How Much Plagiarism Is Allowed in Writing Tasks?

What Plagiarism Is and How to Avoid It

In the academic field, by this term, we mean a deliberate or accidental copying of someone’s text, its blocks, or separate phrases without proper citing and providing credit. Sadly, it’s quite a common thing among students when composing a term paper, thesis, dissertation, etc. And they even don’t wonder about the consequences of such a decision while composing it. Just when everything is finished, they realize (with the help of specific detecting platforms) that their work isn’t unique and has similar paragraphs to other students’ tasks or scientists’ publications. Feeling that something went wrong, a student tries to fix this problem by paraphrasing or rewriting their piece. But nothing changes greatly.

You may ask, what to do in this case? Sure, it’s time to use specific copy-detecting websites and tools to revise a text and minimize similarities to the max. However, the only question left to solve — what percentage of plagiarism is acceptable — just to get assured that there won’t be a need to rewrite a text once more after applying those tools.

So, how much plagiarism is allowed in a research paper? Generally, zero percent. But, it may vary depending on university requirements, types. Also, there’s an approximate percentage of plagiarism allowed in college that is 10-15%, which gives chances for each student to use other sources and data provided all the mentioned information is cited well.

How to determine what is an acceptable amount of plagiarism?

It’s clear that the percentage you see on a report is a measurement of a text that was found in other sources. And it can include both detected similarities, like famous scientists’ quotes or statistics, common terminology, etc. that you can’t change, and also content that is copied. If you need to add some quotes, it’s absolutely allowed and even obligatory to use in a task to strengthen it and resolve the examined issue.

Because of different plagiarism cases, we can divide it into:

  • Citations that are necessary for research;
  • Excessive use of quotations that are cited;
  • Improperly cited thoughts and ideas;
  • Citation of others’ quotes as your own.

Nevertheless, remember that the plagiarism checker percentage allowed in academic research should show a 90-95% level of uniqueness. That’s one of the answers to the question of how much plagiarism is allowed.

Plagiarism Types

We can define both ‘innocent and on purpose types that can be recognized by the following features:

  • Complete plagiarism
    Content stealing is the total copying of a content block of another writer and presenting them as your own. It’s the most violent act of academic offense, which can lead to serious outcomes. You can get a poor grade; the maximum punishment is not being approved for the exam and future thesis work.
  • Direct
    Copying another person’s essay by using with no quotations and showing it as your own work.
  • Source-based
    Improper citation of references. It also can be divided into data fabrication and falsification, which mean information forgery, its changing, omitting by providing false impressions.
  • Self-plagiarism
    Appears when you copy your previous essays.
  • Paraphrasing
    The most common type that is characterized by rewriting paragraphs using other words without changing the meaning. This method can help you to avoid complete plagiarism, but a detecting software is likely to highlight it as a found similarity.

So, given a variety of plagiarism types, we can’t state what percentage is considered plagiarism confidently. Nevertheless, it’s expected that your paper, thesis, or dissertation is plagiarism-free, as it proves your high academic competence, ethics, and ability to cope with tons of literature by expressing your own ideas and making conclusions.

How to write a thesis on your own to avoid plagiarism?

First, what you should do is follow all the required rules concerning writing your thesis, and no issue will occur. Second, you should possess enough background and knowledge to be able to state your thoughts or show arguments against the main idea of the examined topic. So, before getting started and making some drafts for your research, find out how much plagiarism is allowed in this kind of a document to be approved at the final stage of its submission. But it has to be no more than 15%.

When composing a term paper on your own, you should be well familiarized with your topic and literature list needed for its analysis. While reading a publication or scientific article, make notes, highlight the most pertinent information you can use in your research. But, try to change it as much as you can, don’t copy it word by word. Few things you can leave unchanged are statistical data, researchers’ personal investigations, and their quotes. It’s not prohibited to use it in your work, but do it well — make citation marks and references correctly.

Even if you use scientists’ examinations and studies on your topic, for your work to make it stronger, more convincing, you also should consider its amount and how much of a paper can be plagiarized with citations and quotes. You’ll agree that if there’s a sufficient amount of quotes, it may degrade your personal efforts because you simply build your thesis from others’ ideas. Thus, don’t forget to balance its usage. What’s more, you’ll get more approvals from the examination board officers when you produce unique personal statements on the examined issues.


Keep in mind, when crafting a term paper that is supposed to implement quotes and citations, put it moderately and logically in your text. It will help not to overload it, and also will make it academically suitable and competitive. Additionally, be informed about how much plagiarism is allowed in research paper to get a positive assessment making it relevant to the university or college requirements. Do not neglect one of the key rules for writing a worthy thesis — what is the acceptable percentage of plagiarism — not to be seen by your faculty as a thief, as it may cost you a lot.

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