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How Much Plagiarism Is Allowed in Academic Writing?

In academic writing, the number one thing that students fear the most is plagiarism. Submitting plagiarized content attracts harsh penalties, and this can impact their career life negatively. However, even if you write an original piece, chances are that there will always be a certain percentage of plagiarism. Now, the main question is, how much plagiarism is allowed in academic writing? Keep reading this guide as we give an in-depth analysis of plagiarism in research and how to not plagiarize a research paper.

What percentage of plagiarism is acceptable?

Even if you write a text from scratch, there will always be some plagiarism traces. One plagiarism software checker might fail to identify plagiarism in a document, while some other software highlights some plagiarism traces. This raises the question of how much plagiarism is allowed in research paper.

Now, to understand how much plagiarism is allowed in college, the percentage rates vary based on the type of paper and the institute’s guidelines and requirements. Nonetheless, should your paper have some plagiarism traces, then it shouldn’t exceed 15%.

Why is it important to avoid plagiarism?

Plagiarizing academic papers means going against the set rules and guidelines or breaching academic integrity. Besides, avoiding plagiarism is essential as it keeps the respect and integrity of a student. For instance, if you submit a plagiarized piece of academic paper, you risk losing future references and connections that could help you achieve your career goals.

What’s more, if you are still advancing your career and getting financial aid, you risk losing financial assistance the moment you submit plagiarized work. Again, if you are a leader, you ought to show a good example to others. Therefore, plagiarizing your work might cost you to lose your leadership position.

From the explanation, it is evident that plagiarism is one serious offense, and every student should learn and devise strategies to ensure they submit clean work free from plagiarism.

Strategies to avoid plagiarism

It is evident that plagiarism is unacceptable in academic writing. Therefore, how can a student avoid plagiarizing their paper? What are some of the strategies to apply to submit a plagiarism-free paper? Let’s review the best approaches below:

  • Stay committed to doing your own work

One major reason that can make students plagiarize content is waiting until the last minute. When they realize it is hard to accomplish the task, the only solution is to copy other people’s work, which attracts plagiarism. The best way to evade this is to start handling the assignment as soon as you get the guidelines.

  • Cite the sources

Of course, it is inevitable to use other people’s phrases and ideas in your writing. Therefore, always cite the source you got the information from, whether it is a website, an article, a book, or any other source; always cite following the required style to avoid plagiarizing the content.

  • Paraphrasing

Another practical strategy that will help you evade plagiarism is paraphrasing. Paraphrasing doesn’t imply you change some words in a sentence or replace synonyms of some phrases. Paraphrasing is all about reading a piece, understanding it, then writing in your own words.

  • Use plagiarism checkers

Even after doing the research and writing your own words, some phrases will still highlight as plagiarism. Therefore, even after paraphrasing, pass your document through plagiarism checkers to check for any traces of plagiarism so that you can review and rewrite the sections further.


Students usually go out of the way when writing academic papers. Therefore, failing due to plagiarism can be frustrating. That is why it is essential to avoid plagiarism as much as possible, and this guide is all you need.

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