are your thesis, body, and conclusion.

Whether you're writing admissions essays, five paragraph essay, argumentative essays or other types of college essays, the paragraph structure is very similar for any particular topic.

Like acts of a play, each part is vital. We’re going to learn the exact ways in which you can write great theses, bodies, and conclusions. Read carefully. 

Crafting a Compelling Central Argument - Guiding Your Essay's Direction

Good essay writing means starting with an effective and well-thought-out thesis statement. Think of your thesis statement as a compass. It serves to guide your writing. It needs to be clear and have conviction. Remember these pointers when making one: 

  • Zero in on the best potential “core” idea : After brainstorming, you should have a list of ideas you can sift through. Find the best one with the most potential to develop.
  • Take a stance while being informative : Thesis statements should represent your stance. They don’t merely inform. It needs to open up to debate or a perspective you want to prove/convey in the entirety of your essay. 
  • Be precise and engaging : Be specific but engaging at the same time when writing your thesis statement.
  • Remain flexible : When you write, remember that the topic has a chance of evolving or changing. Your thesis should reflect/change with it. If you need to refine it as you write, you should. Just make sure it’s relevant/related to what you’re writing.

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How To Write A Great Academic Essay Body: The Main Arguments

  • Start with a Topic Sentence, setting the paragraph's focus like a mini-thesis.
  • Elaborate on the Topic Sentence.
  • Present Supporting Evidence.
  • Examine and Interpret the Evidence.
  • Establish how it supports your main argument.
  • Conclude with a Transition to the next point.

Your body paragraphs are where you’ll develop your arguments that support your thesis. This is where you will present evidence and examples in a cohesive and impactful way through your writing. Always reference back to your thesis statement so as not to go off-topic. Remember these pointers: 

  • Arrange your points logically : This means ensuring each paragraph transitions seamlessly to the next. By structuring logically, you strengthen your arguments and persuasiveness, and you remain coherent. You convey your ideas smoothly to the reader. 
  • Develop each point completely : You should finish exploring and developing a point in its wholeness. Use evidence, present strong examples, and show the reader your unique stance/thoughts on the argument. 
  • Use transitions : For seamless reading, use academically approved transition words, like “Furthermore” or “Additionally.” 

The foundation of learning how to do an essay properly is by understanding that each part of the essay is a cohesive whole. To provide context means to glue the first sentence to the main argument and, for example, tie the main stages with transitional phrases.

How To Write An Essay: Ending with Impact

Another crucial element of how to write essays effectively is writing a strong conclusion. You should reinforce your thesis statements and your main points in this part. Here is what you need to remember: 

  • Revisit your thesis statement : Rephrase, reiterate and showcase your developed arguments.
  • Emphasize key findings and thoughts : Rewrite and recap the key points in your college essay to help your audience retain your core arguments.
  • Conclude with a strong thought : Conclude with a call-to-action, idea, or provocative question that encourages the reader to explore the topic of your essay even after they’ve read your entire paper.
  • Keep it concise : Be concise and focused in your conclusion. Don’t introduce new information. 

Bonus Tips: Improving Your Style and Argumentation

We’ve gone through all the main information you’ll need for essay writing, but you should know some of these additional tips to truly step up your writing game. Another way to step up your writing game is to consider Studyfy’s admission essay writing service and other writing services. Let’s dive deeper into bettering your style and arguments.

Becoming A Master Persuader

To become a true master at essay writing and never need help with writing an essay, you’ll want to practice the art of persuasion. You want to sway and influence your readers by engaging them deeply in your arguments. Remember these points: 

  • Analyze your audience : When tailoring your voice and writing for your audience, you should also tailor your ARGUMENTS to them so they resonate. Try to speculate your audience’s perspectives, values, beliefs, and thought patterns. This will give you a deeper insight when developing your arguments. 
  • Use strong opening sentences : Make sure to grab your readers’ attention right from the start. 
  • Persuasive language : Using words and sentences that foster a sense of importance and urgency and ignite curiosity. Integrate persuasive language throughout your essay, like call-to-actions, emotional appeals, rhetorical questions, inclusive language, and testimonials. 

Appeal to Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

When writing an essay, a good way to strengthen your argumentation is to appeal to ethos (credibility), pathos (emotion), and logos (logic) in your readers. Take a look at these pointers: 

  • Establishing credibility (appealing to ethos) : Use reliable sources, cite experts, use strong evidence, and use testimonials. By showing your audience you're backing up your arguments with credible facts, you strengthen your persuasion power. 
  • Connect on an emotional level (appealing to pathos) : When you have their heart, you have them. Use vivid language, relatable anecdotes, and examples, and tap into the power of emotion.
  • Logical reasoning is powerful (appealing to logos) : Using facts and logical points to present clear data and statistics can strengthen your argument significantly. An argument that has solid evidence is hard to deny. 

Bonus Tips: Empowering Your Writing Skills

When pondering on how to make an essay better, it’s important to look beyond the obvious advice. In this section, we remind you to go above and beyond. Let’s find out some additional techniques that you can apply to your essay writing to improve it even further.

Infusing Your Voice Into Your Writing

Overwhelmed by the amount of things you need to learn for essay writing? You can always pay for essay services and get a professional’s help any time. Now, to infuse your voice into your essay writing, take note of these pointers:

  • Be authentic and share your perspective : Your beliefs, experiences, and values should not be completely avoided when writing. If relevant to the topic, your stance can provide a fresh and new angle on your essay, and it can help your essay stand out.
  • Do not be afraid to be creative : Play with language by using metaphors, descriptive language, similes, and other literary tools. It makes your writing memorable and enjoyable when done right.


If you need help with writing an essay to make it better, try to integrate interdisciplinary concepts into your writing. Cross-referencing other fields like history, psychology, science, and literature to provide deeper insights into your arguments can strengthen your essay. Ensure your references add to your arguments, and don’t go off-topic.

Develop Flexibility In Perception

Another way to empower your writing skills and determine how to write an excellent essay is to view and present arguments and statements from different angles. This niche skill is invaluable. If you learn how to master it, you can be a very persuasive writer. Find ways to examine and defend both sides of a topic. Present counter-arguments, and so on.

This requires a lot of practice to use effectively but is easily one of the best things you can develop in essay writing and life. Usually, an argumentative essay is a successful essay if its body paragraphs create a basic structure of opposing context for a specific topic. Your writing process and your introduction paragraph can open the way for the entire essay to delve into opposing topics.

Make sure to do proper research, develop a good idea about what the topics are different or similar to, and, for example, explain your main thesis in a few paragraphs. A clear thesis makes the main body almost write itself - in any type of essay, including an argumentative essay.

Bonus Tips: Remaining Ethical In Writing

Remaining ethical and upholding integrity and credibility in your essay writing is key to passing academia since your professors will double-check your work to make sure you haven’t engaged in cheating. How do you write an essay while remaining ethical? Let’s find out.

How To Avoid Plagiarizing

You’ll need to avoid plagiarizing completely. The degree of punishment you can get for plagiarizing will vary from institution to institution, with some proving to be more lenient while others will be less forgiving. Need help? Try Studyfy’s custom essay writing service and get an expert writer to help you.

 Remember these points to save yourself the grief: 

  • Remember : Plagiarism isn’t only copying text; it’s also using other people’s data, ideas, concepts, and so on without properly crediting them. 
  • You SHOULD paraphrase : Master paraphrasing by reinterpreting the information you’ve examined. Use your own words. 
  • Improve research and note-taking skills : If you research effectively and take notes on the data you collect, it will be easier to distinguish your original ideas from your resources.

Essay Checklist

If you’ve read everything thoroughly and applied what’s been stated in our guide, you should be much better at writing essays. To further improve your experience, here’s an essay checklist you can use to make sure you’ve done everything you need to. 

Remember to focus on the formatting issues as well, including common mistakes, passive voice, too much everyday experience, and ambiguous word choice.

Checklist Item

  • Strong and Clear Thesis Statement
  • Effective Introduction
  • Well-developed Arguments
  • Evidence and Support
  • Paragraph Structure
  • Transitions
  • Strong Conclusion
  • Correct Citations and References
  • Plagiarism-free
  • Editing, Proofreading, and Revision
  • Complied With Word Count
  • Correct Formatting

Did you like our article?

For more help, tap into our pool of professional writers and get expert essay writing services!

Which key elements make up a strong essay structure?

A strong introduction that grabs the audience and introduces the thesis statement effectively. A body that presents ideas and arguments that support the thesis. A conclusion that sums up the main points of the essay and reintroduces the thesis in light of the arguments stated. This is how to write an essay in English effectively.

How do I write a clear and strong thesis statement?

If you’re asking yourself, “How do I write an essay that has a strong thesis statement?” We remind you to narrow your ideas and zero in on a key idea. This idea should be specific, and it should be an idea that you can fully develop and explore.

This blog is here to provide guidance and ease the essay writing process - we're here for you from the moment you start writing to the moment you reach the central point and reach the next paragraph.

What can I do to ensure my essay is engaging and persuasive?

Be sure your introduction is compelling and uses strong, active verbs. Your arguments should be presented logically, and you should back them up with strong evidence. Make sure to use persuasive language like rhetorical questions, analogies, metaphors, inclusive words, call-to-actions, etc. Varying sentence structures will keep readers interested.

To keep the reader on the hook, most essays use clever paragraphs, a clear thesis, a robust main body, and a polished final draft.

What’s the best way to write an essay?

The best way to write a college essay is to be prepared. Read our guide thoroughly and give yourself enough time to write the whole essay. Don’t start at the last minute. 

When you begin writing, your writing process is in its first draft. What's important is that you remember that an essay outline is not the final essay, and your college essay can change and adapt as you go. Whether an introductory paragraph, main points or conclusion paragraph, make sure to catch the reader's attention and lead with concrete examples.

And don't forget to focus on editing. Double-check the line spacing, structure, outline, number of paragraphs, word choice, and the cohesion of the final paragraph.

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Writing Essay without Plagiarism: 9 ways to avoid plagiarism

how do you write an essay without plagiarizing

Simple Ways on How to Write Your Essay Without Plagiarism

As a student, almost every course requires you to create non-plagiarized essays. Plagiarism is taking credit for someone else’s work without giving them due credit. It is copying or taking someone else’s original ideas, thoughts, ideas, or expressions as your own.

Plagiarism is considered stealing and a breach of academic integrity and journalistic ethics.

how do you write an essay without plagiarizing

Whether it is deliberate or unintentional, it is unethical and dishonest. Plagiarism is defined differently in educational situations depending on the institution.

The details of your institution’s plagiarism policy, and plagiarism examples, are usually in your code of conduct. Thus, if you have any questions, ask your instructor.

How to Write Essays without Plagiarism

Do your homework, think critically, write in your own words, and credit your sources correctly. You will be able to write essays without plagiarism if you do so.

essay writing without plagiarism

The bottom line is to:

1. Paraphrase

Paraphrasing is all about interpreting and articulating a concept in your own words. Don’t simply restate the original concept. Use your own words to convey the essential points.

Remember to acknowledge the original author for the concept when you’ve finished paraphrasing.

You can thank the author at the start of the paragraph. After which, you can discuss the concept or idea yourself. An effective approach to confirm is making sure no two words in a row are repeated verbatim.

So, rephrase other authors’ ideas using a rich vocabulary while retaining the same meaning.

Many internet paraphrase tools can avoid plagiarism. If you need to replace the wording while keeping the original meaning. Choose one of them to find an appropriate synonym.

Analyze the text and uniquely present the processed material.

2. Research

You must allow yourself enough time to conduct an in-depth study to get a clear understanding of what the essay is about. It prevents you from plagiarizing someone else’s work owing to a lack of time. You should make a list of what you want to include in your essay before you begin writing it.

Before you start, double-check all unfamiliar words and phrases.

It ensures that you are using another author’s research in the proper context. It will assist you in determining how much information from other sources you intend to incorporate. In-depth research will also pique your interest in the subject.

It makes it easier to incorporate your thoughts when writing an essay. You will be less likely to plagiarize someone else’s work if you do it this way.

To avoid plagiarism, list all the information sources you used when writing your paper. Whenever you use other authors’ ideas, you must refer to the sources.

Provide a list of the works cited so your teacher knows you didn’t steal anyone’s ideas and just duplicated them to indicate that well-known experts agree with you.

3. Track your Sources

Get a diary or a notebook before you start writing an essay. Make a list of all the sources you have used. Include the author’s name and the title of the book or paper, the year it was published, and the appropriate page numbers.

When reading many books and other reference materials, it’s easy to lose track of the source of each piece of information. Having all your sources’ information in one location can make referencing easier later.

4. Follow the steps

Make a plan and an outline for your essay. Essays require an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion a.

Make a quick list of what you want to address in each body paragraph ahead of time and stick to it to avoid repeating yourself or going around in circles.

example of citation

When writing an essay, it is critical to cite your sources correctly. When the same information appears in multiple sources, it is critical to take the time to track down the source.

A proper citation includes all of the source’s information, including the author’s name. It is also critical to adhere to the correct citation format.

Many academically accepted citation formats exist, such as MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.

You can pick one of the common styles or find out which one your institution prefers. It is not appropriate to quote information that is widely known.

Facts and common knowledge are not copyrighted and are free to use. Each in-text citation should match the bibliography or reference list after your paper.

6. Use a plagiarism checker

It is one of the most effective methods for preventing and detecting plagiarism immediately. You can see which paragraphs need improving by using plagiarism checkers.

7. Proofread your work

After writing an essay, proofreading can help you uncover plagiarism and correct typographical and grammatical issues.

When you proofread your essay, you can give credit where it is due and where you may have overlooked anything previously.

8. Hire an essay writer

There is a technique to make your life easier if college assignments seem overwhelming. Online, a professional essay writer service is available that offers numerous advantages.

essay writing services

They provide plagiarism-free essays. It is also a simple approach to getting high-quality work quickly. Hiring writers is the best way to write an essay without involving yourself in writing and getting the grade hassle-free.

You also save money by not purchasing pricey textbooks from campus bookstores. And you save time by not spending hours researching academic essay ideas at home.

It allows you to devote more time to the tasks that will help you achieve academically. It includes catching up on past assignments or preparing harder for impending tests.

The essays done by professionals are legal.

9. Spin the text

Article spinning is a technique that replaces words or phrases with synonyms to create new material that appears to be unique. The rewriting tools can help you to rewrite text to avoid plagiarism.

Why is Plagiarism Bad?

Plagiarism is a form of stealing that obstructs the learning process by disguising the sources of your ideas. It also results in poor writing in most cases. Even if you get away with it, plagiarism is detrimental to your learning.

plagiarism is stealing

There are several compelling reasons for you and your institutions to take it seriously, including:

  • Impairs learning: If you steal words and ideas from others, your creativity lacks challenge, and you are not learning.
  • Bad writing: Regardless of the quality of the work you plagiarize, a paper made up of a patchwork of unknown sources is usually a disaster.
  • It harms the author; even you wouldn’t want your work stolen and passed off as someone else’s.
  • Is deceitful: Plagiarism, when done on purpose, suggests that the individual responsible is not truthful about their work, which is an issue in any situation.

Consequences of Plagiarism in Essays

Plagiarism has a slew of long-term implications. A student found guilty of plagiarizing may be barred from applying to another college or university in the future. No school will admit a student who has a history of academic dishonesty.

Most institutions feel that education encompasses more than academics and that character and integrity are equally vital.

It is essential to realize that university placement is competitive. So, having a poor academic record will make it more difficult to be accepted. Plagiarism charges can lead to failure on an assignment, grade reduction, or an obligation to attend a workshop on plagiarism.

If it is a repeat offense, the student can also face suspension or expulsion, sullying their reputation.

James Lotta

James Lotta

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Should I Use ChatGPT to Write My Essays?

Everything high school and college students need to know about using — and not using — ChatGPT for writing essays.

Jessica A. Kent

ChatGPT is one of the most buzzworthy technologies today.

In addition to other generative artificial intelligence (AI) models, it is expected to change the world. In academia, students and professors are preparing for the ways that ChatGPT will shape education, and especially how it will impact a fundamental element of any course: the academic essay.

Students can use ChatGPT to generate full essays based on a few simple prompts. But can AI actually produce high quality work, or is the technology just not there yet to deliver on its promise? Students may also be asking themselves if they should use AI to write their essays for them and what they might be losing out on if they did.

AI is here to stay, and it can either be a help or a hindrance depending on how you use it. Read on to become better informed about what ChatGPT can and can’t do, how to use it responsibly to support your academic assignments, and the benefits of writing your own essays.

What is Generative AI?

Artificial intelligence isn’t a twenty-first century invention. Beginning in the 1950s, data scientists started programming computers to solve problems and understand spoken language. AI’s capabilities grew as computer speeds increased and today we use AI for data analysis, finding patterns, and providing insights on the data it collects.

But why the sudden popularity in recent applications like ChatGPT? This new generation of AI goes further than just data analysis. Instead, generative AI creates new content. It does this by analyzing large amounts of data — GPT-3 was trained on 45 terabytes of data, or a quarter of the Library of Congress — and then generating new content based on the patterns it sees in the original data.

It’s like the predictive text feature on your phone; as you start typing a new message, predictive text makes suggestions of what should come next based on data from past conversations. Similarly, ChatGPT creates new text based on past data. With the right prompts, ChatGPT can write marketing content, code, business forecasts, and even entire academic essays on any subject within seconds.

But is generative AI as revolutionary as people think it is, or is it lacking in real intelligence?

The Drawbacks of Generative AI

It seems simple. You’ve been assigned an essay to write for class. You go to ChatGPT and ask it to write a five-paragraph academic essay on the topic you’ve been assigned. You wait a few seconds and it generates the essay for you!

But ChatGPT is still in its early stages of development, and that essay is likely not as accurate or well-written as you’d expect it to be. Be aware of the drawbacks of having ChatGPT complete your assignments.

It’s not intelligence, it’s statistics

One of the misconceptions about AI is that it has a degree of human intelligence. However, its intelligence is actually statistical analysis, as it can only generate “original” content based on the patterns it sees in already existing data and work.

It “hallucinates”

Generative AI models often provide false information — so much so that there’s a term for it: “AI hallucination.” OpenAI even has a warning on its home screen , saying that “ChatGPT may produce inaccurate information about people, places, or facts.” This may be due to gaps in its data, or because it lacks the ability to verify what it’s generating. 

It doesn’t do research  

If you ask ChatGPT to find and cite sources for you, it will do so, but they could be inaccurate or even made up.

This is because AI doesn’t know how to look for relevant research that can be applied to your thesis. Instead, it generates content based on past content, so if a number of papers cite certain sources, it will generate new content that sounds like it’s a credible source — except it likely may not be.

There are data privacy concerns

When you input your data into a public generative AI model like ChatGPT, where does that data go and who has access to it? 

Prompting ChatGPT with original research should be a cause for concern — especially if you’re inputting study participants’ personal information into the third-party, public application. 

JPMorgan has restricted use of ChatGPT due to privacy concerns, Italy temporarily blocked ChatGPT in March 2023 after a data breach, and Security Intelligence advises that “if [a user’s] notes include sensitive data … it enters the chatbot library. The user no longer has control over the information.”

It is important to be aware of these issues and take steps to ensure that you’re using the technology responsibly and ethically. 

It skirts the plagiarism issue

AI creates content by drawing on a large library of information that’s already been created, but is it plagiarizing? Could there be instances where ChatGPT “borrows” from previous work and places it into your work without citing it? Schools and universities today are wrestling with this question of what’s plagiarism and what’s not when it comes to AI-generated work.

To demonstrate this, one Elon University professor gave his class an assignment: Ask ChatGPT to write an essay for you, and then grade it yourself. 

“Many students expressed shock and dismay upon learning the AI could fabricate bogus information,” he writes, adding that he expected some essays to contain errors, but all of them did. 

His students were disappointed that “major tech companies had pushed out AI technology without ensuring that the general population understands its drawbacks” and were concerned about how many embraced such a flawed tool.

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How to Use AI as a Tool to Support Your Work

As more students are discovering, generative AI models like ChatGPT just aren’t as advanced or intelligent as they may believe. While AI may be a poor option for writing your essay, it can be a great tool to support your work.

Generate ideas for essays

Have ChatGPT help you come up with ideas for essays. For example, input specific prompts, such as, “Please give me five ideas for essays I can write on topics related to WWII,” or “Please give me five ideas for essays I can write comparing characters in twentieth century novels.” Then, use what it provides as a starting point for your original research.

Generate outlines

You can also use ChatGPT to help you create an outline for an essay. Ask it, “Can you create an outline for a five paragraph essay based on the following topic” and it will create an outline with an introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion, and a suggested thesis statement. Then, you can expand upon the outline with your own research and original thought.

Generate titles for your essays

Titles should draw a reader into your essay, yet they’re often hard to get right. Have ChatGPT help you by prompting it with, “Can you suggest five titles that would be good for a college essay about [topic]?”

The Benefits of Writing Your Essays Yourself

Asking a robot to write your essays for you may seem like an easy way to get ahead in your studies or save some time on assignments. But, outsourcing your work to ChatGPT can negatively impact not just your grades, but your ability to communicate and think critically as well. It’s always the best approach to write your essays yourself.

Create your own ideas

Writing an essay yourself means that you’re developing your own thoughts, opinions, and questions about the subject matter, then testing, proving, and defending those thoughts. 

When you complete school and start your career, projects aren’t simply about getting a good grade or checking a box, but can instead affect the company you’re working for — or even impact society. Being able to think for yourself is necessary to create change and not just cross work off your to-do list.

Building a foundation of original thinking and ideas now will help you carve your unique career path in the future.

Develop your critical thinking and analysis skills

In order to test or examine your opinions or questions about a subject matter, you need to analyze a problem or text, and then use your critical thinking skills to determine the argument you want to make to support your thesis. Critical thinking and analysis skills aren’t just necessary in school — they’re skills you’ll apply throughout your career and your life.

Improve your research skills

Writing your own essays will train you in how to conduct research, including where to find sources, how to determine if they’re credible, and their relevance in supporting or refuting your argument. Knowing how to do research is another key skill required throughout a wide variety of professional fields.

Learn to be a great communicator

Writing an essay involves communicating an idea clearly to your audience, structuring an argument that a reader can follow, and making a conclusion that challenges them to think differently about a subject. Effective and clear communication is necessary in every industry.

Be impacted by what you’re learning about : 

Engaging with the topic, conducting your own research, and developing original arguments allows you to really learn about a subject you may not have encountered before. Maybe a simple essay assignment around a work of literature, historical time period, or scientific study will spark a passion that can lead you to a new major or career.

Resources to Improve Your Essay Writing Skills

While there are many rewards to writing your essays yourself, the act of writing an essay can still be challenging, and the process may come easier for some students than others. But essay writing is a skill that you can hone, and students at Harvard Summer School have access to a number of on-campus and online resources to assist them.

Students can start with the Harvard Summer School Writing Center , where writing tutors can offer you help and guidance on any writing assignment in one-on-one meetings. Tutors can help you strengthen your argument, clarify your ideas, improve the essay’s structure, and lead you through revisions. 

The Harvard libraries are a great place to conduct your research, and its librarians can help you define your essay topic, plan and execute a research strategy, and locate sources. 

Finally, review the “ The Harvard Guide to Using Sources ,” which can guide you on what to cite in your essay and how to do it. Be sure to review the “Tips For Avoiding Plagiarism” on the “ Resources to Support Academic Integrity ” webpage as well to help ensure your success.

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The Future of AI in the Classroom

ChatGPT and other generative AI models are here to stay, so it’s worthwhile to learn how you can leverage the technology responsibly and wisely so that it can be a tool to support your academic pursuits. However, nothing can replace the experience and achievement gained from communicating your own ideas and research in your own academic essays.

About the Author

Jessica A. Kent is a freelance writer based in Boston, Mass. and a Harvard Extension School alum. Her digital marketing content has been featured on Fast Company, Forbes, Nasdaq, and other industry websites; her essays and short stories have been featured in North American Review, Emerson Review, Writer’s Bone, and others.

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This guide outlines the kinds of students who thrive at Harvard Summer School and what the programs offer in return.

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Essay Rewriter Tool for Students

The Essay Rewriter tool is easy to use. Follow these steps to obtain a perfectly paraphrased text.

  • Copy the original that you need to rewrite.
  • Paste it into the tool, checking if the text length doesn’t exceed the limit.
  • Select the required paraphrasing rate.
  • Press the “Rewrite” button.
  • Copy the result for further use.

Wondering how to avoid plagiarism in a paper or article? You are welcome to use the essay rewriter tool above. It was designed for academic purposes. Easily paraphrase texts in no time!

  • ✅ The Benefits of the Tool
  • ✍️ Avoiding Plagiarism with a Rewriter

🆚 Quoting vs. Rewriting vs. Plagiarism

🔗 references, ✅ essay rewriter: 5 key benefits.

  • It helps to avoid plagiarism. Not all plagiarism happens intendedly. Essay Rewriter eliminates the human factor in paraphrasing. It provides you with a text that contains a preset quantity of original words.
  • It is specially designed for students. The rephrasing is neither too academic nor conversational. The style of the resulting text perfectly fits all educational requirements.
  • It is simple to use. It would be strange to waste your time exploring a tool that should save it. Essay Rewriter is intuitively clear. You can open the web page and use it straight away.
  • It has an adjustable percentage of paraphrased words. Sometimes you need to preserve some part of the original. Try various rates to choose the best result.
  • It is equally functional on computers and mobile devices. You can use the tool at home or college from your smartphone. All the features will be available in the mobile version.

✍️ Rewriter Tool: An Easy Way to Avoid Plagiarism

Want to know when rewriting means plagiarizing?

It is easy.

When you use someone else’s intellectual property, pretending it’s your own, you plagiarize. When you reword a text that another person wrote without referencing the original, it is plagiarism.

Unfortunately, even if you unwillingly copy someone’s text, it is also punishable . The consequences range from lowered marks and reprimanding to expulsion from the educational institution or research community. Nobody likes plagiarizers. People perceive them as thieves.

Still, every researcher resorts to paraphrasing. What is the recipe for the balance between rewriting and plagiarism? The short answer is, always mention the original . There are more nuances, like retelling the text with your own words rather than using synonyms here and there. But whichever method or app you use, give credit to the author.

When you wish to use someone else’s words as a part of your writing, you insert a quote . In this case, you are supposed to enclose the phrase or sentence in quotation marks to signal that you are quoting. After that, include a citation with page number and author’s name.

When should you quote?

There is a general rule that if more than four words in a row match the source, you should enclose them in quotation marks.

But if the sentence or paragraph you wish to use is too long, it is better to paraphrase it. In such a case, quotation marks are unnecessary. Still, paraphrases also require citations at the end of the rewritten text and in the list of references. Make sure to modify the words and their order to avoid plagiarism.

You can consult the examples of quoting, rewriting, and plagiarism examples below. Compare them to find out the difference and never have problems using someone else’s text in your research article or essay.

Quoting: Example

The quote from a book by Oliver Sacks below contains quotation marks and a reference to the original according to APA citation style.

“The scientific study of the relationship between brain and mind began in 1861, when Broca, in France, found that specific difficulties in the expressive use of speech, aphasia, consistently followed damage to a particular portion of the left hemisphere of the brain. This opened the way to cerebral neurology, which made it possible, over the decades, to ‘map’ the human brain, ascribing specific powers — linguistic, intellectual, perceptual, etc. — to equally specific ‘centers’ in the brain. Toward the end of the century it became evident to more acute observers that this sort of mapping was too simple, that all mental performances had an intricate internal structure, and must have an equally complex physiological basis.” (Sacks, 1998, p. 5)

Rewriting: Example

The rewriting sample below contains all the essential features. All the grammatical structures of the sentences have been modified. Most words have been replaced with synonyms, and most importantly, it contains a reference to the original . You can use this example as a good one.

In “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: And Other Clinical Tales,” Sacks (1998) describes the beginning of the research on brain and mind. In particular, Broca was the first to discover the relationship between aphasia and the damaged section of the left hemisphere. This finding started a breakthrough in cerebral neurology. In some decades, people described the brain’s structure with respect to its functions and the centers responsible for them. Later, researchers found that this approach overly simplified mental processes. On the contrary, the human brain has a complicated psychological structure, and its functioning is much more intricate.

Plagiarism: Example

This plagiarism sample does not change the sentence structure and frequently uses the same word order. Deleting the subordinate parts of sentences and changing some words with synonyms does not suffice for a good rewriting. Plagiarism checkers will recognize this passage as the original . But if your poor rewriting is revealed, you will be punished. Its main drawback is the absence of credit to the original.

The study of the brain and mind began in 1861 when Broca found that specific difficulties in the expressive use of speech usually followed damage to the left hemisphere of the brain. This gave impetus to the development of cerebral neurology, which made it possible to ‘map’ the human brain. Scientists ascribed specific powers — intellectual, linguistic, perceptual, etc. — to some particular areas in the brain. At the end of the century, it became evident that such mapping was too simple. Therefore, all mental activities had a complicated internal structure, and they must have an equally intricate physiological basis.

Hope the tips and examples above are useful for you. By the way, summarizing the sources you use is another way to avoid plagiarism – in case you mention the author, of course. If you need to summarize anything, use our free tool !

❓ Essay Rewriter Tool: FAQ

Rewrite means paraphrasing the original writing to obtain a new text. The level of plagiarism defines the quality of rewriting, i.e., the lower, the better. Currently, there are hundreds of free online rewriting tools, including Essay Rewriter, that can transform any text into an original with zero plagiarism.

  • Read the source, making notes of the essentials.
  • Start each sentence from a different point, as compared to the original.
  • Rewrite only the most significant parts, leaving out the less critical ones.
  • Skip all the previous issues and automatize the process with Essay Rewriter.

Essay Rewriter is the best online tool to rewrite an article. It allows choosing the paraphrasing level, depending on your needs. The entire process requires a couple of clicks. Its primary benefit is that it is absolutely free and simple to use.

Article rewriting is legal as long as you include a proper reference to the source and paraphrase it sufficiently to look original. Otherwise, the copyright holder may reveal your infringement. It can entail legal, financial, or reputational consequences. But the use of shared knowledge does not require any credit to the original. For example, the names of capitals, presidents, or nationalities are common knowledge.

  • 6 Ways to Rewrite Someone Else's Short Story - wikiHow
  • How to Avoid Plagiarism: 5 Easy Methods | Grammarly
  • Plagiarism | University of Oxford
  • Quoting and Paraphrasing - UW-Madison Writing Center
  • Paraphrase: Write It in Your Own Words - Purdue OWL
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The tool on this page will come in handy to those who need to rephrase their text but don’t want to waste too much time doing it. Expressing the same thoughts using different wording shouldn’t be a chore. That’s why we designed the instrument that makes the whole process a lot quicker and easier.

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How to Get ChatGPT to Write an Essay: Prompts, Outlines, & More

Last Updated: January 26, 2024 Fact Checked

Getting ChatGPT to Write the Essay

Using ai to help you write, expert interview.

This article was written by Bryce Warwick, JD and by wikiHow staff writer, Nicole Levine, MFA . Bryce Warwick is currently the President of Warwick Strategies, an organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area offering premium, personalized private tutoring for the GMAT, LSAT and GRE. Bryce has a JD from the George Washington University Law School. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 41,370 times.

Are you curious about using ChatGPT to write an essay? While most instructors have tools that make it easy to detect AI-written essays, there are ways you can use OpenAI's ChatGPT to write papers without worrying about plagiarism or getting caught. In addition to writing essays for you, ChatGPT can also help you come up with topics, write outlines, find sources, check your grammar, and even format your citations. This wikiHow article will teach you the best ways to use ChatGPT to write essays, including helpful example prompts that will generate impressive papers.

Things You Should Know

  • To have ChatGPT write an essay, tell it your topic, word count, type of essay, and facts or viewpoints to include.
  • ChatGPT is also useful for generating essay topics, writing outlines, and checking grammar.
  • Because ChatGPT can make mistakes and trigger AI-detection alarms, it's better to use AI to assist with writing than have it do the writing.

Step 1 Create an account with ChatGPT.

  • Before using the OpenAI's ChatGPT to write your essay, make sure you understand your instructor's policies on AI tools. Using ChatGPT may be against the rules, and it's easy for instructors to detect AI-written essays.
  • While you can use ChatGPT to write a polished-looking essay, there are drawbacks. Most importantly, ChatGPT cannot verify facts or provide references. This means that essays created by ChatGPT may contain made-up facts and biased content. [1] X Research source It's best to use ChatGPT for inspiration and examples instead of having it write the essay for you.

Step 2 Gather your notes.

  • The topic you want to write about.
  • Essay length, such as word or page count. Whether you're writing an essay for a class, college application, or even a cover letter , you'll want to tell ChatGPT how much to write.
  • Other assignment details, such as type of essay (e.g., personal, book report, etc.) and points to mention.
  • If you're writing an argumentative or persuasive essay , know the stance you want to take so ChatGPT can argue your point.
  • If you have notes on the topic that you want to include, you can also provide those to ChatGPT.
  • When you plan an essay, think of a thesis, a topic sentence, a body paragraph, and the examples you expect to present in each paragraph.
  • It can be like an outline and not an extensive sentence-by-sentence structure. It should be a good overview of how the points relate.

Step 3 Ask ChatGPT to write the essay.

  • "Write a 2000-word college essay that covers different approaches to gun violence prevention in the United States. Include facts about gun laws and give ideas on how to improve them."
  • This prompt not only tells ChatGPT the topic, length, and grade level, but also that the essay is personal. ChatGPT will write the essay in the first-person point of view.
  • "Write a 4-page college application essay about an obstacle I have overcome. I am applying to the Geography program and want to be a cartographer. The obstacle is that I have dyslexia. Explain that I have always loved maps, and that having dyslexia makes me better at making them."

Step 4 Add to or change the essay.

  • In our essay about gun control, ChatGPT did not mention school shootings. If we want to discuss this topic in the essay, we can use the prompt, "Discuss school shootings in the essay."
  • Let's say we review our college entrance essay and realize that we forgot to mention that we grew up without parents. Add to the essay by saying, "Mention that my parents died when I was young."
  • In the Israel-Palestine essay, ChatGPT explored two options for peace: A 2-state solution and a bi-state solution. If you'd rather the essay focus on a single option, ask ChatGPT to remove one. For example, "Change my essay so that it focuses on a bi-state solution."

Step 5 Ask for sources.

  • "Give me ideas for an essay about the Israel-Palestine conflict."
  • "Ideas for a persuasive essay about a current event."
  • "Give me a list of argumentative essay topics about COVID-19 for a Political Science 101 class."

Step 2 Create an outline.

  • "Create an outline for an argumentative essay called "The Impact of COVID-19 on the Economy."
  • "Write an outline for an essay about positive uses of AI chatbots in schools."
  • "Create an outline for a short 2-page essay on disinformation in the 2016 election."

Step 3 Find sources.

  • "Find peer-reviewed sources for advances in using MRNA vaccines for cancer."
  • "Give me a list of sources from academic journals about Black feminism in the movie Black Panther."
  • "Give me sources for an essay on current efforts to ban children's books in US libraries."

Step 4 Create a sample essay.

  • "Write a 4-page college paper about how global warming is changing the automotive industry in the United States."
  • "Write a 750-word personal college entrance essay about how my experience with homelessness as a child has made me more resilient."
  • You can even refer to the outline you created with ChatGPT, as the AI bot can reference up to 3000 words from the current conversation. [3] X Research source For example: "Write a 1000 word argumentative essay called 'The Impact of COVID-19 on the United States Economy' using the outline you provided. Argue that the government should take more action to support businesses affected by the pandemic."

Step 5 Use ChatGPT to proofread and tighten grammar.

  • One way to do this is to paste a list of the sources you've used, including URLs, book titles, authors, pages, publishers, and other details, into ChatGPT along with the instruction "Create an MLA Works Cited page for these sources."
  • You can also ask ChatGPT to provide a list of sources, and then build a Works Cited or References page that includes those sources. You can then replace sources you didn't use with the sources you did use.

Expert Q&A

  • Because it's easy for teachers, hiring managers, and college admissions offices to spot AI-written essays, it's best to use your ChatGPT-written essay as a guide to write your own essay. Using the structure and ideas from ChatGPT, write an essay in the same format, but using your own words. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Always double-check the facts in your essay, and make sure facts are backed up with legitimate sources. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If you see an error that says ChatGPT is at capacity , wait a few moments and try again. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how do you write an essay without plagiarizing

  • Using ChatGPT to write or assist with your essay may be against your instructor's rules. Make sure you understand the consequences of using ChatGPT to write or assist with your essay. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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How to Write an Essay Without Plagiarism? Effective Ways to Avoid It

Know How to Write an Essay Without Plagiarism

Table of Contents

What Comes Under Academic Plagiarism?

How to avoid plagiarism in an essay, how much plagiarism is allowed in academic essays, how our experts can draft plagiarism-free essay.

Are you able to draft an essay by yourself but fear that it might contain plagiarism? If yes, then you are among many students who are scared of this thought. Moreover, writing an essay is an indispensable part of any academic course that you cannot avoid. But what you can stay away from is plagiarism. Now, the query might arise: "How do I write an essay without plagiarism?" Thus, this blog will guide you for the same.

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There are several things that can be counted as plagiarism in your academic essays. These things can be thoughts, sentences, phrases, characters, themes, and situations used by someone else in their content. Thus, to understand it better, you must perceive the types of plagiarism:

When you copy something as it is or word to word without using quotation marks, it comes under direct plagiarism.

These are the types of plagiarism you can include in your content and face consequences later on. So, read ahead to know how you can avoid them.

If you are also thinking about how you can draft a unique essay that does not meet the criteria of plagiarism, this section will guide you in the right direction.

Correctly Cite Sources

Citing the sources you have used to gather information is the best way to ensure a plagiarism free essay. Thus, you must include a reference list or a bibliography at the end of your document, where you will be citing all the resources you have considered. Doing this will help you acknowledge your sources by avoiding copying any content. In addition, it will help your readers locate the resource if they want to learn more. Furthermore, there are several citation styles, but you need to check the guidelines provided by your professor. These are:

Paraphrase as per Rules

Shuffling one or two words in a copy-pasted text does not mean paraphrasing. Moreover, when you grab the gist of the original written text and present it in your own words, it comes under paraphrasing. Most students are baffled by paraphrasing and plagiarism and look for professional essay help services. However, while doing this, you must not forget to credit the author of the source you are using. It is so because the idea you are presenting was not originally yours. Thus, consider this rule while you are paraphrasing any information.

Include Necessary Quotations

Using quotations in your content is the best way to ensure plagiarism-free content. It is the best and easiest way to avoid plagiarism. In other words, quoting means using someone's words as they are in your content but putting them in double quotes. Using quotation marks is necessary because it gives credit to the author. Besides this, it will also save you from plagiarising the content. Although, this is something that students miss or struggle with and think, "Who can write my essay ?" So, the experts in the field are there to help.

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Use Plagiarism Checker Tools

You might not know that there is something like unintentional plagiarism can be present in your content. But there is no leniency for this as well. Therefore, you have to consider this before you submit the final document. You must be wondering how you can identify this, right? So, to do this, you can use plagiarism checker tools available online for free. Using them will help you rectify any type of plagiarism in your content. These tools will run your content and identify plagiarism, and show you the sources too.

Include a Personal Touch

Personal touch includes the writing style that makes your content unique. It means that you do not have to list the ideas present in the source; rather, you must include your thoughts in it too. To do this, you have to think about the topic you are working on and know your perspective on it. Once you know this, you can mould it and present it in a way that connects your readers with your opinion. Sometimes, it might be challenging, but with the help of experts, you can ace it smoothly.

These are the ways through which you can avoid plagiarism in your essays. Now, you must be wondering, to what extent you can plagiarise, right? So, the next section will equip you with this.

Although there is no permission given to students for plagiarism in academics, that means there should be 100 percent original content. However, sometimes you can be permitted 0-3 percent plagiarism in your academic write-ups. Moreover, this comes with the condition that this percentage must only be generic. It means that you can be forgiven for the generalised sentences only.

Apart from this, there are different guidelines for plagiarism laid by several universities. So, you have to consider them a priority before you submit your final draft of the essay. Although generic plagiarism is a constant struggle for students, they often think to buy essay online from professionals. But how can they help? The following section will equip you with this.

Also Read:  How to Write an Admission Essay for Your Dream University?

Experts at Assignment Desk can help you draft a 100 percent original essay that does not meet the criteria of plagiarism. It is possible due to the expertise and experience they have in the field. Furthermore, they start working on an essay from scratch to ensure there is no trace of plagiarism. To do this, they conduct a thorough research process and gather data from various sources. Besides this, if they use some information, they cite it accurately in the end. Also, they do not stick to the information available in these sources; instead, they brainstorm to include personal points of view to draft an essay.

Other than this, we will also provide you with a plagiarism report to ensure the originality of the document you have received from us. In addition, they also have essay editing service that will help you to resolve other issues in the document as well. So, why are you still in two minds? Grab the opportunity before it is too late to even regret it.

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Untamed Science

  • Blog Post How Do You Write a Science Essay without Plagiarizing?

How Do You Write a Science Essay without Plagiarizing?

Almost every science class requires you to submit an essay. When you have countless tasks, essays, term papers to do, you could be tempted to compose an essay by copying and pasting someone else’s work. You may plagiarize someone else’s thoughts owing to a lack of expertise or understanding. It’s immoral and dishonest to submit plagiarized material. Today, you’ll find out ways to avoid any trace of plagiarism when writing your essay to achieve the best academic results.

how do you write an essay without plagiarizing

1. Take Your Time

Giving oneself enough time to conduct a thorough study and preventing plagiarizing someone else’s work owing to a lack of time. Before you begin writing an essay, make a list of what you want to include in it. This will assist you in determining how much information from other sources you intend to provide.

In-depth research will also pique your interest in the subject, making it more straightforward to contribute your thoughts when writing an essay. In addition, you’ll be less inclined to plagiarize someone else’s ideas this way. So, make sure you give yourself enough time to do your work and that you devote enough effort to research reputable sources.

It takes effort and attention to compose a free essay of plagiarism. But, even if you believe you cannot create an article that’ll pass the plagiarism test after following the previous methods, you can seek assistance. So, visit DoMyEssay, write my essay for me online writing platform, and get help with any college paper to get an A+ result with 100% uniqueness. 

2. Keep a Record of Your Sources

Keep a diary or a notepad accessible before you start writing an essay. Make a list of all the sources you’ve used, including the author’s name, the title of the book or paper, the year it was published, and the appropriate page numbers. When you’re reading numerous books and other reference materials, it’s easy to lose track of whose source each piece of information came from. Having all of your sources’ information in one location might refer easier later on.

It’s critical to ensure that your sources are reliable. A reliable source is free of bias and is backed up by evidence. A reputable person or group writes it, free of ambiguous jargon, buzzwords, and overly emotional or subjective language.

3. Cite Everything Accurately

When writing an essay, it’s essential to cite all sources correctly. When the same information appears in several sources, tracking out the originating source A proper citation includes all the relevant details on the principal source, such as the author. It’s also crucial to use the appropriate citation style. Many academically accepted citation formats, including APA, Chicago, and MLA. 

You can pick one of the common styles or find out which one your institution uses. Well-known information won’t be referenced. Facts and common knowledge are not protected by copyright. Each in-text citation should be accompanied by a thorough bibliography or reference list after your paper.

Quotes should be used sparingly in general. When it’s acceptable to use quotes, consider the following:

  • Use the original author’s definition in its entirety.
  • Rewrite the original text without losing its significance.
  • Keep the author’s words’ authority and style.

On the flip side, using your own words to describe a source is known as paraphrasing. It entails more than simply changing a few words in a copied-and-pasted document. To paraphrase appropriately, rephrase the author’s message to show that you understand it completely.

4. Make Your Own Contributions

Add your own views and ideas to the discussion. When writing an essay, don’t rely solely on outside sources. This will show that you have done extensive research on the subject and will help you get a better grade. It won’t be considered your own work if you paraphrase stuff from books and the internet. You must comprehend the subject, study the perspectives of other authors, and contribute your own thoughts to it.

5. Use Plagiarism Detector Systems

Make sure to put your essay through a plagiarism checker after you’ve finished it. Online, various applications can verify your paper for plagiarism in minutes. You have the choice of using either a paid or a free plagiarism detector. Even if you used a plagiarism checker, double-check your work to ensure its uniqueness.

6. Self-Plagiarism Should Be Avoided

If you have previously produced an essay or a paper on the same or a comparable topic, you may believe it is OK to plagiarize from it because it was your own work. However, if that work has already been submitted, you must credit yourself for borrowing ideas from it. Self-plagiarism is when you take something from your own work and don’t credit the author.

7. Make Sure Your Work Is Error-Free

After you’ve finished writing an essay, proofreading may help you uncover plagiarism as well as repair grammatical and typographical issues. When you proofread your essay, you have the opportunity of giving credit where it is due if you may have overlooked anything previously.

how do you write an essay without plagiarizing

Write a Plagiarism-Free Essay

Plagiarism is defined as using another person’s words or ideas without crediting the original author. Plagiarism can occur intentionally, such as when someone steals another’s work, but it sometimes appears accidentally due to carelessness or forgetfulness. You might get in serious trouble at your university if you compose an essay using plagiarized information. 

Plagiarism is seen as a severe infraction that might result in you failing the course or being suspended. Plagiarism is a kind of theft, and submitting a plagiarized essay is a form of theft. Apart from the immediate repercussions, plagiarizing might have long-term ramifications on your academic or professional record, putting your future career in jeopardy. When writing an essay, you must guarantee that your work is 100% unique and that any material you borrow from another source is adequately mentioned.

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Home — Essay Samples — Law, Crime & Punishment — Copyright Law — How to Write an Article Without Plagiarizing


How to Write an Article Without Plagiarizing

  • Categories: Copyright Law

About this sample


Words: 2225 |

12 min read

Published: Dec 3, 2020

Words: 2225 | Pages: 5 | 12 min read

  • Louw, H. h. (2017). DEFINING PLAGIARISM: STUDENT AND STAFF PERCEPTIONS OF A GREY CONCEPT. South African Journal of Higher Education, 31(5), 118. doi:10.28535/31-5-580
  • Melania Trump plagiarism row: Staffer admit role in speech. (2016, July 20). BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36850215 [Accessed 21 Jan. 2018].
  • Palmquist. (2009). The Bedford Researcher with 2009 MLA and 2010 APA Updates, 3rd Edition. [Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781457600838/ p.88-91, 97.
  • Plagiarism. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2018, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarism
  • US reporter ‘lied to readers’. 2003, May 11) BBC News. [online] Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3018505.stm [Accessed 21 Jan. 2018].
  • White Paper The Ethics Of Self Plagiarism. (2011) iParadigms LLC.

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How to get away with AI-generated essays

Prof Paul Kleiman on putting ChatGPT to the test on his work. Plus letters from Michael Bulley and Dr Paul Flewers

No wonder Robert Topinka found himself in a quandary ( The software says my student cheated using AI. They say they’re innocent. Who do I believe?, 13 February ). To test ChatGPT’s abilities and weaknesses, I asked it to write a short essay on a particular topic that I specialised in. Before looking at what it produced, I wrote my own 100% original short essay on the same topic. I then submitted both pieces to ChatGPT and asked it to identify whether they were written by AI or a human. It immediately identified the first piece as AI-generated. But then it also said that my essay “was probably generated by AI”.

I concluded that if you write well, in logical, appropriate and grammatically correct English, then the chances are that it will be deemed to be AI-generated. To avoid detection, write badly. Prof Paul Kleiman Truro, Cornwall

Robert Topinka gets into a twist about whether his student’s essay was genuine or produced by AI. The obvious solution is for such work not to contribute to the final degree qualification. Then there would be no point in cheating.

Let there be real chat between teachers and students rather than ChatGPT , and let the degree be decided only by exams, with surprise questions, done in an exam room with pen and paper, and not a computer in sight. Michael Bulley Chalon-sur-Saône, France

Dr Robert Topinka overlooks a crucial factor with respect to student cheating – so long as a degree is a requirement to obtain a reasonable job, then chicanery is inevitable. When I left school at 16 in the early 1970s, an administrative job could be had with a few O-levels; when I finished my PhD two decades ago and was looking for that sort of job, each one required A-levels, and often a degree. I was a mature student, studying for my own edification, and so cheating was self-defeating. Cheating will stop being a major problem only when students attend university primarily to learn for the sake of learning and not as a means of gaining employment. Dr Paul Flewers London

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