Top 10 Types of Plagiarism

Plagiarism, commonly known as using someone else’s work as your own without proper attribution, is a prevalent problem affecting many students doing coursework worldwide. It has gained even more attention since the launch of AI technologies that help detect plagiarism instances in a paper. As a student, the last thing you want is to have your instructor flag your paper for plagiarism.

Example of the 10 types of plagiarism

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The consequences are severe, whether aggregate, accidental, 404 Error, paper-cloning, or accidental plagiarism. It’s a serious academic offense that can lead to loss of credibility, expulsion or suspension from school, and legal action. You must maintain high academic integrity and honesty by avoiding plagiarism to avoid these risks. Here are the ten most common types of plagiarism, their examples, and how to avoid them:

1.   Aggregate plagiarism

Aggregate plagiarism combines information from multiple sources to create a new piece of work. Such work is partially original, as you have provided little or no original material.

Example of aggregate plagiarism

Imagine your professor has asked you to write a paper on the effects of climate change. You research online, obtain information from different sources, and combine it without citing them properly or making up sources. This is aggregate plagiarism, and it can lead to severe issues like suspension from school.

How can I avoid aggregate plagiarism in my paper?

To avoid aggregate plagiarism, properly cite all sources that you use to obtain information for your essay. Use a citation style your instructor recommends, include a reference page or bibliography, and avoid making up sources.

2.   Paper-Cloning plagiarism

Identical copying or paper-cloning plagiarism occurs when you submit or publish part or all of someone else’s work as yours. It’s the most blatant form of plagiarism students commit while writing essays and can lead to suspension from school or rejection.

Example of paper-cloning plagiarism

Let’s say you’re writing a research paper about the causes of climate change. You find a paper on the internet with the same topic and decide to use it as a basis for your paper. Instead of using the paper as a reference and writing your analysis, you copy and paste the whole paper into your document. Even if you make minor changes to some of the wording, your professor will discover that you have engaged in paper-cloning plagiarism.

How can I Avoid paper-cloning plagiarism in my paper?

The best way to avoid paper-cloning during elite writing is to write your paper in your own words. Use plagiarism checkers like Copyscape or Turnitin to ensure your work is original. Then properly cite any documents or sources you use for your writing.

3.   Self plagiarism

Self-plagiarism occurs when you recycle your previously submitted or published work without proper citation. It may happen if you use part or all of your previous work to write a new paper for a different class or assignment. This is without seeking permission from the instructors involved.

Example of Self-plagiarism

Let’s say you wrote an essay on the effects of climate change two years ago. Now you are  writing a research paper on how to avoid the impact of climate change. Reusing part or all of the content from your essay in your research paper when writing academic papers leads to self-plagiarism.

How Can I Avoid Self-Plagiarism in my Paper?

Avoiding self-plagiarism is simple – always cite any previous works you use in the new assignment. Then seek permission from all the instructors involved before recycling your past pieces.

4.   Copy/Paste plagiarism

Copy/paste plagiarism is similar to paper-cloning plagiarism. It involves copying someone else’s work and submitting or publishing it as your own. This is without crediting the original author.

Example of copy/paste plagiarism

Imagine you’ve been asked to write an essay about the benefits and limitations of zoning laws in your state. Copying and pasting part or all of an article from your local state’s website into your paper without proper citation is copy/paste plagiarism.

How can I avoid copy/paste plagiarism in my paper?

To avoid copy/paste plagiarism, always paraphrase or summarize information from other sources to make your essay unique. Read your text out loud and edit it to ensure it is original. Then correctly cite your work and attribute someone else’s quotes.

5.   Direct plagiarism

Direct plagiarism occurs when you copy a section of someone else’s work word-for-word without proper attribution and quotation marks. It’s similar to copy/paste and paper-cloning. However, the difference is that direct plagiarism involves copying a section or paragraph into your work.

example of plagiarism

Example of direct plagiarism

Although direct plagiarism is rare in academia, students commit it more than expected. A case study discovered that direct plagiarism was extensive in German medical dissertations. Massive medical passages had been copied (word-for-word) online without citing or quoting the source. This ruined the German medical doctorate’s reputation in other European countries.

How can I avoid direct plagiarism in my paper?

When writing academic essays, it’s advisable to cite your sources properly to avoid direct plagiarism. Follow a citation style your professor recommends and rewrite someone else’s sentences or paragraphs to make your paper original.

6.   Remix plagiarism

Remix plagiarism happens when you collect information from multiple sources, combine them, and pass it off as your work. This type of plagiarism still appears even if you reword or change a few phrases or sentences in your paper without proper citation.

Example of remix plagiarism

Let’s say you’ve been asked to write an essay about the various branches of psychology. You use multiple sources, including websites and books, to collect information. Then take sentences from those sources, change a few words or phrases, and combine them into a paper. In such cases, you would be guilty of remixing plagiarism.

How can I avoid remix plagiarism in my paper?

To avoid remixing plagiarism, paraphrase the information you get from other sources. Use your ideas and words when writing your paper, and include proper citations or quotations.

7.   404 error plagiarism

404 error plagiarism involves using a dead link as a citation source. It occurs when you copy information from different sources and create a document with inaccurate citations. This leads to non-existent resources, hence a 404 error plagiarism.

Example of 404 error plagiarism

Imagine you have written an essay on the role of psychology in your community, and you include a reference link in your paper. If the link is no longer active or incorrect, it will give a 404 error when clicked on. This leads to 404 error plagiarism.

How can I avoid 404 error plagiarism?

Check your citation links before submitting your work after writing essays. It’s a great way to ensure all links are accurate, active, and verifiable to avoid 404 error plagiarism.

8.   Mosaic plagiarism

This type of plagiarism occurs when you obtain words or phrases from a specific source and use them in your paper without including proper quotations or citations. It also occurs if you use synonyms for someone else’s words or language while retaining the meaning and structure of the original paper.

Example of mosaic plagiarism

Let’s say you’ve been asked to write about the benefits of using new technology for businesses. Then you combine information from different websites into a sentence or paragraph without citing the sources. This is mosaic plagiarism, even though the words are slightly changed.

How can I avoid mosaic plagiarism in my paper

When writing academic papers, cite or quote your sources properly to avoid mosaic plagiarism. Use a referencing style approved by your instructor and reword text from other sources.

9.   Accidental alagiarism

Accidental or unintentional plagiarism occurs when you unknowingly use someone else’s work without citing their sources. It may happen if you misquote the sources or paraphrase information from a source using similar words and sentence structure without attribution.

Example of accidental plagiarism

An excellent example of accidental plagiarism is using a phrase, sentence, diagram, figure, or illustration without knowing it’s someone else’s work. Even if the chart explains a concept or describes a model, failing to cite the source or figure leads to accidental plagiarism.

How can I avoid accidental plagiarism in my paper

Always check your work for similarities to other sources to avoid accidental plagiarism. Use plagiarism checkers like Turnitin or Copyscape and edit your work and provide proper citations to make your paper original.

10. Hybrid plagiarism

Hybrid plagiarism occurs when you combine two or more types of plagiarism. It involves copying information from perfectly cited source papers, mixing, and arranging the data into a new document without citation.

Example of hybrid plagiarism

Let’s say you’re crafting an essay about the impact of the coronavirus on your state’s economy. Copying and pasting information from online sources, rewording some sentences, and including your previous work on the same topic are hybrid plagiarism.

How can I avoid hybrid plagiarism in my paper

Please keep track of all sources you use for your paper and cite them properly. Then avoid all other types of plagiarism by writing your essay in your own words, using the correct citing style, and including all the sources used.


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