How to Avoid Plagiarism in Research : a Complete Guide from Flowcite

How to Avoid Plagiarism in Research : a Complete Guide from Flowcite

You are about to write and prove your hypothesis, and you want to make sure your paper is plagiarism-free to increase your credibility as a researcher.

Getting ideas from already established ideologies and values and adding more in-depth information is a significant part of the research process. But, avoiding plagiarism is something that you should always keep in mind when you’re using source material. 

If you don’t, you could risk damaging your academic reputation, failing a course, having your paper rejected from publications, or even having more serious disciplinary action taken against you. 

What is considered plagiarism?

Plagiarism is when an author uses another person’s idea and disseminates it as if it’s his or her own idea. It is a form of academic dishonesty and a grave intellectual offense.

Plagiarism in research can be intentional or unintentional, but either way, it is still unacceptable.

In research writing, avoiding plagiarism is important because once you submit a paper that is flagged as plagiarised, it will cost you significantly. For students, this could mean a failing grade, and for professional researchers, this could adversely affect their reputation and credibility.

There are different types of plagiarism—Direct Plagiarism, Mosaic Plagiarism, Paraphrasing Plagiarism, and Self Plagiarism. In this article, we won’t be delving too much into the types of plagiarism and what they entail. Instead, we will discuss how you can use others’ ideologies without committing plagiarism of any kind.

Why is it important to avoid plagiarism in research? 

Plagiarism is one of the worst offenses a scholar can commit. Even if you’re a graduate student who’s trying to finish a paper quickly before a deadline, you never want to resort to simply regurgitating information from your sources. In order to properly learn your field of study and develop your own views, it’s crucial to do more than reproduce what other academics have said, without attribution. It’s also important if you want to get a passing grade!

Avoiding plagiarism can benefit both students and professional researchers. Here are some of the reasons why it is best to avoid plagiarism in research, no matter what level of academia you belong to:

  • It helps you improve the quality of your work by not solely relying on and copying the ideas of others.
  • It saves you from the embarrassment and shame if (or when) you get caught plagiarising.
  • It enhances your capability to paraphrase meaning of established ideas and values in the proper way.
  • It can prevent grave and negative consequences in your career.
  • You can master conveying your ideas without having to worry about unintentionally copying someone else’s work (there are a lot of plagiarism fixers available online that can help you do this).

These are only some of the practical reasons why avoiding plagiarism in your research is essential and beneficial for you.

So, what are the ways that you can avoid plagiarism when writing your research paper or thesis?

What are the ways in avoiding plagiarism?

Here are three ways to cite your sources correctly and avoiding plagiarism in professional or academic research: 

Direct Quotation 

If you want to avoid plagiarism, you can use direct quotations when you use the words of the author verbatim. When doing this, you should also put indicators, such as “according to” or “in (Author)’s view” to inform your readers that you are integrating the ideas of others in your paper. 

However, it’s best to limit the number of times you use a direct quote and only use them when necessary. Otherwise, you run the risk of sounding like an encyclopedia of existing knowledge, not an academic with your own insights. 

That being said, here are some of the times when it is best to use a direct quote:

  • When the thought and meaning of the source will be different when you reword it.
  • When the original statement uses powerful language.
  • When you are quoting a coined term or phrase that originated from the author.

Here’s an example: 

Original: From 1984, by George Orwell: “Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”

Direct quote: As George Orwell said, “Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” 

To properly cite and quote authors, it is also important to note that distinct citation styles require different formatting. 

For example, in APA style, when you direct a quote, you must include the author’s last name, the year, and the page number (Orwell, 1949, p. 266). But, in MLA, you only need to write the author’s last name and the page number (Orwell 266).


Paraphrasing is when you keep the original meaning of the source, but write it in your own words. You will avoid plagiarism when you only get inspiration from the ideas of others and cite them in your reference, rather than copying their words to the letter.

However, you can cite an author and paraphrase the original statement, but still be plagiarising. Therefore, in avoiding plagiarism, you should refrain from rewriting the original text. Instead, use your own words, and retain just the most significant phrases or terms.

Here’s an example:

Original: “There is no doubt that China today is a superpower in every respect. According to several scholars, China has already become a global hegemon in recent years, threatening the position of the United States and the entire Western world.” (Source: Tonon, A. (2021) Is China the world’s next global hegemon? Roar News)

Plagiarism: According to Tonon (2021), China today is a superpower in every sense of the word. Their power and influence as a country are threatening the position of the entire Western world.

Paraphrasing: Andrea Tonon (2021) argues that with the influence and power that China holds today, they are destabilising the authority and control that the United States and the West hold over the global economy.

Use Plagiarism Checkers

Another way to ensure that your research is plagiarism-free is by using plagiarism checkers. These applications or websites help you weed out any instances of unintentional citing with plagiarism fixer tools that identify parts in your paper that need a quotation, citation, or paraphrased statements almost similar to the original text.

But how do you know that you can trust these plagiarism fixer tools to help you submit research that is 100% authentic and free of plagiarism?

Flowcite: An integrated academic research platform that helps you avoid plagiarism

Avoiding plagiarism is a huge problem, especially for researchers—but it isn’t impossible, and it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or stressful.

With Flowcite, you can avoid plagiarism and maintain your academic integrity with ease. We use Unicheck and iThenticate, a Turnitin company that scans over 40 billion web pages in real-time to check for any similarities in your research.

Aside from these plagiarism fixer tools, Flowcite makes researchers’ lives easier by integrating all the significant research processes in one platform that will help you write original and ready-to-publish papers.

Flowcite offers a suite of academic writing tools and services, including: 

  • A similarity checker that provides and analyses your research within minutes by comparing it to external sources. It also detects citations in all citation styles – MLA, APA, Chicago, etc. 
  • Integrated proofreading, peer-review, and publishing services, enabling you to complete the research process from writing to publishing on one platform. 
  • A reference management tool that helps you to search, save and organise all your citations smoothly. 
  • An AI-driven article summariser service, in partnership with Scholarcy, saves you time (by 70%) in finding relevant sources. It provides a good summary of an article in less than 60 seconds, enabling you to decide immediately whether an article is relevant to your study.
  • Real-time collaboration tools, allowing you to edit, share, and proofread your partner’s work.

All of these services offered by Flowcite will help and enable you to focus on writing research that is at its maximum potential without having to worry about unintentionally plagiarising someone else’s work. 

Ready to write your research paper without having to worry about plagiarism? Try Flowcite to help you have seamless research that is original and free of plagiarism!

Brittany Storniolo
Brittany Storniolo
Content Marketing Strategist

Content Marketing Strategist
Brittany is a Content Marketing Strategist at Flowcite, and an outstanding academic writing expert. She holds a first-class Honours degree in Literae Humaniores from the University of Oxford and has been certified in Digital Marketing Analytics by the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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