How to Avoid Plagiarism While Writing Research Papers

Learn, how to avoid plagiarism during academic writing.

How to avoid plagiarism while writing research paper

Imagine that you are writing a paper (which you probably are, so maybe no need to imagine) and you submit your draft for publishing. But it gets rejected because it has plagiarism in it. You feel appalled, knowing that you have written the paper with your honest effort, so how did it have plagiarism?

Well, the answer is “accidental plagiarism”, which can occur due to incorrect or incomplete citations. It can also occur by pure (bad) luck. Because there are already too many publications, it is not uncommon for parts of your write-up to match another’s.

But don’t worry, we are here to teach you how to deal with plagiarism when writing your papers.

Tips for Dealing with Plagiarism in Academic Writing

Here are a few actionable tips to help you deal with plagiarism in your papers.

1.      Do Unbiased Research

The first step to avoiding plagiarism is to do unbiased research. What does unbiased mean in this aspect? It only means that you must not read about something from one or two sources. Instead, you should use multiple ones to get a different opinion and point of view.

Doing this helps you remain unbiased and approach your research from an objective point of view. One advantage of doing this is that you can avoid unconscious copying of other people’s work.

When you are affected by bias, you tend to parrot it in your writing, which can result in plagiarism.

2.      Allocate Your Time Efficiently

When you start working on your research paper, you have to divide your time between the various tasks efficiently.

You need to allot some days for pure research, then some doing your experiments and observing the results. And finally, you need to allot a considerable amount of time to actually write the paper.

If you don’t manage your time effectively, it can result in plagiarism, how? Well, people don’t tend to perform appropriately under pressure. But if you have a deadline to meet, and the paper is not complete, then what will happen? You will unknowingly start copying other people’s work to write fast.

You can save yourself from committing plagiarism this way, by managing your time properly.

3.      Cite Your Sources

This should be obvious, but we are going to say it anyway. Cite your sources. If you use some information or an idea from other publications, then you need to credit them. If you don’t do that, then you will fulfill the textbook definition of plagiarism.

So, never forget to cite your sources. This is the easiest method of avoiding plagiarism in your research paper.


4.      Keep Track of Your Sources

As we mentioned in the introduction, one cause of accidental plagiarism is an incorrect or incomplete citation. This mistake usually occurs due to issues with keeping track of your sources.

If you have too many sources to include in your literature review or discussion section, then it can become difficult to list and cite them properly. It is very easy to mix up author names, misremember dates, or have typos in a citation.

To deal with this, you can create a file that lists all sources you have used as well as the ideas/information you got from them. By updating this file as you do more research, you can ensure that you won’t have any trouble citing them.

5.      Do a Plagiarism Check after Proofreading

Finally, when you are done writing your paper, you need to do one final check to make sure there is no plagiarism in your work.

You can do this with a plagiarism-checking tool. These are tools that can

Check plagiarism online, meaning you can access them from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.

It is necessary to take this step because it can make sure that you haven’t overlooked any copied parts. When you check plagiarism online, do make sure that you use a reliable tool. It should have a sizeable word limit and it should also be accurate.


Those are the five steps to avoiding and dealing with plagiarism in your research papers. All of these tips are actionable, but apart from the final one, they all require you to be diligent and hard-working.

Of course, you can rely on a plagiarism checker alone, but then you will have a considerably bad time at the end of your writing process. Because you will have to add new sources to an already-written piece.

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