What It is, How to Recognize and Why to Avoid It


All our writers are obliged to know what plagiarism is and to clearly understand how to avoid it. As our writer, the moment you take an order for submission, you bear the whole responsibility to write a high-quality paper that is plagiarism-free and properly cited.

Please, read very carefully the guidelines on recognizing and avoiding plagiarism below. You may take an order only after you know how to recognize and avoid plagiarism. This will greatly speed up your professional growth and your salary upgrade. We hope for a long-term and fruitful cooperation with every writer. Become our true asset!

What is plagiarism and why to avoid it?

 Writers, even professional ones, can misuse sources occasionally by failing to properly acknowledge them. When writing a paper, if you present material taken either directly or indirectly from the work of someone else and do not acknowledge this, you will be accused of plagiarism. This means that you should not use either the words or the ideas of another writer without clearly showing whose they are and where exactly they come from. The word "plagiarism" derives from the Latin word, which means "kidnapping." In antiquity, plagiarii were pirates who sometimes stole children. In academic media, plagiarism stands for purposeful or accidental unaccredited use of the source material by other writers. This is the official definition of plagiarism that is accepted in all educational institutions and the media. Please, carefully review the guidelines below as in the process of quality analyses Quality Control Department will refer to them. Intentional plagiarism is, firstly, dishonest, and secondly, is totally unacceptable. It is a form of cheating, and it will be heavily penalized. Unintentional plagiarism (usually occurs due to lack of understanding of the issue) is equally unacceptable. Learn more.

How to avoid unintentional plagiarism?

Before writing any paper, make sure you understand how to cite:

  • another person's idea, opinion, or theory;
  • any information (facts, statistics, graphs, drawings) that is not common knowledge
  • quotations of another person's actual spoken or written words;
  • paraphrases or summaries of another person's spoken or written words.

To avoid plagiarism, please read carefully the following tips. These guidelines are mainly taken from the book by J. Raymond Hendrickson "The Research Paper" (Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1957):

When writing a paper, try to use your own words majority of the time. Avoid numerous and lengthy quotations. A general rule: keep long quotes down to no more than one per page and no more than 2 short quotes per page. The more quotes you use, the less originality you display.

Do not over-rely on one or two sources. When you do use another person's words, use quotation marks and give credit to the source, either within the text or in a footnote.

Don't make slight variations in the language and then fail to give credit to the source. If the expression is essentially the same, the author still deserves credit.

Even if you aren't directly quoting the material, you should still document information and ideas that you use in your paper whenever they are new to you (i.e., something that you discovered in your research).

Information taken from the World Wide Web needs to be cited just the same as information from an article or a book. Please note: Avoid using too many internet resources. If not specified by the customer otherwise, use less than 40% of online references. NEVER use Wikipedia or similar forum-like sites as reference, unless the client requires.

If you're unsure, add a footnote or citation. It is better to be extra cautious than not to give credit when you should. It is good practice to do so and a good way to avoid penalties.

Avoid so-called "Block" (one paragraph direct quotations)

These rules concern information obtained from any source (e.g., books, journal articles, the Internet, other people's spoken words) and apply to any written submission (term papers, essays, assignments, take-home exams and lab reports). Be original and creative, but have an organized structure and plan.

Common knowledge (established facts that are likely to be known by a lot of people) do not need citations. Statements like "The Earth goes around the Sun" or "France is in Europe" need not be cited.

Please note: You may think that some information is familiar to the general readership, and you decide not to cite it. For example, you write "Charles de Gaulle is proclaimed first President of the new Fifth Republic in France". For you, this may seem as common knowledge, but the majority of your readership does not know this. That's why it is good to cite this information. When in doubt, always cite the information that may seem as facts of common knowledge to you. Doing so, you play safe and meet the client's requirements to submit a plagiarism-free paper.

How to recognize acceptable and unacceptable paraphrasing?

Even experienced writers can get into trouble while citing sources, and thus can be accused of plagiarism. Why does it happen?

1) Some writers mistakenly assume that plagiarizing occurs only when a direct quotation of another person is used without acknowledgement. As our writer, please note that unless it is common knowledge, you need to indicate the source of any idea or information in your research paper, even if you paraphrase or summarize another person's words rather than copy and paste direct quotations.

2) Some writers are caught in unintentional plagiarism when they do not know all the "technical" details of how to properly cite sources in specific academic style (APA, MLA, Harvard, etc). Please, review carefully the academic styles requirements for citation, which make it clear how to incorporate sources into your writing and how to acknowledge your use of those sources. Learn now how to avoid plagiarism in various academic styles (APA, MLA, Turabian (Chicago), Harvard, Oxford, etc).

3) Some writers plagiarize because they do not find it important to cite Internet resources. As a writer, when you refer to ideas or quote from a WWW site, you must cite that source. For citing internet resources please read more here.

4) Some writers can plagiarize because they write sloppy drafts and then fail to tell where they used their own ideas and other people's ideas. Please, take careful notes and write at least the author's name in parenthesis next to the material to remind you to cite it later. Do not make this serious mistake; and ALWAYS keep a working bibliography.

5) There is another reason why some writers plagiarize. They either want to cheat the Company (and the Company will initiate termination of cooperation), or they feel frustrated by the deadline coming / by the lack of sources available / by the lack of in-depth understanding of the topic. If you are experiencing difficulties with finding sources or you can't find a specific book indicated by the client in the instructions, please write us so that we could help you solve the issue.

What’s Acceptable:

1) Direct quotation is direct word-for-word copying of the original text. It must be enclosed in quotation marks and followed by a properly formatted citation according to the required academic style (APA, MLA, Harvard, etc).

Please note: Once you present an entire paragraph or other long quotation in your paper, you do not use quotation marks but instead double indent the paragraph to separate it from the body of the paper. Such lengthy quotations are called 'block' quotations. In general, avoid lengthy quotations. Try to paraphrase, summarize, or use partial quotations.

2) Paraphrase with Some Quotation occurs when you combine your own ideas with a portion of word-for-word text. Enclose the word for word portion in quotation marks as usual and, of course, cite the source.

3) Proper paraphrase means that you borrow specific ideas of the author and change:

  • word choice, or original writing style, which is unique for every person;
  • sentence structure, or general organization.

4) When you summarize, you present a brief idea of author's thoughts and indicate the author (and some other information, depending on the academic style chosen) in the parenthesis.

Please review unacceptable cases and avoid them at all costs:


  • direct quotations, which are not taken into quotation marks;
  • paragraph-long quotations (=block quotations), which are taken into quotation marks;
  • many long and short quotations in a paper, which show that the writer lacks originality, topical understanding, and own judgment;
  • quotations that are not formatted according to the academic style chosen (APA, MLA, Harvard, etc);
  • Paraphrase with Some Quotation, when you do not cite word-to-word extracts in strict accordance with the academic style chosen (APA, MLA, Harvard, etc).

Improper paraphrasing/summary occurs when you fail to present the author's specific ideas and you:

  • fail to cite the source: either you do not mention it at all, or you cite it incorrectly according to the required academic style (APA, MLA, Harvard, etc) even though you use proper paraphrase;
  • change separate words but maintain the author's style;
  • preserve basic sentence structure and general organization by finding synonyms to separate words.

When you use acceptable paraphrasing, you are not guilty of plagiarism.

When you use unacceptable paraphrasing, intentionally or unintentionally, you are guilty of plagiarism. Please follow these links to see illustrative examples to the cases listed above. This will help you to fully understand and recognize unintentional plagiarism. You therefore will be never accused of plagiarism: Plagiarism:

What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It - This is an excellent academic site that gives precise and illustrative examples of acceptable and unacceptable cases and teaches to differentiate the two cases. Strongly recommended.

To sum it up, you can use following three strategies to avoid plagiarism:

1. Put in quotation marks everything that comes directly from another persons' text (even if not yet published), especially when writing a draft. Do not rely on block quotations that are not normally put into quotation marks and are usually detected as plagiarism by software.

2. Do more paraphrasing and summarizing than quoting. Yet, while paraphrasing, make sure you are not just replacing some words with their synonymic variants but changing completely author's writing style, sentence structure and general organization. Do not present a string of quotations; demonstrate your understanding and position.

3. Always check your paraphrasing/summary against the original text and make sure you didn't use same words/phrases unintentionally (unless word-to-word phrases are put in quotation marks) and that you didn't imitate the overall structure, and that the information is accurate.

Responding to and adapting the ideas of others is a central part of academic discussion, but it should always be absolutely clear to whom these words and ideas belong!

In order to be a successful writer, we suggest that you:

Learn Differences among Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing.

Practice Exercises in Paraphrasing.

Also review a plagiarism policy as practiced at education institutions.

To learn more about plagiarism, its forms, ways to avoid it as well as to do practice paraphrasing, we strongly advise to follow the links below.

What is Plagiarism? - The link opens up a movie world. Comfy way to resume your understanding of plagiarism and take a quiz. Recommended.

Techniques for Avoiding Plagiarism - This site is designed by David Gardner to help students to learn a few successful techniques on how to paraphrase correctly, on how to mark correctly long and short quotations. What's more, this site is of great help for those willing to learn to express negative, positive, neutral opinions using specially selected reporting verbs. The site provides a great self-test with a key to identify how one understands plagiarism. Highly recommended.

Understanding Plagiarism - The site contains illustrative plagiarism cases, 5 examples with extensive comments, and a short quiz with instant feedback for you to test your understanding of plagiarism. Highly recommended.

Examples of Plagiarism - The site provides 7 great examples of common plagiarism acts. Here you may also learn Educational Policy of the University towards plagiarism.

How to avoid plagiarism - Along with graphic and detailed explanation of plagiarism forms, you will find more useful information on various types of academic papers and smart guidelines.

How Not to Plagiarize - This site will teach you how not to plagiarize. It is very helpful for those who have exact questions on plagiarism, as they will get quick and sufficient answers.