Top 3 tips to write plagiarism free content
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Many copywriters find themselves in the position of writing about topics that have already been discussed on other websites. And, for how much they try, it’s not always easy to come up with an entirely new angle for the story. In niches in which the authoritative sources can be counted on one hand, writing plagiarism free content becomes even more difficult.
A moment of tiredness can be enough to distract you from not citing sources or forgetting to rephrase one idea. Such a small incident can have adverse effects on your overall online reputation and your website’s rank. In this context, what can we do to come up with original content? Let’s take a closer look!
What is plagiarism in copywriting?
According to Oxford Reference, plagiarism is “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.”
In copywriting, this definition translates into:
- Copying and pasting someone else’s article and republishing it on your website.
- Copying and pasting paragraphs from multiple sources and putting them together in a new piece that you publish as your own.
Besides these two practices, you should also avoid republishing an entire article, even if you add a link to the original piece. Google may still consider this “duplicate content” and penalize both websites for it.
When you want to promote someone else’s article, it’s better to write a summary of what the piece is about, together with why your readers should read it and a link to the source. This way, you don’t risk being punished by search engines.
How to write plagiarism free content
As seen, plagiarism doesn’t only happen when a copywriter copies word-for-word an entire article. Things can be much more insidious than that, so you should always review your work before hitting the Publish button.
When it comes to plagiarism, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here are three tips to help you write plagiarism free content in all situations.
1. Understand the context
When doing your research, take the time to understand what well the ideas that you need to discuss in your article. Also, if you use precise published materials as inspiration sources, read them several times to get the main ideas and key concepts.
This way, you get to understand the context and can come up with a new structure for the article or blog post. When you have clear ideas, so it is going to be your piece of content as well.
Even if you highlight paragraphs from other articles and copy them to your draft, none of these should be found on your final piece. Try to explain everything in your own words, using synonyms, and even use case studies and examples to illustrate the concepts.
A simple trick to avoid plagiarism and add more value to your content by looking for updated facts and data, instead of reusing the ones you’ve found in other articles.
If you save the terms and phrases that may be useful for your writing, try to limit the number of such constructions in your final content. Moreover, paraphrase entire sentences instead of rewriting the text word by word. Not only will this method make your text unique, but it will also make it an authentic piece, as it will reflect your writing style.
Write the content from your point of view. This way, even if the content expresses the same ideas from another website, you still have an original article.
2. Learn when and how to quote
When you can’t paraphrase, you can copy the exact words from the original article and use quotation marks. It’s quite handy when you have to rewrite the exact words of another person to add weight to your piece.
Also, copywriters should give credit to the source for any statistics, claims, and facts used to back up their articles.
Quotes and references can be effective methods to protect yourself and your website from plagiarism accusations. However, filling your content with quotation marks isn’t going to help your SEO. So, make sure you find a balance between original content and quotes to remain appealing for both your readers and the search engines.
As a guideline, avoid using quoted material that doesn’t add value to the topic or doesn’t have enough context to make the readers understand what they’ve just read.
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3. Use a plagiarism checker
When you’ve used other articles for inspiration, the plagiarism checker is the easiest method to probe the originality of your piece of content. Such tool uses advanced algorithms to scan your article and looks for duplicate content by crosschecking it against search engine results, books, journal articles, and other online sources.
When you check the content for plagiarism before going live, you get to publish 100 percent original content on your website. This way, you avoid penalties from search engines, as well as lawsuits for copyright infringement and public embarrassment.
One of the advantages when using a plagiarism checker is the possibility to see the constructions and phrases that match what the other author wrote. It’s helpful when you aim for original content, as you don’t have to rewrite the entire article and focus exclusively on the parts.
Unintentional plagiarism can happen to anyone, especially when borrowing some words and ideas from other authors and forgetting to cite the sources (or when citing them incorrectly). Sometimes you read so much before writing that you don’t even realize you’re copying someone else’s work.
That’s why it’s better to write down the sources when taking notes as a way to remember where you got your inspiration from. A plagiarism checker can help you avoid any unpleasant situation. Furthermore, it can help you edit your draft faster and make it original by pointing out the exact constructions that need rephrasing.
It may add 10-15 minutes to your editing process, but it’s time well spent when looking to add value to your readers and improve your rank on search results.