7 Tips to Write a Plagiarism-Free Essay | How to Write a Unique Articles

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Plagiarism can be easily and unwittingly committed in academic content like essays and assignments since there is a lot of research to be done. During the research phase, the material read from different sources can get fixed in your mind and you can unintentionally write it as it is in your own work.

To avoid this sort of situation (and other similar ones that can have the same consequences), you have to be careful during the research, writing, and optimization phases. There are different steps that you can take to make sure that your final write-up stays completely free from plagiarism.

In this post, we’re going to be looking at some of those.

7 Tips and Tricks for Avoiding Plagiarism in Your Essays

Without further ado, let’s get straight to discussing the tips.

1.      Expand and Broaden Your Research

One possible reason that your content is showing up as partially plagiarized is narrow research.

During the research phase, if you only take your information from a single source, you can inadvertently start to copy it. Even if you don’t intend to nab off a couple of sentences from the source deliberately, you can still end up doing it due to short-term memory retention.

That sounds like something complex…but it’s really not.

Short-term memory retention basically refers to the stuff that you remember for a short and limited period of time…after which it is forgotten. This can happen with the exact words and phrases that you read while doing research. You can remember them very accurately for a couple of minutes (or even up to an hour…depending on who you are).

If you start writing your essay during this time, there are a lot of chances that you could start plagiarizing your source.

So, the solution? Don’t pick one source. Expand your research and include as many sources as you easily and comfortably can. This way, you won’t accidentally start mimicking any particular one of them, and this will help in closing one avenue of unintentional plagiarism.

2.      Don’t Write Instantly After Doing Your Research

When you want to start writing your essay, don’t do it immediately after completing your research. We did sort of touch on this in the heading above, but there, our focus was on increasing the number of sources instead of waiting after the research.

The benefit of doing this is the same as expanding your research i.e., the stuff that we mentioned in the heading above. In other words, by taking a break between the researching and writing phase, you can forget the exact words and phrases used by the sources.

This can help you avoid accidental plagiarism…which is something that you can easily commit if you do your research/writing simultaneously, or if you start writing instantly after the research.

3.      Don’t Copy-Paste Directly

Mentioning this tip here is like saying “If you don’t want to slip, don’t walk on the slippery ice.” We mean…it’s obvious. If you copy-paste your content, you’ll be committing plagiarism. Period.

However, the reason that we’re talking about this tip is to clear up any confusions that you may have regarding what counts as plagiarism and what does not.

Some people may think that copy-pasting a small sentence (i.e., 5 – 6 words) is acceptable. Others may think that copy-pasting the content directly, and then interlacing it with original content can save them from plagiarism penalties.

But, both instances are wrong. You cannot copy-paste even a small sentence from a source, and you cannot interlace copied content with your original material. The latter actually amounts to mosaic plagiarism.

Small sentences, even the ones that are 5 – 6 words long, can count as plagiarized if they are unique and specific. For example, the sentence “To know more about us, click here…” is not going to get spotted as plagiarized since there are probably millions of websites using it. On the other hand, the sentence “…you cannot interlace copied content…” will be more likely to show up as plagiarized since it is somewhat unique and different.

4.      Cite Your Sources

If you want to use some content from a source without drastically altering it or without reshaping it in your own words, then you have to use citations.

A citation is a literary doff of the cap and a nod of the head. When using a citation, you basically make over the credit of the mentioned facts/figures to a specific source. This source can be a book, website, article, research paper, etc.

Plagiarism is basically defined as the process of taking someone’s content without crediting them. Once you take care of the latter, it doesn’t remain plagiarism anymore.

There are different types of citation formats, some of which include:

  • Chicago
  • APA
  • MLA
  • Turabian
  • Harvard

When using a citation, be sure to pick the format as instructed by your institute.

5.      Quote Where Necessary

Although citations are a good fit for situations where you have to take some material from a source, there can be some cases where the exact words have to be used verbatim.

In these scenarios, using quotation marks can be a good alternative.

The text that is found in between quotation marks is automatically assumed to be the words of some other person. It is an easy way to acknowledge and accredit a source without having to create a whole citation by adding the source’s details, date of retrieval, name of the author, and so on.

However, just as every other technique that we’re discussing in this post is ruled by some regulations, so too is the situation with quoting. If you want to add some quotes to your essay, you can’t go overboard and just start doing it after every other couple of sentences of your own. They have to be used sparingly.

6.      Use a Plagiarism Checker to Find Duplication

One point that you have to keep in mind about creating a plagiarism-free essay is that you won’t really know if it is unique or not until you finish. There’s no method that you can employ to spontaneously realize it if you commit any accidental plagiarism. You have to run a check after you’re done with the essay.

And for that, a free plagiarism checker is an ideal solution. Plagiarism-checking software exists in abundance online, but using a free one is recommended since it can also provide accurate results without requiring you to purchase a paid plan. You do have to deal with ads and captchas when using these types of tools, but it’s worth it.

So, coming back to the point, once you use a free plagiarism checker on your essay, you will be able to find out if you’ve accidentally copied an online source. Assuming that you have done so, you can simply take the required measures to fix it.

7.      Paraphrase Where Required

Paraphrasing is the practice of rewording a piece of content by changing the words and phrases (and by shuffling the sentence structures). A paraphrased part of text looks different but it conveys the same meaning as its original form.

This technique can be useful if you want to get rid of plagiarism in your essay. You can basically paraphrase your content after following the last step i.e. checking for plagiarism. If there is any plagiarism in your content, you can paraphrase that particular part and make it unique.

Paraphrasing can be done with the help of an online tool if the manual method seems too arduous or long-drawn. Using an online tool can be convenient since it can complete the whole process in a matter of seconds and provide the results quickly.


What are some effective strategies to ensure my essay is plagiarism-free?

To ensure your essay is plagiarism-free, consider the following strategies:

  1. Understand Plagiarism: Know what constitutes plagiarism, including direct copying, paraphrasing without credit, and using someone else’s ideas without acknowledgment.
  2. Use Original Ideas: Start with your own thoughts and build upon them using research.
  3. Proper Citation: Always cite sources correctly in the required format (APA, MLA, etc.).
  4. Paraphrase Correctly: When rephrasing information from a source, ensure it’s in your own words and cite the source.
  5. Utilize Plagiarism Checkers: Tools like Turnitin, Grammarly, or Copyscape can help detect unintentional plagiarism.
  6. Keep Track of Sources: Maintain a detailed list of references and sources you’ve consulted.
  7. Review and Revise: Carefully review your work to ensure all sources are properly cited and there are no accidental similarities.

How can I effectively paraphrase content to avoid plagiarism?

Effective paraphrasing involves:

  1. Understanding the Source: Read the original text thoroughly to comprehend its meaning.
  2. Use Your Own Words: Rewrite the information in a new way without changing the original meaning.
  3. Change Sentence Structure: Alter the sentence structure and use synonyms for key terms.
  4. Maintain Original Intent: Ensure your paraphrasing accurately reflects the original idea.
  5. Cite the Source: Even when paraphrasing, give credit to the original author to avoid plagiarism.
  6. Compare Versions: Compare your version with the original to ensure it’s sufficiently different.

What role do citation and referencing play in writing a plagiarism-free essay?

Citation and referencing are crucial in writing a plagiarism-free essay as they:

  1. Provide Credit: Acknowledge the original authors of the ideas, research, and information you have used.
  2. Enhance Credibility: Show that your work is well-researched and based on credible sources.
  3. Allow Verification: Enable readers to locate the sources and verify the information.
  4. Avoid Plagiarism: Prevent accusations of plagiarism by clearly indicating which ideas are yours and which are sourced from others.
  5. Demonstrate Integrity: Reflect academic honesty and adherence to ethical writing standards. Using the correct format for in-text citations and reference lists is essential to meet these objectives.

What tools can help me check for plagiarism and improve the uniqueness of my essay?

Several tools can assist you in checking for plagiarism and enhancing the uniqueness of your essay:

  1. Turnitin: Widely used in academic institutions, it provides a detailed plagiarism report.
  2. Grammarly: Offers both grammar checks and plagiarism detection.
  3. Copyscape: Ideal for web content, ensuring originality.
  4. Quetext: A comprehensive tool for plagiarism detection with deep search capabilities.
  5. Small SEO Tools: A free plagiarism checker that compares your text against web sources.
  6. WriteCheck: Provides plagiarism detection and writing improvement suggestions. Using these tools can help you identify potential issues and revise your essay to ensure it is unique and plagiarism-free.


Writing an essay with zero plagiarism is not a very difficult task, provided that you’re careful about not committing it accidentally. You just have to make sure that you expand your research so that you don’t inadvertently mimic your sources.

And if despite taking care, there is still some plagiarism in your work (that you can find using a plagiarism checking tool), you can take care of it by paraphrasing, quoting, or adding citations.

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