07 Common Types oF Plagiarism and how to avoid them?

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There are several types of plagiarism. And keep in your mind that every type of plagiarism is harmful and must be avoided whether you are writing for your school/college or even you are writing for the internet. Plagiarism can take many forms. The following are the seven most common types of plagiarism:

Complete Plagiarism

When a writer submits someone else’s work by their own name, this is an example of complete plagiarism. Paying someone to write a paper for you and then turning it in with your name on it is known as complete plagiarism, as it refers to stealing or borrowing someone else’s work and submitting it as your own.

In simple words,

Complete plagiarism would be submitting a research paper for English class that your older sister wrote and submitted five years ago.

Direct Plagiarism

Direct plagiarism, like complete plagiarism, is the overt passing-off another writer’s words as your own. The difference between the two is the amount of plagiarism in the paper. It’s the entire paper with complete plagiarism.

Direct plagiarism includes specific sections or paragraphs without crediting (or even acknowledging) the author. Dropping a line or two from your source directly into your work without quoting or citing the source is an example of direct plagiarism.

Paraphrasing Plagiarism

When a writer reuses someone’s work and changes a few words or phrases, this is referred to as paraphrasing plagiarism. It’s a common type of plagiarism, and many students are unaware that it exists.

However, it is also considered plagiarism if you present someone else’s original idea in your writing without crediting them, even if you present it in your own words.


You might be surprised to learn that you may plagiarize yourself. How? After all, your original ideas are yours to use… right?

Yes, but with a proviso.

Assume you wrote an essay two years ago about the pros and cons of changing your city’s traffic laws, and now you’re writing a research paper about how certain traffic laws have impacted other cities over the last decade. Using content from your essay in your research paper is an example of self-plagiarism.

You can absolutely use the same sources, and as long as you properly cite them, you won’t be accused of plagiarism. If you write professionally, self-plagiarism can be an issue.

When you are commissioned to write for a client, that work is owned by the client. Using your own words for subsequent clients is plagiarism and can harm your professional reputation (as well as make your clients look bad).

Patchwork Plagiarism

Patchwork plagiarism, also known as mosaic plagiarism, refers to instances in which plagiarized work is interwoven with the writer’s original work. This type of plagiarism can be subtle and easy to overlook, and it can occur alongside direct plagiarism. Taking a clause from a source and embedding it in your own sentence is an example of patchwork plagiarism.

Plagiarism Based on Sources

Source-based plagiarism can be difficult to comprehend. With this type of plagiarism, the writer may correctly cite their sources but present the sources in a misleading manner.

For example, the writer may cite a secondary source in their work but only give credit to the primary source from which the secondary source was derived.

Other examples include citing an incorrect source or fabricating sources.

Unintentional Plagiarism

Unintentional or accidental plagiarism is the most common type of plagiarism because it occurs when the writer is unaware that they are plagiarizing someone else’s work.

The following are examples of accidental plagiarism:

  • Fail to cite your sources in your work.
  • Incorrectly citing your sources.
  • Forget to include quotation marks around cited material.

Even unintentional plagiarism has consequences, such as failing your assignment.

How to Avoid Plagiarism in your Documents?

There are several ways to get rid of plagiarism and we are going to discuss some of them.

Keep Track of your Sources

One of the most common ways for students to commit plagiarism is to simply forget where an idea came from and present it as their own.

You can easily avoid this trap by keeping your notes organized and keeping a running list of citations.

person using laptop

In your notes, clearly label which ideas are yours and which aren’t, highlight statements that require citations, and carefully mark any text copied directly from a source with quotation marks.

Use Quotations

Quoting means verbatim copying the text. The copied text should be covered in your own words, surrounded by quotation marks, and properly attributed to the original author.

In general, use quotation marks sparingly. Quotes are useful when:

  • You’re employing an exact definition proposed by the original author.
  • You will never be able to rewrite the original text without losing its meaning.
  • You’re examining the original text’s use of language.
  • You want to keep the author’s words’ authority and style.

Paraphrase the Text

Paraphrasing is when you use your own words to explain something from another source.

Paraphrasing is more than just changing a few words from a copy-pasted text. To properly paraphrase, rewrite the author’s point in your own words to demonstrate that you fully understand it.

You can also take help from a Rephr asing tool as it is specifically created to eliminate plagiarism without disturbing the main intent or central theme of the content

So, you can search for paraphrasing tools on the internet and you’ll get a list of hundreds of them

After paraphrasing the text, you can check plagiarism using any of the plagiarism checkers. We recommend you to check for duplication before submitting your content.

Correctly Citing your Sources

You must include an in-text or footnote citation that clearly identifies the original author every time you quote or paraphrase. Each citation must correspond to a full reference in your paper’s reference list or bibliography.

This acknowledges the source of your information, avoids plagiarism, and assists your readers in locating the source if they want to learn more. There are numerous citation styles, each with its own set of rules. APA, MLA, and Chicago are three popular styles.

Your instructor may assign you a specific style to use, or you may be able to choose. The most important thing is to use the same style throughout the text.


Removing plagiarism is not something to panic about, you can eliminate plagiarism in a couple of seconds just in case you follow the right steps. And we have discussed all the common types of plagiarism and how you can avoid or remove them.

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