One of the most important aspects you must keep in mind regarding your content is uniqueness. Plagiarism in any sense is not only bad form but can also be illegal if you ascribe credit for work that is owned by someone else. Checking for duplicate content is something any blogger, article writing company and content publisher should do on a regular basis to ensure the originality of an article and to check for duplicate content that has not been properly attributed to its source.

One of the more popular ways to check for duplicate content and instances of plagiarism in an article is through the use of Copyscape. Copyscape is an online tool that was created in 2004 as a way to check the originality of written material posted on the web. The tool is used in one of two ways: the universal resource locator (URL) of a webpage is loaded into the online software to show if other instances of the page appear elsewhere online. In addition, a premium user can take content (at a cost of 5 cents per search) and paste it into a search screen. This will determine if aspects of the content were taken directly from other sources.

Why is Copyscape an Important Plagiarism Detection Tool  

The existence of a tool such as Copyscape is important for the writing community because it helps protect the integrity of the written word. The writing process is a creative one that can be cheapened very easily and quickly if another person can simply take the words that are the product of your effort and publish them as your own. Worse than that are those individuals who not only take your material as their own but profit from your work.

Plagiarism of original content happens frequently and by different people, both known and unknown. As an example, a famous Twitter war ensued between actors Alec Baldwin and Shia LaBeouf, both of whom were co-starring in the Broadway production of Orphans. At one point during the battle, LaBeouf tweeted, “A man can tell you he was wrong. That he did wrong. That he planned to. He can tell you when he is lost. He can apologize, even if sometimes it’s just to put an end to the bickering.” The problem with his posting was it is the third from last paragraph of author Tom Chiarella’s 2009 essay in Esquire Magazine entitled, “What is A Man?” Run the URL LaBeouf posted on Twitter through Copyscape and chances are you will get a plagiarism hit.

How Do You Keep Content Original  

Keeping your content original should not be difficult to accomplish as long as your words are your own. This seems easier to accomplish when writing about topics that you know and understand well. When you begin to write about subjects that are outside your area of expertise, however, is where problems arise with originality. The easiest way to avoid this is by making sure that you attribute any and all sources that you use to the article. Citing is important in two ways: (1) they give you enhanced credibility and supports your position on a subject; and, (2) it credits the original author as the source of the information that you are using in your article.

Using plagiarized material and passing it off as your own is tantamount to fraud and will cause readers to be distrustful of the integrity of anything you write or post in the future. This distrust can also affect other material published on the same website that is legitimate. All of this can be avoided by observing a simple rule of thumb by not taking ownership of material that is not your own. Utilizing Copyscape can help ensure all content is original and unique.