What Are Different Types of Plagiarism & How to Avoid It

Ranging from failing grades to suspension, expulsion to a damaged reputation, legal challenges to monetary repercussions, plagiarism bears multiple consequences you should work to avoid. 

Simply put, plagiarism is the use of another scholar’s ideas without proper acknowledgment. Who would lower themselves to such levels of academic deceit with all these consequences in mind? Unfortunately, many first-time writers perpetrate plagiarism without their knowledge.

 Although you might have added references to all sources you have cited, there are many other methods in which your work could be plagiarized. This article will familiarize you with various plagiarism types to help overcome accidental errors and edit any issues that could amount to plagiarism. 

Different types of plagiarism

What are the types of plagiarism one ought to avoid? Ideally, your paper should be original and credit all sources you use to back your claims. However, some plagiarism types may be perpetrated without knowledge. 

It is thus best to know various types of plagiarism, improving your ability to nub these issues in your research paper. The most common types of plagiarism are:

1. Direct plagiarism

This is the commonly known type of plagiarism and involves copying another writer’s work directly into your paper. Direct plagiarism is common among first-timers who are yet to understand how to integrate evidence from other sources into their work.

All ideas from another source should be paraphrased and properly cited in your work to overcome this type of plagiarism. 

2. Aggregate plagiarism

This is the type of plagiarism where a paper is based entirely or mostly on existing work. Due to the high amount of insight from references, your paper fails to present new ideas on a topic and does not unveil any original finding that’s of value to your discipline. 

Aggregate plagiarism can be overcome by selecting a topic that has been barely researched and unveiling ideas that are yet to be investigated. This will allow you to use sources solely to back your arguments and overcome the risk of aggregate plagiarism. 

3. Patchwork plagiarism

Patchwork plagiarism is often the result of a malicious attempt to mask stolen ideas by infusing them into your work. The sentences from a source may be paraphrased and married into your essay without proper referencing. 

4. Self-plagiarism

Self-plagiarism arises when re-use content from your existing work without proper referencing. Although it may seem fair to directly borrow from your work, it is immoral to present information outside your study without proper referencing.

The borrowed information may often be assumed to be true, although this is not the case. As such, offer proper referencing to enable your readers to trace your evidence and establish the authenticity of your claims. 

5. Accidental plagiarism

Accidental plagiarism is the most common and occurs due to shoddy or no editing. This type of plagiarism may be perpetrated in the form of missing citations, poor quotations, and the usage of wrong referencing methods. 

6. Hired plagiarism

This is popular plagiarism that comes with delegating your work to a third party. 

Consequences of plagiarism

Why should you put much effort into avoiding plagiarism? Without understanding the consequences of plagiarism, you may find the struggle to rid your paper of plagiarism a compulsive effort for writers to achieve academic morality.

However, plagiarism has various consequences that can render much harm to your academic progress. Some of the common consequences of plagiarism include:

  • Academic Suspension
  • Failure in your research paper
  • Expulsion from an academic institution
  • Destroyed reputation
  • Legal consequences for professional publications

How to avoid plagiarism in 5 easy steps

How can I avoid plagiarism? Although there are many ways you could fall victim to plagiarism, there are steps you could follow to overcome plagiarism claims. Some easy steps to help you overcome plagiarism include:

  1. Tackle fresh ideas on a topic

This can be achieved by selecting a topic that offers you a perspective that has not been tackled in existing papers. as a result, you can come up with a range of original arguments, relying on sources to back your claims as opposed to basing your paper on existing work. 

  1. Cite all sources properly

Be keen to use the recommended referencing style and to add in-text citations and bibliographies correctly. 

  1. Paraphrase all work before using it

Copying another writer’s words verbatim is common ground for plagiarism. Ideally, rephrase pieces of information you intend to quote without diluting the meaning that was intended by the author. Also, follow the paraphrased content with proper referencing, avoiding the chances of falling victim to plagiarism charges. 

  1. Quotations

Use quotes when copying words verbatim and insert your citation in the appropriate manner.

  1. Edit

Editing is a vital step in ensuring the integrity of your paper. Besides grammar and structure, check the style of your references and account for each in-text citation in the ‘Works Cited’ section. 

You may consider using a plagiarism checker tool to highlight various instances of plagiarism, saving time and avoiding various errors you could have easily missed. 

Is paraphrasing plagiarism? 

Plagiarism with proper citation does not amount to plagiarism. However, paraphrasing work without proper referencing may result in patchwork plagiarism, making you a candidate for various consequences.

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