What Tools and Techniques Can You Use to Avoid Plagiarism in the EE?

As a seasoned IB writer with years of experience, I’ve seen firsthand how daunting the Extended Essay can be for students. It’s a significant undertaking, and plagiarism in the EE is a critical issue that must be carefully handled to maintain academic integrity. In my experience, understanding and avoiding plagiarism not only protects your grades but also upholds the core values of the International Baccalaureate program.

Understanding Plagiarism in the Extended Essay

Let’s start with the basics: what exactly is plagiarism? In simple terms, it involves using someone else’s work or ideas without proper acknowledgment. In the context of your Extended Essay, this could range from copying text directly to paraphrasing someone’s ideas without citing them. Why is this significant? Plagiarism undermines your work’s authenticity and results in severe penalties according to general IB criteria.

Moreover, plagiarism can unintentionally occur when students are unsure how to correctly cite sources or distinguish between common knowledge and ideas that require attribution. This lack of understanding can lead to significant issues, as originality is a cornerstone of the EE. Now, let’s look at the common types of plagiarism in the Extended Essay:

  • Direct Plagiarism. Copying text directly from a source without quotation marks or citations.
  • Self-Plagiarism. Submitting your previous work or mixing parts of earlier projects without permission or acknowledgment.
  • Mosaic Plagiarism. Piecing ideas and phrases from various sources and blending them without proper citations.
  • Accidental Plagiarism. Failing to cite sources correctly or paraphrasing improperly, even if unintentionally.

Therefore, grasping what constitutes plagiarism and its different forms is the first step in avoiding it. This understanding is crucial for the integrity of your EE and your development as a responsible scholar. Recognizing these pitfalls and learning how to overcome them are critical components of your research in the IB program.

Essential Tools to Detect Plagiarism in the EE

Drawing from my years of experience as an IB writer, I’ve come to realize the importance of having the right tools to ensure your Extended Essay is authentic and free from plagiarism. Here, I’ll share some essential tools that have proven invaluable in maintaining the integrity of academic work.

Plagiarism Detection Software

From my experience, plagiarism detection software like Turnitin or Grammarly is crucial for any EE. In my opinion, these tools are not merely for catching errors; they serve as educational resources that teach you how to identify and rectify potential plagiarism issues.

Turnitin, for instance, is widely respected and used in the academic world. It checks your work against an extensive database of sources, providing a detailed report that highlights any similarities or discrepancies. Grammarly also offers a plagiarism checker that scans your text against billions of web pages.

Online Libraries and Databases

Another critical resource in your arsenal should be online libraries and databases. According to general IB criteria, using reliable academic sources is a must, and these platforms provide you with just that.

Online libraries and specific university databases offer access to legitimate academic materials that you can cite with confidence. By using these sources, you ensure that your EE adheres to the highest standards of academic integrity. From my experience, incorporating information from these trusted sources not only enhances the quality of your essay but also safeguards against plagiarism.

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Plagiarism in the EE

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Detailed Overview of Turnitin and Grammarly

As an experienced IB writer, I’ve often relied on specific tools to help students maintain the integrity of their Extended Essays. Two of the most effective tools for detecting and educating about plagiarism are Turnitin and Grammarly. 

Turnitin is a widely recognized plagiarism detection service that is integral to academic writing, especially in the context of the IB:

  • This took checks submissions against an extensive database that includes academic papers, websites, books, and journals. This breadth of sources ensures that almost any potential instance of plagiarism can be identified.
  • When you submit your EE to this tool, it generates a similarity report that highlights text matches and potential plagiarism. This report provides specific percentages of similarity and links to the sources.
  • It also offers tools for teachers to provide feedback directly on the document. These features can be incredibly helpful for refining your EE.

From my experience, this software is not just about detecting plagiarism; it’s a learning tool. It helps students understand how to properly cite sources and paraphrase content, which is crucial in avoiding plagiarism.

Grammarly, while popularly known for grammar checking, also offers a robust plagiarism checker that is useful for students:

  • Its plagiarism checker compares your text against billions of web pages and academic papers from ProQuest’s databases. This ensures a comprehensive scan that effectively detects unoriginal text.
  • It offers advice on grammar, punctuation, style, and sentence structure, as well as plagiarism checks. These elements can enhance the readability and quality of your EE.
  • One of its main features is its real-time correcting capability. Grammarly identifies problems and makes comments as you write, which is really helpful in creating a well-written and creative essay.

Both Turnitin and Grammarly are essential tools in the arsenal of any IB student aiming to produce an original and academically rigorous Extended Essay.

Techniques to Avoid Plagiarism in the EE Writing

I cannot emphasize enough the necessity of establishing good writing skills to guarantee that your Extended Essay is free of plagiarism. Let’s take a look at some great tactics that have proven useful throughout the years.

Mastering the Art of Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is a critical skill in academic writing. It involves rewording someone else’s ideas into your own unique expression while retaining the original meaning. Here’s how you can master this technique:

  • Read and Understand. Before you begin paraphrasing, fully understand the source material. This deep comprehension allows you to convey the information accurately in your own words.
  • Use Your Voice. Express the ideas using your vocabulary and sentence structure, which should differ significantly from the source.
  • Double-Check. Compare your paraphrased version with the original text to ensure it’s sufficiently distinct yet faithful to the meaning.

Even if you’ve paraphrased, you must cite the original source. Paraphrasing without citation is still plagiarism.

Applying Appropriate Citation Styles

Citations are your safeguard against plagiarism. They credit the original authors of the ideas you are using and provide a clear path for your readers to follow your research. Consider these points:

  • Choose the Right Style. Depending on your subject, the IB may require specific citation styles, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago. Ensure you understand which style is expected in your EE.
  • Use Citation Tools. To help maintain accuracy in your citations, use citation generators or management tools like Zotero or EndNote.

Consistently apply the chosen citation style throughout your essay to ensure clarity and compliance with academic standards.

Keeping Organized Research Notes

Starting with organized notes is a technique that pays dividends throughout the writing process. Here’s how you can keep your research well-organized:

  • Create a Source List. As you gather sources, maintain a detailed list including bibliographic information — this will make citation easier later.
  • Develop a Note-Taking System. Whether digital or on paper, develop a system that allows you to link notes to their sources directly. This might include annotating PDFs, using digital notebooks, or maintaining physical index cards.
  • Review Regularly. Review your notes regularly to keep key details fresh in your mind and ensure that all information is correctly attributed before you begin writing your EE.

These techniques are not just about avoiding plagiarism; they enhance the scholarly quality of your work and reflect your dedication to academic integrity. By mastering paraphrasing, applying appropriate citation styles, and keeping organized notes, you set a strong foundation for a successful and original Extended Essay.

Practical Examples of Avoiding Plagiarism in EE

Assume your EE is on psychology and you’re presenting a theory offered by a well-known psychologist. Here’s how to include this thought in your essay without committing plagiarism:

  • Start by thoroughly understanding the theory you’re discussing. Break it down into its key concepts and implications for your research.
  • Rather than copying verbatim from the original source, explain the theory using your own language and interpretation. This demonstrates your understanding and critical thinking skills.
  • After explaining the theory, analyze its relevance to your topic or research question. How does it support or challenge your argument? What insights does it offer?

Finally, don’t forget to cite the original source properly. Even though you’ve explained the theory in your own words, acknowledging the source is essential for academic honesty.

Another practical approach to avoiding plagiarism is seeking guidance from experts in the field. Your EE supervisor or a librarian can offer invaluable insights and tips to ensure your essay remains original and plagiarism-free.


So, preventing plagiarism in EE entails recognizing what it is, using the appropriate tools to identify it, and employing effective prevention strategies. In this approach, you will protect your academic future while also developing vital research and writing skills that will benefit you long after IB. Remember that your EE showcases your hard work, dedication, and honesty. Keep striving for originality, and don’t hesitate to contact our IB writers if you need help with your Extended Essay.

Valerie Green

Valerie Green

Valerie Green is a dedicated educator who spends her time helping high school and college students succeed. She writes articles and guides for various online education projects, providing students with the tools they need to excel in their studies. Friendly and approachable, she is committed to making a difference in the lives of students.

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