The Issue of Plagiarism for Writers: How Not to Go Down This Rabbit Hole

Image for post
Image for post

riting an article can take a few hours, a few days, or even a few weeks if you do research on the topic that you are planning to cover. As an author, I often stumble upon my articles across the Internet that were used without my permission. Sometimes, it’s just a couple of passages without giving me credit or it’s a translated article that is shared as another author’s “original work”. The worst is when people copy the whole text.

When I use software to check blogs for stolen materials, it usually detects many instances of plagiarized text in their articles that were snatched from multiple writers and shared as their original work. What’s even more shocking in this age of highly accessible information is that not only are individual users stealing my material without any authorship attribution, but even companies are plagiarizing entire articles. I always ask for removal of my content if it is plagiarized. However, many plagiarists use threats and most of them are not even sorry for their actions when I contact them.

Technology helps and technology harms

With the rapid development of Internet technologies, the life of an author like me has become both easier and harder. On the one hand, we have so many handy tools at our disposal that help check writing, grammar, citations, and readability. We can get our hands on unlimited information and make our articles and books more insightful and engaging.

On the other hand, literally, everyone can copy your material and present it as their own. Everyone can use CTRL+C and CTRL+V, copy your article, replace your name and promote your work as theirs. As a result, there’s a growing amount of plagiarized information that was stolen or not credited correctly.

On top of that, it’s getting almost impossible to find the original source. You’ve probably come across the statement “your resume has only six seconds to make the impression” in multiple articles. Chances are, those articles refer to their closest replicas and not the original statement.

So, after a couple of hours of meticulous searching, I finally found where this idea originated. Believe it or not, it was as simple as an advertising flyer of a resume writing company selling their service. The problem is that everybody else took it for a fact without even questioning the origin, and, therefore, many people still believe that it’s true.

The original source of the information is often not mentioned but it’s important for authors to double check the information we are sharing. That’s why sometimes I spend more time on finding the source than on writing the article.

Things I do to prevent accidental plagiarism in my writing

Back when technology was not as sophisticated as today, I would simply Google passages of text line by line. Later, there was a basic web app that did a search on Google and then opened results for every sentence in a separate tab. This process was pretty tedious.

These days, I use special plagiarism detection software. I scan all of my articles and book drafts because dealing with lots of sources can lead to overlooked citations, and I don’t want to be accused of plagiarism. Thanks to the tools like Unicheck, which I’m using at the moment, I can ensure that every source I’m using is cited correctly to minimize those mistakes. It comes in especially handy when writing articles for extended periods of time since I tend to lose track of the sources used. We all are humans and mistakes happen.

And it works!

I realize that some of my articles could not be written if others had not spent tons of time on in-depth research on the topic beforehand. That’s why I prefer to reap the benefits of the best technologies available and have been using Unicheck since 2017. I’ve tested many plagiarism detections tools, and my biggest criteria for such software is the accuracy of the results and the size of the database through which the document is checked.

So far, Unicheck performs far better than the rest of the solutions. The reason is that this technology synchronizes every web page or file to its database within 30 minutes of it appearing within a web search. Cool, right?

I scanned all my books with the Unicheck during the editing stage. From time to time, I also like to double-check the originality of my text with other plagiarism detection tools to be sure that I am not using text without the proper source. However, Unicheck has so far brought the most accurate results.

Final Thoughts

As a blogger, I can’t imagine living without plagiarism checkers anymore. They bring me incredible benefits as not only do they check if I forgot to add a source to the text I am going to publish, but I’ve also discovered many new and interesting sources that I can use in my articles. In addition, I’ve found interesting way to use a plagiarism checker to uncover candidates’ profiles.

I strongly encourage every blogger and author who wants to write better or to become an influencer to give credit to the materials used in your text. This basic, yet crucial, rule will help you grow a positive reputation and prevent very unpleasant situations that could damage your career.

Choose software that will ensure that there’s no accidental plagiarism in your text. That’s so easy and quick, yet so helpful. Believe me, this small investment is worth it so that you can sleep soundly at night.

— — — — —

Image for post
Image for post

About the author: Jan is an author of the book “Full Stack Recruiter: The Modern Recruiter’s Guide”, Full Stack Recruiter: New Secrets Revealed and Jak hledat zaměstnance v 21. století. And the creator of sites like Sourcing.Games, Recruitment.Camp and other projects. As a speaker and blogger, Jan believes that recruitment is a great field and he is constantly trying to make it better.

Written by

#Recruiter, Author of bestseller “Full Stack Recruiter", Dream Chaser, Creator of impossible, #BlackBerry fan (probably the only one). Author of sourcing.games.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store