How University Students Can Avoid Plagiarism When Writing Research Paper, Thesis | Complete Guide

Written by Jhon Butler

Plagiarism is unethical conduct that is perpetrated (intentionally or unintentionally) by students or researchers while presenting their ideas.

Students often copy material from someone else’s work and use it in their research paper while falsely claiming its own without giving credit to the original writer.

The consequences are dire against plagiarism in thesis writing. You can face permanent expulsion, course failure, or academic penalties.

In this article, we will guide you on how university students can avoid plagiarism when writing a thesis or research paper by sharing some practical writing tips. We will also share why students commit plagiarism and why it should be avoided.

Why Should Students Avoid Plagiarism in Thesis or Research Paper Writing?

Plagiarism is considered a violation of academic rules. Students who commit plagiarism lose their reputation and credibility.

Even if a university student has committed plagiarism only once in their academic career, their whole scholarly career may get questioned, including previous assignments and exam paper submissions.

Some students commit plagiarism unintentionally if they are not familiar with proper reading and writing ethics. It is recommended to check for plagiarism if you have majorly relied on online study sources.

Besides a ruined reputation, various institutes have a strict policy against plagiarism, which may result in permanent expulsion, failure, or a ban from performing research for a particular duration.

Why Do Students Commit Plagiarism?

The following reasons compel students to commit plagiarism in their research work.

  • It seems easy to copy and paste material in your research to increase credibility.
  • Students find it challenging to write a research paper due to its extensive word count.
  • Pressure to meet the submission deadlines.
  • Lack of knowledge on the assigned topic.
  • A student may be unaware of academic rules or they may lack training.

Guidelines to Avoid Plagiarism in Research Paper

Thesis writing or research paper writing goes through a complete process following a specific structure. Generally, the guidelines are defined by the educational institute or research center to specify the threshold for plagiarism which can be minimized or avoided by following these guidelines.

Research Data Properly

You first must research data from different sources to collect sufficient information about your topic. The Internet can provide credible platforms, and you should gather information from as many sources as possible.

There are broad chances that your chosen topic has different sections of knowledge scattered online. Give it your best shot to visit as many knowledge areas as possible. Do not copy-paste data from other sources. Only collect them for your study and make sure it’s relevant to your thesis topic.

It’s recommended to start early on your research so you can get sufficient time to gather and compile the collected information. You can create a structure to use this information in different areas of your thesis writing.

Paraphrase Properly

This technique can considerably save you from plagiarism and improve your writing style. Paraphrasing is about studying information from a source and presenting it in your own words, fluent or improved.

Students can mention an author’s idea or quotations in their own words by relating them to their thesis topic. It’s a practical technique that assesses your reading and writing skills. It would be best if you exchanged certain words and phrases with relevant meanings that seem most suitable for the context.

Moreover, this technique is beneficial if you’re looking to manage the word count on your thesis or research paper.

But do know the proper paraphrasing technique means to properly read, understand, and implement a piece of information in your own words.

Inappropriate paraphrasing can lead to direct plagiarism, like reading from one place and writing it to another. It’ll be just like manual copy-pasting; which can lead to increasing plagiarism instead of avoiding it.

Cite the Sources

This step is another important aspect concerning the researched material from online sources when you’re studying and collecting information to feature in your research work.

Referencing and citation is one of the most effective ways to get you a pass for directly featuring a quotation or an idea in your written work. You can add quotation marks at the beginning and end of the section you have taken from another source.

There are different referencing styles like APA, MLA, Harvard, or Chicago to denote that you have borrowed the specific piece of writing from the mentioned source.

Attach a reference page at the end of your thesis or research work. Ensure to add all the references for the material you have featured in your content.

Evaluate with Plagiarism Checker

Finally, when you have compiled all the information and knowledge in your thesis, it’s time to give it a second look to find out any errors or mistakes.

It’s possible to detect grammatical or spelling mistakes from the naked eye. But if you want to identify duplication, it might take hours.

Moreover, you can’t afford to risk it by submitting the research paper without checking for plagiarism. Therefore, running your thesis paper through an online plagiarism checker is ideal for saving time and effort.

Such AI-based tools check your research content through millions of web pages to state the extent of duplication. They also provide a detailed report that identifies the plagiarized content from your research work.

The plagiarism report can be attached to your thesis paper as supporting documentation to ensure the quality of work. Some institutes define the bearable limit for plagiarism which can be stated with the help of a plagiarism report.


In this article, we shared some practical guidelines for university students to help them avoid plagiarism in their research papers. We also discussed why students commit plagiarism and why it should be avoided at all costs.

With the help of technology, students have gained the privilege to evaluate their work before the final submission. It allows students to submit their academic work confidently by guaranteeing the legitimacy of providing valuable research on the assigned topics.

Join The GrantMe Program

Get Started