16 February 2023

How To Avoid Self Plagiarism

How To Avoid Self Plagiarism

Plagiarism is one of the most heinous crimes in academic writing. This practice involves using someone's work without giving them credit and makes people question your integrity. You can't expect people to trust the authenticity of your work if you did not acknowledge the intellectual owner(s) of any referenced work. You may be tempted to use some of your own work from an old paper in your new assignment. While this is not illegal as in other plagiarism cases, it remains unethical and is risky. Self-citing could lead to unintentional plagiarism.


Don't worry, though. It's not all doom and gloom. Avoiding plagiarism is relatively easy if you cite your previous work correctly. You need to show that you have conducted new research and are not simply trying to reframe your ideas.


Learn how to avoid self plagiarism in this comprehensive post.


6 Ways to Avoid Self Plagiarism

There are several surefire ways to avoid self plagiarism. We will now explore some of the most recommended methods to deal with plagiarism.

  1. Writing original work
  2. Referencing your previous work
  3. Reframe your ideas
  4. Carefully plan your writing
  5. Get rights from the copyright holder
  6. Hire someone else to write your paper


1. Writing Original Work

Leave no stone unturned if your topic looks similar to something in your own work. Don't overestimate yourself, even if you have a lot of information on the topic due to your previously published work. Make it point to go back to the books again.


This brings forth two advantages: first, it exposes you to new material that is not present in your previous paper. Your new paper could be used to supplement previous ideas in your own writing. Secondly, doing extra research means that you are less likely to recycle your old ideas and have a lower chance of duplicate publication.


Doing original research without help from your existing work not only helps you avoid self plagiarism but also improves your past work as you'll use more sources than in your previous paper.


2. Referencing your Previous Work

When you must absolutely use your own words, or bits of it, make sure it is properly cited according to your chosen writing style guidelines. As with standard plagiarism, recognizing the work's true author and the published manuscript absolves you of the crime. Ensure that you mention the date you published your own ideas together with the paper's name to improve transparency.


If citing the same paper you wrote on the current subject is getting tedious and confusing, always remember that you can contact your professor. This will clarify if you can reuse ideas from college papers you've submitted in the recent past without getting penalized for academic dishonesty.


3. Reframe Your Ideas

You may have been assigned a topic that you presented for a previous study, but for a different audience. In such an instance, reframing previously published work helps you create work that suits the audience without incurring the risk of self-plagiarism.


For efficiency, use several papers that you consulted to write your previous paper. Ensure you have more notes taken from these documents through new research before you begin the writing process. Using the same work in your original publication to write your current paper poses potential plagiarism concerns.


Reframe ideas from your original contribution, increase your information repository, and use a plagiarism checker to confirm your paper meets high standards in the academic world. It should reflect a zero similarity index.


4. Carefully Plan Your Writing

Writing a number of papers on topics that resemble each other is quite a balancing act that could lead to self-plagiarism. carefully planning your research funding and writing schedule can help you prevent unoriginality. Make sure you space out your writing to avoid writing on the same topics consecutively.


Reset and alter your mode to address a similar paper later in the day.


It is also advisable to separate your notes for a new paper. This way, you can avoid self plagiarizing your work by using the wrong notes for any of your papers.


5. Get Rights from the Copyright Holder

You need to understand writing laws and regulations to avoid litigation. While you may have written the document you're using as a reference, your publisher probably holds the rights to it.


Remember to ask for permission from the paper's publisher before reusing your work to avoid breaking copyright law. Further ensure that you state how you will use the previously published work in your new paper.


6. Hire Someone Else To Write Your Paper

Another surefire way to avoid self plagiarism is to pay someone to write your paper. Many students find it difficult to avoid copying from themselves. It is understandable. You, after all, have certain style of writing that may merge your writing. It's sometimes difficult writing on the same topic day in day out without borrowing actual paragraphs or ideas from previous work.


This is why I'd suggest finding someone that's independent, new to the topic. They'll certainly have a different edge to it. You can hire professional writers from My Custom Essays today. You'll get an original paper that's plagiarism free.


Different Types of Plagiarism

With this in mind, we'll now explore the different types of plagiarism that could turn an A+ paper into a serious issue with bad implications.

  1. Direct plagiarism
  2. Self plagiarism
  3. Mosaic plagiarism
  4. Accidental plagiarism


1. Direct Plagiarism 

This is a copy-paste type of situation. A student copies someone's work word-for-word without giving them credit and without quotation marks. Deliberately plagiarizing someone's work is frowned upon in the academic world and considered unethical. It is grounds for disciplinary action and could easily lead to expulsion.


2. Self Plagiarism

Self plagiarism happens when a student resubmits a previously written paper or includes bits of previous works without seeking permission from all involved professors prior to doing so. For instance, you cannot use a term paper submitted in high school for your college course. You are also guilty of self plagiarism if you submit the same paper to different classes without seeking approval from both professors beforehand.


3. Mosaic Plagiarism

Mosaic plagiarism involves borrowing a phrase from a source without using synonyms or quotation marks while adhering to the original author's general structure and meaning. Otherwise known as "patch writing", mosaic plagiarism, unintentional or not, is unacceptable and punishable, whether you footnote your source or not!


4. Accidental Plagiarism

Accidental plagiarism happens when a student neglects to cite their work or misquotes their sources. They could also be guilty of accidental plagiarism if they unintentionally paraphrase a source using the same words or sentence structure without giving credit to the source author. Taking accurate notes and carefully writing their citations as you're doing your research will help you avoid plagiarism in this manner.


You cannot be absolved of this offense due to lack of intent. College papers are taken seriously and accidental plagiarism is subject to the same repercussions as other types of plagiarism.


Frequently Asked Questions about Self plagiarism

Here are some issues that many people find confusing when it comes to plagiarism.

  1. Why is it difficult to avoid self plagiarism?
  2. Why should self-plagiarism be avoided?
  3. Why is original content important for your business?


1. Why is it Difficult To Avoid Self-Plagiarism?

You need someone else's ideas to form a thesis that describes a phenomenon in your own words. No one has all the information on a particular subject. Referencing someone else's work cements the validity of your work, particularly if your sources' authors are considered experts in the field.


Still, this gets tricky as you write more papers on the topic. Your intention may be pure, using your previous work to guide your current essay. This is where self-plagiarism becomes a problem. You need to learn how to use your previously published material without incurring penalties due to self-plagiarism.


Let's take a couple of minutes discussing how you can reframe your previous ideas to produce a 100% plagiarism-free paper.


2. Why Should Self-plagiarism Be Avoided?

Commercial materials and marketing content have worse implications for a person found to plagiarize information or data. Suppose a business attempts to steal Nike's "Just Do It". Would you trust their products? You wouldn't. It's simply plagiarism, a blatant theft of someone's ideas without any hint of original thought. Presenting new ideas is integral to maintaining credibility and could pose legal issues for a business. Self-plagiarism does not help either. A business will appear lazy if it cannot come up with new ways to attract potential customers.


Here are some things to consider before you use self-plagiarized content. Take note of these pitfalls as they can ruin your academic and professional career. Plagiarized content will do the following.

  • Reduce your credibility
  • Destroy consumer trust in your offerings
  • Adversely influence SEO because of duplicate content
  • Eliminate the potential for differentiation from competitors
  • Increase legal risks


You must recognize the inherent danger in publishing the same article repeatedly or ignoring proper citation rules when you use another person's ideas in your writing. Regardless of whether it is a new audience, using specific words despite utilizing various styles to conceal intellectual property theft does not work. You will face serious repercussions for your actions.


3. Why is Original Content Important For Your Business?

Formal business writing differs significantly from your typical research papers. Both types of writing entail different styles and document types. There are several documents in a business setting that may land you in trouble because of plagiarism.

  • Business memo
  • Internal report
  • Internal memorandum
  • Contracts
  • Business plan
  • Compliance and regulatory documents
  • Financial documents


We'll cut it off at this point. The list is practically endless.


Using old ideas from an old assignment on a new document with the same topic can help reduce the time to work on a problem. You could still end up facing accusations of self-plagiarism. Your main concern does not involve using credible sources used in past research. It entails failing to develop original ideas from these sources.






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