Plagiarism (copying someone else’s work and passing it off as one’s own) is not a new phenomenon in academia. The advent of technology has made it easier not only to plagiarize but also to bring instances of plagiarism to light. Not all acts of plagiarism, however, are alike. There are many types of plagiarism and each is penalized (or not) differently; while no act of plagiarism is acceptable, it can range in degree from a blatant act of fraud like global plagiarism to the more forgivable accidental plagiarism. Moreover, when determining whether something is an act of plagiarism, the intention of the author is also taken into consideration.
Let’s take a look at the 7 types of plagiarism:
1. Mosaic Plagiarism
Also known as patchwork plagiarism, this type of plagiarism involves copying words, ideas, or entire passages from various sources and bringing them together to create a new text. The mosaic plagiarist might make minor changes to passages (while retaining the same structure and many of the words/phrases as the original) and fuse the whole text together by inserting some of their own words here and there. Mosaic plagiarism is more subtle than mere copy-pasting and requires slightly more effort, but it can nevertheless be easily detected by plagiarism checkers.
As the name indicates, self or auto plagiarism involves reusing the author’s own previously published or submitted work and passing it off as new. A self-plagiarist also sometimes reuses data, phrases, or ideas from their previous work. One of the most serious forms of self-plagiarism is to submit a paper that has already been turned in for credit to another class. This is a dishonest practice (as the author has already received credit for the work) and is always considered to be self-plagiarism unless the author has clear permission to do so. The penalty for self-plagiarism is usually lighter than other forms of plagiarism, but authors are expected to cite their previous work to make the origins of the new work clear.
3. Paraphrasing Plagiarism
Paraphrasing without citation is the most common type of plagiarism. It involves borrowing others’ writing, making minor changes to it, and passing it off as one’s own. In this type of plagiarism, the words used may be different but the borrowed idea remains unchanged. Paraphrasing itself is not considered plagiarism as long as sources are properly cited. It, however, becomes plagiarism when borrowed ideas or passages are rewritten in the plagiarist’s own words and passed off as original. Another form of paraphrasing plagiarism is to translate a text from another language without citation. Translated text requires citations as the author is using someone else’s ideas.
4. Global Plagiarism
One of the more egregious forms of plagiarism, global plagiarism involves stealing an entire text written by someone else and passing it off as one’s own. For instance, a global plagiarist could get someone to write an assignment and turn it in as their own or submit something they found online as their own work. Global plagiarism is more serious than other types of plagiarism and can have serious consequences because it involves directly and deliberately lying about a text’s authorship. It is, however, easy to detect and prove as teachers are quite familiar with their students’ writing and can easily spot a case of plagiarism. Besides, plagiarism checkers have access to a large number of documents; if a student got their paper online, they are sure to get caught.
5. Accidental Plagiarism
Accidental plagiarism occurs when authors misquote their sources or fail to cite them altogether. It can also occur when they unintentionally paraphrase a source using words, phrases, or sentence structure without attribution. Students must learn to cite their sources properly and to take accurate notes while doing their research. Cases of accidental plagiarism are taken as seriously as any other type of plagiarism and can have the same consequences. Lack of intent, even if it can be proved, does not absolve the author of the charge of plagiarism.
6. Erroneous Authorship
Erroneous authorship or misleading attribution can happen when:
A – An author contributes to a text but does not get credit for it
B – An author gets credit without contributing to a text
In either case, erroneous authorship violates the academic code of conduct and is considered to be a type of plagiarism. It can also occur when the editor of a text inadvertently credits the wrong author or does not credit them at all. In this case, it is recommended to acknowledge the author(s) at the time of publication, even if they have not been listed as such.
7. Source-Based Plagiarism
This type of plagiarism occurs when sources have been wrongly cited or not cited at all. For instance, the author may have used multiple sources of information but cited only a few. It can also occur when non-existent or incorrect sources have been cited. Source-based plagiarism can also involve an author using a secondary source of data but only quoting the primary source. In extreme cases, sources or study findings are fabricated or altered; these are considered data creation and misrepresentation respectively.
Plagiarism software is extensively used in academic and professional settings to detect and discourage the use of plagiarized content, whether intentional or not. Most plagiarism checkers have a simple mechanism; users simply need to copy the material and paste it into the tool. The software breaks the text into smaller chunks and feeds these into search engines and online directories to look for similarities and to identify duplicate content.
The Bartleby Write Plagiarism Checker goes a step further and offers users a complete writing tool that includes a Grammar and Spell Checker and a Citation Tool. With such features, the tool helps students spot mistakes, improve their writing skills, and turn average essays into outstanding ones that deserve an A+ grade.