Online Plagiarism Detection: How to Avoid Autoplagiarism

Posted on:August 26, 2010

The modern world of business has a lot to do with writing. Indeed, different essays, articles, research reports, and other types of writing are needed in all spheres of modern life. Therefore, it seems that the modern authors have a range of opportunities for realizing their intellectual and creative potential. However, the real situation suggests that the authors of different kinds of writings often face the risk of autoplagiarism. Thus, it is important to know the basics of online plagiarism detection and the ways of avoiding autoplagiarism.
 
Online Plagiarism Detection: Preventing Risks
 
Modern technology allows fast and secure online plagiarism detection. Specifically, there is a multitude of programs aimed at finding plagiarized word groups, lines, or paragraphs in any document. Moreover, such programs are capable of finding the sources of the plagiarism. Online plagiarism detection includes “scanning” all the websites and their content, and comparing them to the analyzed document.
 
As a result of the mentioned operations, the programs calculate the match index, which is usually given in a percentage. Interestingly, even the authors who did not use any sources for their writings sometimes get a 4-5% match index. This is likely to happen with topics which deal with general notions which are often repeated in the text or which have a particular jargon attached. This means that online plagiarism detection does not necessarily find instances of plagiarism, but it finds similar lexical units in two sources. Such coincidences are referred to as autoplagiarism.
 
Due to the high possibility of becoming a victim of autoplagiarism, writers should consider ways of avoiding such phenomenon. So what needs to be done in order to guarantee a positive report of online plagiarism detection? There are a few simple points to bear in mind:
 
Original Ideas
 
Every writer should remember that online plagiarism detection deals with preventing original ideas from being stolen. That is why the main task of the author is to produce their own ideas concerning the subject about which they are writing. In this case, the chance of autoplagiarism occurrence is much smaller.
 
Critical Thinking
 
There are topics which have been studied for centuries, but which still need investigation and further development. This suggests that there is little place for new ideas to appear. Therefore, the risk of online plagiarism detection is increased. In this case, critical thinking can be helpful. The critical analysis of the existing material will help to get new visions of the studied problems.
 
Complex Sentences
 
Another point to consider for avoiding the risk of online plagiarism detection is the structure of sentences. Short simple sentences are often used in various sources all over the Internet. Consequently, such sentences are most likely to be detected as “stolen” during online plagiarism detection. The way out for writers in this case is writing long complex sentences. This may not eliminate the risk of online plagiarism detection, but this will definitely decrease the match index. However, too much of this results in poor writing.
 
Variation of Keywords
 
As was mentioned before, some topics are well-developed. As a rule, they have a list of keywords, which are used many times in the text. These words can serve as a basis for online plagiarism detection. Therefore, one should consider changing the keywords to some extent. With this purpose, some changes can be made:

  • Addition of prepositions
  • Change the word order
  • Using synonyms
  • Paraphrasing

Considering all the mentioned points will help the authors to eliminate the possibility of negative online plagiarism detection tests. By this way, one can escape the risk of autoplagiarism and prove their authenticity and writing talent.

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