This is one of the most commonly asked questions I encountered during our Be a Published Author Research Program. Many students just don’t understand how lethal this mistake can be for their careers. This is one of those mistakes that can literally destroy a student’s life. In fact this is one of those crimes, where the intentions don’t count. Many students claim that it was unintentional; it doesn’t matter. The intentions don’t matter at all.

One of the most common reasons of this mistake is that the students don’t know what plagiarism is all about. How to avoid it and how to write an article without plagiarism.


In easy words, “copy pasting lines from someone else papers or written material is plagiarism and/or taking idea from someone else’s written material and not giving a reference”

Many students think that if they cite a reference they are fine. Not at all; citing a reference will not protect you if you have copy pasted anyone else’s material.

Plagiarism is also done when the authors don’t copy paste, in fact they write it in their own words but don’t cite the reference. Therefore, all the students need to remember, that plagiarism is an unforgivable action, and the consequence can range from being reprimanded, a life long ban by the journal, or being fired from the job.


Most journals forgive less than 25 percent plagiarized papers. But I believe your plagiarized material should not exceed more than five percent. Why do you need to plagiarize in the first place? You should write everything in your own words and always give a reference. If you follow the following three rules, you will always protect yourself from plagiarism.

• Rewrite your article at least 10 times. When you write your article these many times, it not just enhances the quality of your writing, but it eradicates all the possibilities of plagiarism whatsoever, provided that you still cite a reference to every idea you took from someone else’s written material.

• After writing an article, always check for plagiarism by using a paid software service for plagiarism. There are plenty of plagiarism checkers are available on the internet.

• Always make it a habit to rephrase whenever you write and cite a reference.

• Always cite a reference. Don’t ever forget to cite a reference. Your paper is still plagiarized if if its rephrased until it’s cited properly.

• Remember my formula, “Rewrite it in your own words, and always give a reference.” If you remember this formula by heart. You will finish all the chances of plagiarism.

• If you must use someone’s diagrams, tables, and figures, you take written permission from the original author and the publisher if applicable (still it’s best to create your own tables and figures).

• Don’t think that anything you wrote before can be used without citation and rephrasing. You still need to rewrite and cite a reference. Otherwise, it is called as self-plagiarism.

If you follow these points, you will tremendously reduce the chances of plagiarism. Not avoiding plagiarism can literally destroy your career. Never ever risk your career.


Plagiarism is an academic crime. Remember the formula, “rewrite in your own word, and always give a reference.”

Dr. Hassaan Tohid

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