Direct Plagiarism: What Is It? How to Avoid It?

October 19th, 2020

Reading time about 13 min

Some people often misuse the easy method of gaining information. High school students often download information from the internet using other people’s work without attribution in their academic papers. This deliberate habit of taking credit for someone else’s textual work is termed as direct plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a huge issue. It is not restricted to the academic world. There are plenty of plagiarism instances in online articles. The presence of online platforms helps individuals to get information from multiple sources. E-books and online archives of journals also provide adequate information.

Direct Plagiarism, Books & laptop

In most cases, direct plagiarism is intentional, but in some cases forgetting to insert quotation marks can lead to direct plagiarism. Whenever the written article contains passages or lines directly copied from another author’s work, this is unethical.

People committing this kind of content scraping are known as content stealers. However, people who use content without any attribution often assume that their plagiarism won’t be detected.

It is vital to note that there are online tools that are adept at plagiarism detection. Advanced plagiarism software can detect copied content with the source very quickly. Hence, it is straightforward to find individuals who have submitted papers with copied content.

The Various Forms of Direct Plagiarism

Direct plagiarism is a form of plagiarism that has many subtypes. A clear example of direct plagiarism is the word for word copying. The well-known types of plagiarism are discussed below:

  • Mosaic Plagiarism:

It’s an intentional form of plagiarism. Mosaic plagiarism occurs when a person copies text from an author and then juxtaposes their own words within that text to alter the text’s appearance subtly. However, the meaning is kept the same.

This superficial alteration is carried out to ensure that plagiarism scanners do not detect the passage’s copied content. But sophisticated plagiarism detectors can easily find this form of direct plagiarism in written work.

Mosaic plagiarism is also known by another term that is patchwork plagiarism, and even as patchwriting. These terms are used to define the nature of this kind of plagiarism, where there is a palpable propensity to hide the copied content.

  • The Word-for-Word Plagiarism: 

In this case, content is copied and pasted without making any changes. This direct plagiarism example can be intentional, but there is also a chance that this can fall under the category of accidental plagiarism. In some instances, students copy reference passages from a text and use it in their academic papers.

The absence of attribution and/or quotation marks makes the entire passage plagiarized content. Minor errors can lead to direct plagiarism. It is essential to review the quoted and paraphrased passages carefully for quotation marks and citations, respectively.

Appropriate authorities severely punish the direct plagiarism violation that involves blatant copying in academia.

Ways to Avoid Direct Plagiarism

It is vital to avoid direct plagiarism because it is a punishable offense. In most cases, it is intentional, and so in academic circles, this form of plagiarism has a long-term effect on a person’s research career. It is best to avoid all types of plagiarism in a paper, but it is essential to avoid direct plagiarism.

People who are inclined to copy text from different sources instead of writing an article, individually, need to remember the simple fact that plagiarism brings zero value to a paper. A modestly written work is far better than a plagiarized article.

Direct Plagiarism, reading papers

Some students lack the confidence of writing assignments. They often find well-written content on the internet and prefer to use it in the hope of getting better grades. But it is vital to note that direct plagiarism is easily detected, and then the entire paper can get canceled.

Copied or duplicate content never helps a written project, and fear of getting low grades shouldn’t propel a person to copy content from different authors.

How to Avoid Mistakenly Copied Content?

Apart from those who commit direct plagiarism intentionally, some individuals mistakenly copy content from one or more sources. For them, there are a few ways to avoid such crucial mistakes. Scan the following points to avoid unintentional direct plagiarism in a paper:

a) Simultaneously Cite Reference Passages:

It is not uncommon to copy a few lines from a reference text to elaborate on the research topic. While taking down lines from a reference book, it is vital to add the citation for that particular reference in the academic papers’ works cited page.

It helps in noting down references correctly. The problem of missing out citations won’t be there when the simultaneous citation process is followed. Correct citation in the paper can remove the issue of providing the wrong attribution against a passage.

b) Follow the Rules Regarding Paraphrasing Content:

An academic essay cannot be a conglomeration of paraphrased passages from different texts. There is a rule regarding the percentage of content that can be paraphrased from other texts. It is vital to adhere to the given percentage.

c) Review and Scan the Paper:

It is vital to recheck the paper for missing quotation marks or erroneous attributions. After manual checking of the paper, it is prudent to check it with a high-quality plagiarism checker. Software plagiarism scanning helps in finding instances of direct copying quickly.

The plagiarism report shows the percentage of copied words present in the document. A scattered phrase throughout the paper that forms a substantial portion of the paper is patchwork plagiarism and requires extensive rework.

However, a low percentage of scattered copied phrases or words aren’t considered as direct plagiarism. But the presence of a single passage that is highlighted as a direct plagiarism instance by the scanner makes the entire paper guilty of direct plagiarism.


Avoiding plagiarism is essential. Direct plagiarism violation is dealt with strictly by examiners. In case a person unintentionally paraphrases text from someone else’s work, the problem gets solved by scanning the paper with an advanced plagiarism detector.

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