Types of Plagiarism

Types of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a phenomenon that has long been common in research. Fortunately, lately, there have been many technical features that allow you to immediately detect the using of someone’s information in the text. Also, over time, this phenomenon began to be divided into several types. Of course, none of them is acceptable, but still, there is a difference between random plagiarism and real fraud.

To analyze whether the text is plagiarized, it is important to understand whether the copying of the paper was special or unintentional. To do this, you will need to delve into the text, and also figure out what types of plagiarism exist. A lot of attention is paid to this in modern colleges and universities. We offer a description of several species that will help you make a general impression of plagiarism and its features.

Paraphrasing Plagiarism

Paraphrasing is considered to be the most common type nowadays. In essence, this is a retelling of the original text using your own words. You may make 5 sentences from the one, add details, or, vice versa, shorten the information provided. 

If you use paraphrasing correctly, it cannot be called plagiarism. To do this, it is important to learn how to quote sources correctly. But some students study different amounts of materials, choose key points, and then rewrite them as if they were their own ideas. In this case, rephrasing can be called plagiarism.

You must understand that there are special rephrasing rules. Each source that you used when writing paper should be indicated. You can always consult with a mentor or order ready-made paper if you want it to be 100% free from plagiarism.

Mosaic or Patchwork Plagiarism

This type of plagiarism is very similar to the previous one. It’s about the student copying parts of different articles or books and pasting to create new paper. It is possible to rewrite pieces of different materials while maintaining the original structure.

This type of plagiarism is more sophisticated since it will take much more time and effort to use it. Paraphrasing the source is much simpler. However, good modern services easily detect patchwork plagiarism. Therefore, do not spoil your academic reputation in this way.

Literal Plagiarism

Even nowadays, with all technical opportunities, there is literal plagiarism. This is a simple copy of the text from the original source and uses it in your own document. Such copying is considered plagiarism if the author has not designed the citation in an appropriate way.

Literal plagiarism is a text where the basic structure, sequence of words and meaning are exactly the same. Even if you remove a few words or swap sentences, it still remains plagiarized and not allowed for use.

If you have studied the source and you liked it so much that you want to use this information in your paper, you need to learn how to quote correctly, use quotation marks.

Invalid Quoting

This is a very common mistake that many students and researchers are accused of plagiarism. You can quote text from the original source, but do it wrong. In this case, it will be called plagiarism and your paper will not even be appreciated.

At every college or university, teachers pay a lot of attention to citation rules. If you missed this information, talk to your teacher. Also, special guides for APA and MLA format can be presented in the public domain. Use them to find answers to your questions.

Global Plagiarism

This type isn’t so common today, as it is very easy to recognize. This is not just copying some parts of the work, but using the complete text of someone else. It’s hard to believe, but some students simply download essays and other academic papers from the Internet. This approach cannot be justified, it is guaranteed to harm your reputation.


How can you even plagiarize yourself? This doesn’t make any sense! This type of plagiarism raises many questions and discussions. Often it is unintentional, but there are other situations. We are talking about such moments when you copy yourself. For example, a year ago you already wrote and handed over the paper, and now you use it again for your academic work. But even though you do not use other people’s labor, your paper is no longer new or original. So the information from it is plagiarism.

There is a second side here. Many students during their studies conduct lengthy studies related to one topic. Therefore, it is not surprising that the content of their papers intersects with each other. Sometimes you need to rephrase yourself, briefly describe the idea in order to offer new options for solving it. In this case, the use of previous materials will not be considered plagiarism. But in any case, you should consult with a teacher to delve into ethical issues. Each college or university may have different requirements and should be considered.

Referring to a Nonexistent Source

What if you want to write a convincing and argumentative text, but you have not found suitable sources? In this case, some students make a dangerous decision: they provide incorrect information about where they got some data. This is also a form of plagiarism, despite the fact that you did not use someone else’s intellectual labor.

How to Avoid Plagiarism

You definitely understand that plagiarism or the presentation of other people’s thoughts as our own can create a lot of problems for each of us, regardless of gender and age. Pupils and students do not count works containing plagiarism. And John Boyden even had to retire in the political race due to the fact that he was convicted of plagiarism. Let’s look at how you can protect yourself from the troubles associated with plagiarism.

You should be good at what you are writing about

If you own the topic, you can write the work in your own words, and not repeat other people’s definitions of certain objects or phenomena. Look for information on the topic you are going to write about. You can do this on the Internet or in books, although the latter is still a more reliable source of information.

The whole point is to combine different sources when writing something. If you rely on only one source, for example, on a book about slavery, the chances that you accidentally copy something increase. If you rely on three books on slavery, one documentary and two original sources, the chances of accidentally copying anything are reduced.

Repeat the information several times

In order for you to describe something in your own words, you must be proficient in the material. That’s why it is important to read the information from different sources. Even if you’ve found the perfect author, try not to follow his or her ideas. It is a huge risk that you will simply repeat one’s thoughts. And that is considered to be plagiarism.

Make footnotes for quotes and sources

At the end of your work should be a bibliography or a list of references. If you use a direct quote from a text of another author, you need to properly format it. Most teachers accept the use of design standards set by the Modern Language Association.

If in doubt, think twice

There are many ways to avoid plagiarism. Here are some of them:

  • Indicate the source in the rephrased expression.
  • Highlight quotes with quotes that, in your opinion, may seem borrowed from other works.

Learn the basics of copyright

Plagiarism is possible not only within the framework of academic practice. It is usually considered to be a crime because the copyright can be violated. There is some necessary information if you’re going to meet the law:

General rule: copyright can’t protect obvious facts. This means that you can use any facts in your manuscripts to justify certain things. Despite this, the words that you may use to explain that things are really protected from copying, especially if such a combination of words is unique or original (copyright protects the original utterance).

Find out what information does not need to be quoted

Not everything in your research needs to be provided with references to sources, because, otherwise, it will become difficult to perceive.

  • It is not necessary to indicate in your studies and final works references to well-known facts, folklore, local legends, and historical events.
  • Your own experience, artworks, etc.
  • Your own videos, presentations, music, and other multimedia stuff you created.
  • Scientific evidence from your own research.

If you still need to copy something, you do not need to write off the entire page or paragraph! Instead, try to convey most of the information in your own words, and the rest should be correctly framed as quotes. Then you should place in the bibliography a link to the original source. If you conscientiously write an essay or essay, the chances of copying anything are fairly low. If you deliberately copy someone else’s work, you run the risk of being caught.

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