Using Copyscape Compare to Avoid Plagiarism in Recaps
One tool I like to use, whether it’s for me personally or managing my writing team, is the Compare tool from Copyscape. It will analyze the text from two sources to give you a comparison of how closely they match.
This is provided by showing a “Similar” percentage rate. Usually, I strive for less than 5%, especially if I am writing a recap. This way, the Textbroker checkers won’t flag the piece as being plagiarized.
Enter the original text in one field. You can also use the web address in the URL field. Personally, I put the original in field number one, but I don’t think it really matters depending on what you’re scanning.
So, Compare will help you avoid plagiarism to an extent. You’ll still have to create the content to make it appealing, comprehensible, and unique. And depending on the size of the article and available information in the recap, that can be incredibly difficult.
End of year/year-in-review email ideas
1. Growth stats
Share stats and facts that show how you’ve grown, such as: reached x customers, welcomed x new team members, opened a new location, moved to a bigger office, launched a new partnership.
2. Milestones & achievements
Look back on some of the intangibles, like awards or nominations, successful events, new or improved products, features, or services, anniversaries, or big projects like a rebrand, new site, or acquisition.
3. Account-specific reports
People love when someone else talks about them or celebrates their achievements. Spotify’s Wrapped is a quintessential example of this type of year-end recap, but it’s great for any device, app, or account with individual stats,
Sharing stats and data for every account can be resource-heavy and sometimes runs the risk of syncing issues or data not loading. Instead, you might take a look at your behavioral data and identify trends within your audience, like the top-selling products, most popular blog posts, most shared social media posts, most popular product of each month, and more.
5. Industry stories
Some businesses will have access to more interesting information than others for the above ideas. If you can’t quite come up with something compelling, consider recapping some top stories or interesting stats of the year in your industry and for each one, share a brief reflection, action you took, or relevant tip.
How to write a report in 7 steps
1 Choose a topic based on the assignment
Before you start writing, you need to pick the topic of your report. Often, the topic is assigned for you, as with most business reports, or predetermined by the nature of your work, as with scientific reports. If that’s the case, you can ignore this step and move on.
If you’re in charge of choosing your own topic, as with a lot of academic reports, then this is one of the most important steps in the whole writing process. Try to pick a topic that fits these two criteria:
2 Conduct research
For academic papers, you’re largely on your own for research, unless you’re required to use class materials. That’s one of the reasons why choosing the right topic is so crucial; you won’t go far if the topic you picked doesn’t have enough available research.
The key is to search only for reputable sources: official documents, other reports, research papers, case studies, books from respected authors, etc. Feel free to use research cited in other similar reports. You can often find a lot of information online through search engines, but a quick trip to the library can also help in a pinch.
3 Write a thesis statement
Before you go any further, write a thesis statement to help you conceptualize the main theme of your report. Just like the topic sentence of a paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes the main point of your writing, in this case, the report.
Once you’ve collected enough research, you should notice some trends and patterns in the information. If these patterns all infer or lead up to a bigger, overarching point, that’s your thesis statement.
For example, if you were writing a report on the wages of fast-food employees, your thesis might be something like, “Although wages used to be commensurate with living expenses, after years of stagnation they are no longer adequate.” From there, the rest of your report will elaborate on that thesis, with ample evidence and supporting arguments.
It’s good to include your thesis statement in both the executive summary and introduction of your report, but you still want to figure it out early so you know which direction to go when you work on your outline next.
4 Prepare an outline
Writing an outline is recommended for all kinds of writing, but it’s especially useful for reports given their emphasis on organization. Because reports are often separated by headings and subheadings, a solid outline makes sure you stay on track while writing without missing anything.
Really, you should start thinking about your outline during the research phase, when you start to notice patterns and trends. If you’re stuck, try making a list of all the key points, details, and evidence you want to mention. See if you can fit them into general and specific categories, which you can turn into headings and subheadings respectively.
5 Write a rough draft
Actually writing the rough draft , or first draft, is usually the most time-consuming step. Here’s where you take all the information from your research and put it into words. To avoid getting overwhelmed, simply follow your outline step by step to make sure you don’t accidentally leave out anything.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; that’s the number one rule for writing a rough draft. Expecting your first draft to be perfect adds a lot of pressure. Instead, write in a natural and relaxed way, and worry about the specific details like word choice and correcting mistakes later. That’s what the last two steps are for, anyway.
6 Revise and edit your report
Once your rough draft is finished, it’s time to go back and start fixing the mistakes you ignored the first time around. (Before you dive right back in, though, it helps to sleep on it to start editing fresh, or at least take a small break to unwind from writing the rough draft.)
We recommend first rereading your report for any major issues, such as cutting or moving around entire sentences and paragraphs. Sometimes you’ll find your data doesn’t line up, or that you misinterpreted a key piece of evidence. This is the right time to fix the “big picture” mistakes and rewrite any longer sections as needed.
7 Proofread and check for mistakes
Last, it pays to go over your report one final time, just to optimize your wording and check for grammatical or spelling mistakes. In the previous step you checked for “big picture” mistakes, but here you’re looking for specific, even nitpicky problems.
A writing assistant like Grammarly flags those issues for you. Grammarly’s free version points out any spelling and grammatical mistakes while you write, with suggestions to improve your writing that you can apply with just one click. The Premium version offers even more advanced features, such as tone adjustments and word choice recommendations for taking your writing to the next level.