A formula to help you avoid being called a plagiarist

Writing has always been my interest. But, at times I wonder why I just can’t squeeze my brain to produce something worth reading in comparison to my friends. Be it literary or creative non-fiction, I always depend on my luck at gathering some interest to write. Or worse, look for ‘pressure.’

More realizations came in when I got a job at Virtual Assistant Technologies, Inc. where my task demands more of writing. But because of the pressing time given per writing activity, I’m able to write.

Not a good behavior, though.

But, let’s face it. Writing is something that demands your interest. More so when it comes to topics you’re writing about. People who are into content writing like myself go for one tool when a topic out of our line of interest gets in the way. REWRITING.

And thanks to our company’s main man, Dr. Craig Donnelly, for the rewriting tips he has shared with me during our 4-hour training over Skype. His writing principle boils down to one formula: Gathering + Tweaking = Fresh Content.

The Formula

The formula is simple, right? It only takes two main stages before you create a fresh-looking content without being accused of plagiarism. Copying is a bad thing, we know that. So it’s best if you gather ideas from various sources, not from a single article only. This can help you avoid the possibility of following the same format and sentence arrangement in the article.

Data gathering

Data gathering is easy if you have access to the internet. Millions of articles are available at your disposal online. All you need is a keen sight for what’s good and what’s not. With your keyword, look for articles that best embody your intended point. Do not copy and paste the entire article on your new document. Instead, copy the part which you only need.

After which, try to outline the details that you’ve gathered. Decide which should come first, next, and last. Forget the introduction and conclusion first. Although, it is best to write from the very start of your article, most writers say that writing the introduction after you’ve written the body could be a great idea if you want to produce a very effective intro. Why? An introduction sometimes, encapsulates the main idea or the thesis of your article. If you have the body, then you can surely have full knowledge of what to put in your ‘capsule.’

Tweaking

Now that you have the details, the next thing to do is to tweak them. That is, express them in your own words and tweak their structure.

In doing this successfully, understanding the content may help a lot. If you get the idea of the original content, you are sure to turn them into a more effective expression. Good vocabulary knowledge can also help you out. Your word memory bank can be a big factor for you to express point in a natural way. Avoid replacing a word with its synonyms; this might not be very effective since words are used in the context. Sometimes, a term may be synonymous to the other but they are not used in the same way because one term is mostly used in a particular situation only and the other term to another different situation.

When tweaking is over, write the introduction and the conclusion. As I said earlier, it’s better to write the intro last. But if you decide to write it prior to the body, fine. But don’t forget to go over it before you finally post or submit it. As regards the conclusion, well, there are so many ways you can do it. You may summarize your point (very common). You may pose a challenge (very challenging J). You may ask a question (very powerful). Or you may CALL THE READERS TO ACTION (very effective).

I hope this simple formula can give you an idea of how to copy without being called a plagiarist. Remember, that’s bad!

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