Plagiarism and Different Types of Plagiarism

September 3rd, 2020

Reading time about 13 min

What is Plagiarism? 

Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work, content, or ideas and present as his/her work. In other words, plagiarism is simply an act of fraud. It involves both conditions like steal someone else’s work, present as their work, and lying about it afterward. In simple words, plagiarism is copying words or ideas from someone else’s work without giving credit, give incorrect information about the source of a quotation. Also, it is important to remember that there are many types of plagiarism.

Students in classroom

Plagiarism is illegal and against ethics as it infringes on another writer’s work, which often has the copyright and the trademark of that particular write-up or work. It also gives them ownership of them for that work. Thus, copying something from other’s work without giving proper accreditation to them is morally unethical, and legally too.

For example, the owner of a copyright can sue a plagiarizer in federal court for copyright violation. There are also some primary reasons for increasing plagiarism among students. Some students deliberately plagiarize when they feel themselves in a high-pressure situation and have to submit an assignment or project on a given deadline. 

Then they go for plagiarism. Often, this behavior is a result of poor time management and organization skills. Most students who plagiarize do it unintentionally because they don’t have the academic skills to avoid depending on other’s work or because they want to save their time. 

The Common Types of Plagiarism

1. Direct Plagiarism

It is a severe form of plagiarism because it is word-to-word copying of a section of someone’s work without quotation marks. Copying someone else’s work is unethical and academic dishonesty, and it may result in disciplinary actions or expulsion from the institution. 

2. Self Plagiarism 

Self-plagiarism is the most accessible and straight forward form of plagiarism. It’s a perfect example of borrowing materials from one’s previous work without the knowledge of the professor. 

Suppose a student uses a part of his/her term paper that they wrote in high school and add that part to the college course assignment without the prior knowledge to the educator then it gets regarded as self-plagiarism. 

If the student is submitting the same piece of works for assignments in varied classes without prior permission from both professors, then the paper becomes a self-plagiarized paper.

3. Accidental Plagiarism 

If an author or a writer neglects to cite their sources, unintentionally paraphrases or some other work without attribution then the writer commits plagiarism. It is Accidental plagiarism and even though the word accidental is attached to it, this form of plagiarism is also given equal importance compared to any other form of plagiarism.

4. Paraphrasing 

In paraphrasing plagiarism, a writer usually copies or takes a central idea or some essential points from someone else’s work. After using some synonyms and restructuring the sentences, they add that content in their work and present as their content but without proper attribution.

If the writer mentions proper citing with references and credits, then it won’t be considered as plagiarism. But if a writer takes words, ideas, sentences and not only this but if he/she translate text from another writer’s content, written in other language and don’t mention proper credits, references and citing then it would be considered as paraphrasing plagiarism.

5. Verbatim (copy & paste)

A person involved in verbatim plagiarism when he or she directly copy text from a source and paste it in his/her work without properly citing the information, even if delete or change a couple of words here and there.

If someone wants to use the same words from a source, then he or she should quote the reference by putting the copied text in quotation marks.

Plagiarism in schools

6. Mosaic Plagiarism 

It is the process in which students use synonyms to replace the words of the original content and present the work as their own. In mosaic plagiarism, the students use the author’s main or central idea and argument with just making replacements of words or sentences or merely restated that with their own words and vocabulary, without changing the meaning or central purpose of the original content.

In mosaic plagiarism, students do not use exact original sentences or words, but they take the idea or main points of the content and present that by using their wording and sentences. It’s quite easy for academic teachers or professors to find plagiarized content. It’s so because they check and give marks on essays and reports that based on the original ideas and arguments written by the students. 

Know to Avoid Plagiarism 

It’s a difficult task to create original content and avoid all of the types of plagiarism. Avoiding plagiarism is easy by using quotation marks in the text when including direct quotes. This saves the writer from including any kind of duplicate content in the text. 

One can also paraphrase, which means that the academically dishonest writer has used the information that is perfect for his/her research paper in their own words. As a solution, there is an option of citing. In order to avoid plagiarism, it is important to give proper credit to the source creator through citation.

Also, the writer can use the quotation marks whenever he/she is directly using a phrase from any other people’s work. While using the quote one should exactly use it in the way it was in the original content. 

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