What to do to avoid plagiarism in the thesis?

The common denominator of the people who are doing their thesis is that when they present it to the evaluating professors, they tell them that there is plagiarism in their document.

It is necessary to mention that, the main reason for the plagiarism is not the bad intention of the thesis students, but the absence of the proper handling of the norms to cite correctly, that is, it is an involuntary plagiarism. It is known that there are multiple writing standards that are responsible for standardizing the use of citations and references in the writings, namely: APA Standards, ICONTEC Standards, Vancouver Standards, Functional System, MLA, among others.

In that sense, it is pertinent to take into account that according to the researcher Pedro Margolles: “If the degree of similarity between two writings is higher than 20%, it is considered plagiarism”. Many wonder how this degree of similarity is measured, and the answer is: through the use of various anti-plagiarism software.

Undoubtedly, the most effective way to avoid plagiarism is to cite correctly, either through a textual quote or paraphrasing. Of those two alternatives, we recommend that the second one be used more frequently; whereas, the paraphrase is seen with good eyes, because the evaluators consider that a greater effort was made when expressing in other words, the ideas of the cited author. On the contrary, doing copy + paste is understood as disinterestedness on the part of the thesis student.

Next, we are going to give you 5 paraphrasing techniques that will help you avoid plagiarism:

1) Change the grammatical function of some words.


Original- “The specimen thinks about changing his life”.

Paraphrase- “The specimen thinks about changing his life”.

2) Use of synonyms.


Original- “The death of Rubén Aguirre was unexpected”.

Paraphrase- “The death of Rubén Aguirre was sudden”.

3) Change the order of the words.


Original- “Trump expressed several xenophobic words.”

Paraphrase- “Several xenophobic words expressed Trump”.

4) Use different structures for sentences.


Original- “Social networks have transformed interpersonal relationships”.

Paraphrase- “Interpersonal relationships have been transformed due to social networks”.

5) Change the structure of the sentence and use different connectors.


Original- “It seeks to expand democracy, additionally civil participation.”

Paraphrase – “It seeks to expand civil participation, also democracy.”

Finally, it is important to bear in mind that whenever paraphrasing, the corresponding author should be mentioned, it is not a matter of paraphrasing to place the text as if it were his own authorship, since plagiarism would be incurring in the same way.

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