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How to remove plagiarism from thesis

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Plagiarism is one of the greatest dangers and fears for students and researchers regarding their academic writing. To understand, how to remove plagiarism from thesis, dissertation, article, or research paper efficiently and reduce the risk, you first need to understand, what plagiarism is and which different types exist. Further, it is significant to learn about the possible ways which you can take as well as the variety of the existent tools and software which you can apply to not only reduce the risk but to take control of your work.

This article makes you familiar with diverse strategies and methods to avoid plagiarism or any kind of duplicated text in your academic writing to save you from sleepless nights.

How to remove plagiarism from thesis? The most efficient ways

Before you start to learn the different options, which enable you to be sure how to write thesis without plagiarism by making use of correct citations and expressing your principal ideas and content in free writing, let me first introduce the significance of the term “plagiarism”.

As defined by Oxford University, plagiarism means:

presenting someone else's work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgment. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition.

As you understand from the quote (note: I clearly indicated it as a direct citation) it means every kind of unethical behavior, such as using ideas, expressions, and thoughts from others and giving them out as yours (either planned or accidental) without acknowledging the author.

When writing your dissertation, and at any later moment of your academic career, it is crucial to know how to reduce plagiarism in thesis, how to include ideas and thoughts or citations correctly in your own writing, and introduce conceptions from other research projects in the expected academic form. The decision on how and what to quote and in which way you are allowed to make use of established ideas or free content is not always easy. Especially when you are working on your theoretical sections and dealing with different sources from the literature (for example when writing your Literature Review) you need to know how to reduce or better avoid plagiarism.

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Golden rule: Correct quoting and citation

The first golden rule of how to avoid plagiarism in academic writing – you may already guess – is correct quoting! When you work with texts, expressions, and phrases from another academic, transmitting ideas or introducing research outcomes – may be a theory or model – you need to make it visible and separate it clearly from your own writing. 

Universities and academic institutions have different formal requirements when it comes to layout. But regardless if you include a direct citation which has to be put in quotation marks, separated from the running text, and written in italic letters: The most significant point is, that you clearly name the author and indicate the publication (original source) you took it from and – in case of introducing a direct quote – that you keep the text exactly as it is (without any changes from your part, which are not explicitly mentioned). This is one of the most important and safest ways how to remove plagiarism from thesis.

Paraphrasing and summarizing are key strategies

To take control of the risk to copy other authors, you need to know some key strategies on how to minimize plagiarism in thesis. In addition to the consideration and application of the main rules and norms of correct citation you should make use of the following prime methods to prevent plagiarism:

1. Create of your own sources.
2. Read a paragraph and paraphrase.
3. Read the text and crystallize the essentials.

What does this mean in practice? Without any doubt, the first and most efficient way of how to remove plagiarism from thesis is nothing else than the self-conducted data collection and creation of (primary) sources. Data sets and results which are fruit of your investigation, documentation and analysis are the safest of all.

However, there are further options of how to avoid plagiarism in dissertation – and for sure, you will need to make use of them, as you need to discuss and critically reflect and get in dialogue with conceptions and ideas from other authors in your theoretical and discussion chapters. Here you can make use of paraphrasing or summarizing ideas and information. To paraphrase simply means that you express things in your own words.

Read a passage, close the book and write down, what you remember.

In addition, it always helps to summarize. This simply means breaking writing down to its essence, crystallizing the most important details, and clearing it from unnecessary, supplementary information.

How to remove plagiarism from thesis: The best tools to reduce the risk

In fact, these strategies are not the only way to clear your dissertation from plagiarism. To be absolutely sure of how to reduce plagiarism percentage in thesis, you are free to apply citation programs and software to manage your references and quotes. To give you an idea – Citavi, Zotero, EndNote, Mendeley, and others. Even Word contains a reference manager! The programs are available in different versions and prices (starting from a basic low price or free of charge version).

Want to be absolutely sure? Make use of a plagiarism checker

Indeed, the advantage of citation programs is that you can apply them from the very start is not the only way how to remove plagiarism from thesis in a technical way. There are further devices and different kinds of software to remove plagiarism from thesis when you already reached the moment of finalizing your manuscript and want to be absolutely sure that your writing is completely free of plagiarism is to make use of a so-called plagiarism-checker like Quetext, Plagiarismcheckerx or Edubirdie. Even Grammarly provides an extension.

The functionality is not so difficult: All you need to do is to drag and drop or upload your text or a certain passage on a server and the program will check your text and provide you with the result (highlighting and providing the client with the percentage of plagiarism in the writing in question). A very popular option how to remove plagiarism from thesis is Turnitin, a tool that is easy to handle and provides a frequently used gratis version.

Summary

Reducing and avoiding plagiarism in your writing is essential for every academic. Even if it is necessary and required to discuss and reflect on other people’s research and ideas, it is most significant that you always keep the correct ethics norms and moral behavior in mind and know, how to remove plagiarism from thesis, articles, and paper. To help yourself, make use of available tools and resources so that you can be absolutely sure to acknowledge other authors’ works in the correct way and submit your writing in its best version.

Frequently asked questions on how to remove plagiarism from thesis

There are several possibilities of how reduce plagiarism in your thesis. Combine traditional ways of paraphrasing, summarizing and self-conducted data collection with available online tools and programs (plagiarism-checker). 

Many plagiarism-checker and softwares for correct referencing are available in  different versions. Usually, you can access a basic or test version which is free of charge, or only accessible for a  limited time or word number. After that you can decide if update and buy the extention.

When writing a research paper, you should benefit from the available resources, tools and ways of plagiarism prevention: Start to work with reference programs (mentioned above), use the common strategies (try to express things in your own words) and apply a plagiarism-checker.

To remove plagiarism in an article, you can apply the same tools and techniques which you use for a thesis or research paper: Try to say things in your own words and apply online resources to be absolutely sure.

Expressing key information, ideas and content from other texts in your own words is the best version to keep your text free from plagiarism. Paraphrasing and summarizing are the prime strategies and should be applied when ever it is possible. 

About the author:

Picture of Dr. Friederike Jurth
Dr. Friederike Jurth

Possibly you already heard of me through different media channels. My name is Dr. Friederike Jurth, and I hold a certificate from Harvard in Higher Education Teaching. Since 2010, I have given lectures on Methodology, Empirical Research, Anthropology, and Transcultural (Music) Studies in collaboration with universities in the United States, Germany, Spain, and Brazil. In 2010, I began a 7-year-long fieldwork project in Rio de Janeiro and have since presented my research at conferences worldwide, including in Japan, the United States, Australia, Brazil, Thailand, Switzerland, and many other countries. Additionally, I have worked as a lecturer and researcher with Germany’s renowned UNESCO Chair.

After completing my doctoral dissertation with summa cum laude, I aimed to unite, condense, and share the steps, ways, and details of my unique methodological and structural approach that I developed during my Ph.D. and that ultimately helped me achieve this result. By concentrating and putting them together into an elaborate academic conception, MyThesis Academy was born. Motivated by the sole aim and objective to help my students through all steps and stages of their thesis journey, MyThesis Academy enables them to achieve their best possible results in the shortest time, independent of their specific area of research.

In addition to my extensive teaching and research experience, I am part of the authors of the Cambridge Companion to Music in Brazil 2024, published by Cambridge University Press & Assessment, where I contribute as a Cambridge Author. This work is a co-operative project conducted remotely from Cambridge, England, United Kingdom.

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