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Types of Plagiarism and How to Avoid Them

by - Diana Thenerd

Posted on June 16, 2018 18:13

  • Introduction

Plagiarism is pure dishonesty, copying another person's piece of work without giving him or her credit. (Elander, Lusher 2010). It is done through word-to-word copying or paraphrasing another person's original done piece of work. For example, if you borrow an essay and turn it into your own, you are actually plagiarizing.

  • Word to Word plagiarizing

There are a few types of plagiarisms that I would like to discuss in this paper. The first type is called word to word plagiarism ( Elander, Lusher 2010). This is changing the first part of the opening sentence of a paragraph then copying the rest of the paragraph making it your own new done idea.

  • Paraphrasing

The second plagiarism is known as paraphrasing. This is just substituting the original words with our own words but maintaining the same meaning of the paragraph. This is common in student writings. The writing will seem original to a new reader but it is purely another person's original work presented in new words without any reference.

  • Mosaic plagiarism

The other type is mosaic plagiarism. This is a brilliant way of plagiarism whereby you copy some words of an original copy and scattering them around your piecework (Dugan, 2006). It is caused by sloppy note taking, but it is purely stealing and intentional and should not be excused. In this type of plagiarism, writers add a new opening sentence of the paragraph making it seem different but it is copied. The culprit then interchanges the phrases but maintaining the same idea of the original work.

  • Patchwork plagiarism

Another type is patchwork plagiarism. The writer or the reader of the piece of work takes the words or phrases of the original writing and using them in their own work without quoting or citing the author. Patchwork plagiarism is a very common type of plagiarism.

  • Unintentional plagiarism

The other type of plagiarism is unintentional plagiarism. This happens when one incorrectly cites the source they used to get the information. It does happen unintentionally but it is very dishonest to the author and amounts to fraud and dishonesty.

  • How to avoid Plagiarism

From the above highlighted types of plagiarism, there are ways through which they can be avoided.  Some of these ways include but not limited to;

  • Honesty

The first way of preventing plagiarism is to simply be honest with your work. (Dugan, 2006). Honesty is a virtue that all writers and researchers should embrace and the same can go a long way in helping avoid plagiarism.

  • Accreditation

Give credits in places they are deserved. Acknowledge where you have sourced the information. This can be done through citing where you have gotten the information, using italics on copied phrases.

  • Embracing originality

Another way is to be original as possible. Excessively copying another person's work is very inconveniencing and undermining to the author. You can also rewrite the plagiarized phrases in your own words (Wagner 2012). Always quote and cite appropriately. For you to cite properly always revisit the formats and styles of writing. If the format of citing or quoting is not specified, be kind to always ask the lecturer or the instructor of the project or research work. The few common format universally used includes APA, MLA, Chicago and Harvard.

  • Proper citations

In the case of word–to-word plagiarism you need to properly cite the author because the writing is another person’s idea even though it is in different words. You should always make an effort to distinguish between your original, copied and general common knowledge to avoid plagiarism (Wagner 2012).

  • Use of quotation Marks

Finally, if you are not sure of your sauce of information always consult your instructor. Use quotation marks around a copied phrase. If all your works came from one source, use the author's name to begin the sentence or make a way of mentioning them in the work.


Duggan, F. (2006). Plagiarism: prevention, practice and policy

Elander, J., Pittam, G., Lusher, J., Fox, P., & Payne, N. (2010).Evaluation of an intervention to help students avoid unintentional plagiarism by improving their authorial identity. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 35(2), 157-171.

Fair, P., Kuhn, G., & Wagner, M. J. Types of Plagiarism.2012. (Wagner 2012) dope essays

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