While plagiarism is neither a criminal nor civil offense, it can yet cause an individual legal problems since the writer whose words or ideas they’ve passed off as their own can sue. Perhaps even more importantly, when you plagiarize your web content you are using someone else’s words in order to build trust with current and prospective clients and customers. Needless to say, it is difficult to build trust on a weak foundation, which is precisely what you create with plagiarized web content–even if the original writer never finds out.
Avoiding Plagiarism in Web Content
Following are five tips for how to avoid plagiarism in web content:
1. Use multiple sources for your research. If you only use one source for your research, there is a good chance that your web content may end up at least partially plagiarized, mostly because you are feeding off one writer’s ideas. By using multiple sources for your research, you can create your own ideas and write those.
2. Take the time to understand what you are writing about. If you don’t understand all of the concepts in a subject you have researched, chances are you will use other writers’ words more than you will write your own words. If you take the time to truly understand what you are writing about, you will not find yourself forced to take another’s words instead of providing your own.
3. If you like a very specific, unique idea or quote, cite or link to it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with letting your readers know that you have used other sources to gather your information. Furthermore, when you cite or link to your sources, you are acknowledging the true author behind those words or ideas.
4. Re-read your piece later, editing as necessary. Once you have completed your piece, take a break from it and then come back to it later. You may find that it doesn’t sound completely like your own words, in which case you can edit as needed; or you may find that it sounds perfectly like your words, in which case you can let it stand.
5. Check your piece for plagiarism. There are a wide variety of online plagiarism checkers available, and many of them are free. Even if you are quite certain that your web content is entirely unique, there is no harm in using a free plagiarism checker in order to make absolutely certain.
Keeping these five steps coinciding with your web content will significantly improve the quality of the content. Following the guidelines and maintaining stable, original content can attract a new wave of potential clients.
We can help grow your online reputation and write original, relevant content for your website. Contact us today at Web Content Development to get started on your online platform.