Plagiarism is like a virus. It plagues every writer, both the honest and the crooked. The latter plagiarizes stuff intentionally, while the former can fall prey to it accidentally.
Avoiding plagiarism is extremely important for blog writers since any type of duplication – be it intentional or unintentional – is recognized as a black hat tactic by the search engine.
Below are (five) 5 helpful guidelines for blog writers to avoid plagiarism when blogging. But first, let’s start this discussion by defining plagiarism.
What is Plagiarism? The Basic Introduction of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is defined as the fraudulent presentation of somebody else’s ideas or words as one’s own. It is named after the Latin verb ‘plagiare,’ which means ‘to kidnap.’
Plagiarism is a form of stealing in its current meaning. One form of plagiarism is equivalent to copyright infringement.
In contrast, other conditions (if created by the author) do not constitute plagiarism but allow the creator to benefit from their work while still giving credit where credit is due.
The 5 Helpful Guidelines for Blog Writers to Avoid Plagiarism:
Bloggers and writers will find the most common plagiarism causes and solutions in the following guidelines. So, without wasting any time, let’s dig in.
1. Use original wordings and ideas
The most obvious and straightforward technique to avoid plagiarism in any form of writing or writing industry is to go with the original ideas and wordings. Coming up with original concepts is challenging.
Therefore, writers or bloggers can extensively research their blog niche on the internet and take ideas from different published materials to create a new one. This way, they will never fall prey to plagiarism.
Similarly, if a blogger or writer already knows the topics he wants to cover in his blog, he should write about those topics in his wording. No doubt, he can extensively research the internet about those topics.
But he should explain the collected information in his language. Hence, it is another ideal way to prevent direct plagiarism.
2. Paraphrase and cite
According to expert bloggers, search engines want at least 300+ unique words on a blog to consider it a unique piece of content. So, according to this statement, people will not find 100% unique and original content on every blog.
But how can those existing blog owners avoid plagiarism when their blog’s content is not 100% unique? Well, there are two techniques. The first guideline covers the first technique to avoid plagiarism. So, the second one is to paraphrase the existing content and cite its reference.
Paraphrasing means explaining the existing ideas by changing the sentence structure and wordings of the published content. Irrespective of the writing industry, paraphrasing is every writer’s most common and go-to technique to avoid plagiarism.
But paraphrasing is a challenging task, as it is easier said than done. So, bloggers and writers can use the following tips to paraphrase a published piece of content.
- Change the voice of sentences. For example, if the published content has a variety of active voices, blog writers can convert those sentences into passive voices or vice versa.
- Use a different starting point.
- Use paraphrasing-assistant tools. But blog writers will need to modify the content (after the tool has paraphrased it) to make it human-readable.
Once a blog writer has successfully paraphrased a content, he can use the different citing styles (MLA, APA, or Chicago) to cite the original content source because changing the wordings and sentences is not the same as using unique thoughts or ideas.
3. Do not forget the importance of double quotes and double-checking your references
The third technique in the “(five) 5 helpful guidelines for blog writers to avoid plagiarism” guide is to use double quotes and double-check the references.
Sometimes, blog writers want to include a relevant quotation or a famous saying of someone in their blogs, but they avoid it because of plagiarism issues.
So, in such a situation, blog writers can use double quotes and cite the original reference of that saying or quotation. Doing this will automatically inform the plagiarism detectors and search engines to ignore that piece of content.
So, suppose a blogger is looking for the solution of how to copy and paste without plagiarizing. In that case, the third technique is the only way.
4. Check for content plagiarism
Even if a blog writer uses original ideas and wording or paraphrases the content to avoid plagiarism, it is still essential to check the written content for plagiarism. In this case, blog writers can either use paid or free plagiarism checker.
A plagiarism checker is an Artificial Intelligence-based tool that checks the inputted or entered text against online sources and searches for its matches. If this tool finds any matches, it underlines the matched sentence or phrase and shows comprehensive progress in the form of a plagiarism report.
Checking the written content for plagiarism is necessary because it clarifies whether the written content contains any self-plagiarism or not. So, suppose a writer wants to know how to remove plagiarism. In that case, he can use the available paid and free solutions.
5. Prefer including stock or your media
Blogging is not about using unique wordings and addressing the readers personally. But it also contains the use of attractive and relevant infographics. So, the last technique in this “(five) 5 ways to avoid plagiarism” guide is to prefer original or stock infographics.
Most beginner blog writers make mistakes by using images from the internet without asking the permission of the original photographer. Doing this results in copyright infringement, which is another form of plagiarism. So, naïve blog writers can avoid this by using stock media from ‘Unsplash,’ ‘Pexels’ and various other platforms. They can also create attractive infographics with the help of the following tools:
- Adobe Express
Summary – The Conclusion
Writing blogs is one of the ways many content writers moonlight their extra time. They get together all their knowledge on a particular topic, write a draft and post it online for the world to see. But if a (blog) writer is not careful, he can get penalized by Google and other search engines.
This situation can lead to a reduction in search engine ranking and a loss of traffic flow. So, the above-discussed five guidelines will help writers and bloggers avoid the duplicate content penalties of search engines.
such important topic!
I really appreciate what you wrote about plagiarism and avoiding it. It’s a topic that I’ve seen a lot of people struggle with and it’s so important to understand. I feel like it’s a topic that’s not well understood or understood at all. I feel like you’ve done a great job of explaining what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.