“Taking something from one man and making it worse is plagiarism”

George A Moore

Overview

Looking to enhance your knowledge of plagiarism? Well, you may be a content writer, student, or a coder, being aware of what counts as plagiarism and what does not is equally important for you. Having said that, we bring to you an elucidated guide on plagiarism inclusive of the types of plagiarism and examples of plagiarism for complete understanding. Besides, the guide also discusses in detail the consequences of plagiarizing and how you can avoid the same. To begin with, let us first understand the various types of plagiarism.

Types of plagiarism with examples

Different types of plagiarism with examples

This section delineates the various types of plagiarism and for a more lucid understanding, examples of each type are presented.

1. Mosaic plagiarism

Mosaic plagiarism, also known as patchwork plagiarism is a form of plagiarism wherein an individual cites or includes phrases from other authors’ work without using quotations. Besides, another case of mosaic plagiarism can occur when an individual uses the same structure presented by another author and keeps the original context the same while making little modifications by using synonyms. By using synonyms, individuals try to create content that looks new. However, that does not actually work and is considered an act of mosaic plagiarism.

Besides, it is notable that even if the individual adds the source to the footnote, it may still be perceived as patchwork plagiarism or mosaic plagiarism and can be punishable. The term patchwork simply implies a case wherein the writer copies patches of ideas, perspectives, and phrases from other authors and stitches them together to present the content as new.

Let us look at an example of mosaic plagiarism or patchwork plagiarism for a clearer understanding to ensure that you do not commit this plagiarizing mistake.

Example of mosaic plagiarism

Writer’s WorkOriginal Source
PESTLE analysis is a widely applied strategic analysis that can be
effectively used to evaluate the external business environment of a specific industry or a business.
The tool was invented by Francis Aguilar as an effective methodology for strategic planning and analysis.
“ PESTLE Analysis is an effective strategic analysis tool that can be applied to assess the external business environment with respect to a specific industry or a business organization operating in that industry. PESTLE analysis tool was developed by Francis Aguilar as an expert approach to strategic planning and analysis.”
Reason for plagiarism: Paraphrasing 

As evident in the example related to PESTLE Analysis above, the writer has used the phrases from the original source without using quotations and has tried to spin the original content using synonyms.

2. Accidental plagiarism

This is another type of plagiarism that is rather unintentional in nature. It occurs when an individual misses out on citing the sources of the information included in their work. Besides, another case of accidental plagiarism is when writers or students misquote the sources or paraphrase a certain source by using similar words or synonyms. Even if you accidentally create a resemblance to someone else’s logo as a logo designer, you can be accused of plagiarism.

It is vital to note that even if this form of plagiarism is unintentional, professors or other research professionals may not buy that justification. Having said that, you need to be aware of the fact that even accidental plagiarism is likely to meet the same consequences as intentional plagiarism. It is important that you have knowledge of accidental plagiarism to ensure that you are able to deliver quality work.

For a more lucid understanding, let us look at examples of accidental plagiarism. These examples of plagiarism will help you realize why you need to be careful of accidental plagiarism.

Example 1 of accidental plagiarism

Writer’s WorkOriginal Source
Logic-based
relationships between theoretical observational vocabularies
are significant for theoretical confirmation and testing. To assess if the experiment is a test of theory, counterfactual proof is needed.
“Logical relationships of elements of theoretical and observational vocabularies are key to theoretical confirmation and successful testing. In order to assess if an experiment is a rigorous verification of theory, some counterfactual evidence is important”
Reason for plagiarism: Paraphrased 

As clearly evident in this case, in this case, the writer has accidentally paraphrased the original work of the writer and has neglected the need for adding citations to cite the original source.

Example 2 of accidental plagiarism

Let us look at another example to understand how the source should ideally be cited by the writer or student and how it leads to accidental plagiarism

Ideal ScenarioWork of accidental plagiarism
The fundamental variation between the common treatment of theories related to double field and biconformal gravity is in terms of connection and action. Also, there is a difference in how double dimension is brought back to n-dimensional spacetime (Wheeler, 2019). In the context of the theory of biconformal gauge it is vital to be considerate of these differences.The major difference between the treatment of double field theories and biconformal gravity lies in connection and action. Also, there is a variation in the way in which double dimensions are retraced to n-dimensional spacetime. For effective research in biconformal gauge theory, these differences play a substantial role.
Reference Wheeler, J. (2019). General relativity as a biconformal gauge theory. Nuclear Physics B, 943, 114624. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nuclphysb.2019.114624Reason for plagiarism: Source not cited by the writer

3. Direct plagiarism

In the case of direct plagiarism, individuals transcript the sections of an author’s work word-to-word without quotations or offering any credits. Direct plagiarism is deliberate and is one of the common ethical issues that people indulge in while writing assignments, creating blogs, or coding. However, what most people do not realize is that deliberate plagiarism is punishable and can have severe ramifications. As a student, if you indulge in direct plagiarism, you may even be expelled from your university or college.

Let us try to comprehend direct plagiarism through an example

Direct plagiarism example

Writer's workOriginal Source
The Amazon rainforests are located in northwestern and also extend to a part of Colombia. The Amazon forests
are home to a wide variety of wildlife species that include snakes, spider monkeys, Amazon kingfishers, sloths, eagles, and so on.
Amazon rainforests are known to have more than 350 species of reptiles.
The Amazon rainforests in Brazil are home to a wide variety of wildlife species that include snakes, spider monkeys, Amazon kingfishers, sloths, eagles, and so on. The rainforests are known to have an extensive range of plant and animal species. Amazon rainforests hold great significance for the world being home to such an extensive volume of species of flora and fauna.
Reason for plagiarism: word-to-word transcription 

The above example clearly states that the writer or the student has copied sections of someone else’s work word-to-word without giving attribution to the author.

4. Self plagiarism

Can you plagiarize your own self? Why is self plagiarism bad? Can you be found guilty of copying your own work and citing yourself? Well, even the thought of it seems quite annoying, isn’t it? If it is your work, you should have complete discretion in using it anywhere you like without worrying about plagiarism. However, that is not true. There is something called self plagiarism that you need to know about. What is self-plagiarism and if you can plagiarize yourself or not, let us find out!

To define, self-plagiarism occurs wherein an author or a student with a published work reuses specific parts of their previous papers or text. Although in this case, it does not account for stealing from someone else’s work, it can still come up as a discrepancy in the plagiarism report of the individual’s work. Having said that, if you are citing your previously published work in a new project, it is recommended that you give proper citations and avoid reusing parts of your previous work without any modification.

Especially in the context of research papers, self plagiarism needs to be avoided at all costs. This is for the simple reason that it can make the credibility of a research paper doubtful if it contains recycled information from previous works even if it is your own research paper published previously.

Also, the publisher of your previous work may look at it as an act of copyright infringement if you are using specific parts of work as it is in your ongoing research. Having said that, despite the fact that it does seem discouraging, self-plagiarism is something you need to be cautious about.

Given below is an example of self-plagiarism for a more detailed understanding of self plagiarism.

Writer’s new workThe writer’s Previously published work
Employee wellness concerns are on the rise as a large number of employees in the post-COVID era have reported high levels of stress and vulnerability to burnout.
Findings indicate that in an organization based in London, 120 out of 200 employees reported that they experienced
burnout situations in 2021. Such an alarming rise in the stress levels of corporate workers across the globe call for greater mental awareness in the workplace. Also, it is important that corporate workers are able to recognize their vulnerability to burnout and seek assistance if needed.
From the viewpoint of fostering high employee engagement, it is essential that organizations invest in employee experiences and also support their mental health. Findings indicate that in an organization based in London, 120 out of 200 employees report that they experienced burnout situations in 2021. This is something that organizations need to acknowledge and create firm policies to address mental health issues in the workplace. Needless to say, high employee engagement and burnout instances cannot co-exist. For employees to be engaged and motivated, they need to be at the best of their cognitive abilities and not feel stressed consistently.
Reason for plagiarism: Recycled information from previously published work. 

How to cite yourself?

For citing your previous work as a reference in your ongoing work, you need to consider yourself as an author and consider your previous work of yours unpublished, and follow the usual citation style.

5. Complete plagiarism

As the name suggests, complete plagiarism refers to an act of copying someone else’s work and labeling it as an entirely new work of research or thesis by an individual. Even when a blogger completely copies another blogger’s writeup and publishes the same in her or his name to claim credit, it accounts for complete plagiarism. The same can happen in web development wherein one coder is plagiarizing the code of another developer in its entirety and claims it to be original.

In fact, this is the most unpardonable form among the types of plagiarism and is as severe as theft of intellectual property.

The example of complete plagiarism given below will make things much clearer

Example of complete plagiarism

Writer’s Work (Excerpt)Original Author’s Work (Original Excerpt)
Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the customer service landscape enabling businesses to optimize customer service by delivering personalized customer experience. Besides, with AI chatbots, businesses are now offering round-the-clock assistance to customers hence, enhancing their overall experience with the brand. In this way, with AI integrations, businesses are becoming more scalable via higher customer retention and satisfaction.
Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the customer service landscape enabling businesses to optimize customer service by delivering personalized customer experience. Besides, with AI chatbots, businesses are now offering round-the-clock assistance to customers hence, enhancing their overall experience with the brand. In this way, with AI integrations, businesses are becoming more scalable via higher customer retention and satisfaction.
Reason for plagiarism: Completely copied as it is 

The above example clarifies why complete plagiarism is as bad as intellectual property theft. As a student, if you commit this mistake, the consequences can be quite unpardonable.

6. Source-based plagiarism

Source-based plagiarism can either be intentional or unintentional. It occurs when a writer or student does not cite a source appropriately or does not give complete attribution to the original author via citation. To explain, one case of source-based plagiarism is when a writer cites a source incorrectly in terms of the name of the author.

Besides, another case of source-based plagiarism is when there are different sources of information presented in the write-up but the writer only cites one of the sources. Lastly, another case of source-based plagiarism can exist when information is added from a secondary source but the primary source is cited in the reference list.

The example of source-based plagiarism given below will add more clarity

Example of source-based plagiarism

Case of source-based plagiarismIdeal Scenario (without source-based plagiarism)
It is analyzed that more than 61 percent of marketers consider efforts in SEO and enhancing organic traffic as their most important approach to inbound marketing. Besides, more than 70 percent of marketers are of the view that SEO is more beneficial than PPC. Further, it is notable that 86 percent of marketers in B2B businesses are of the opinion that content marketing is an essential part of their strategy. Moreover, in the context of content marketing, 70 percent of organizations or marketers rate blogging as one of the top strategies to get SEO results (WIRE & WIRE, 2022). It is analyzed that more than 61 percent of marketers consider efforts in SEO and enhancing organic traffic as their most important approach to inbound marketing. Besides, more than 70 percent of marketers are of the view that SEO is more beneficial than PPC (Moran, 2022). Further, it is notable that 86 percent of marketers in B2B businesses are of the opinion that content marketing is an essential part of their strategy. Moreover, in the context of content marketing, 70 percent of organizations or marketers rate blogging as one of the top strategies to get SEO results. (WIRE & WIRE, 2022).
References WIRE, B., & WIRE, B. (2022). 100 Digital Marketing Statistics to Support Your 2022 Strategy | Marketing Evolution. Marketingevolution.com. Retrieved 21 July 2022, from https://www.marketingevolution.com/knowledge-center/50plus-data-driven-marketing-and-personalization-stats-marketers-need-to-know.References WIRE, B., & WIRE, B. (2022). 100 Digital Marketing Statistics to Support Your 2022 Strategy | Marketing Evolution. Marketingevolution.com. Retrieved 21 July 2022, from https://www.marketingevolution.com/knowledge-center/50plus-dat a-driven-marketing-and-personalization-stats-marketers-need-to-know.
Moran, M. (2022). 37 SEO Statistics, Facts & Trends. Startup Bonsai. Retrieved 21 July 2022, from https://startupbonsai.com/seo-statistics/.
Reason for plagiarism: Information is taken from two sources but only one source is cited. 

As you can see, in the ideal case where there is no source-based plagiarism, all the sources of information are correctly cited which is not the case in the example of plagiarism as shown.

7. Paraphrasing plagiarism

Paraphrasing is a term a lot of people are familiar with, especially writers and students. Besides, we have also talked about paraphrasing in a few instances above. Paraphrasing plagiarism is an act of presenting the original information or research from someone else’s work in fabricated or molded words keeping the implications same as the original piece of work. Paraphrasing someone’s work without giving them the attribution for it is one of the most common forms of plagiarism that exist.

Hence, to avoid paraphrasing plagiarism, even when you have completely described the inferences in your own words keeping the context same, you need to cite the sources or author from whose work you borrowed the information.

An example of paraphrasing plagiarism presented below will offer a worthwhile understanding

Example of paraphrasing plagiarism

Original (Lewis, 1996): Democracy nowadays is a word much used and even more misused. It has many meanings and has turned up in surprising places- The Spain of General Franco, the Greece of the Colonels, The Pakistan of the Generals, The Eastern Europe of the Commissars usually prefaced by some qualifying adjective such as “guided”, “basic”, “organic”, “popular” or the like which serves to dilute, deflect or even reverse the meaning of the world.

Paraphrasing PlagiarismIdeal Scenario (Plagiarism Free)
In the contemporary world, democracy is a word that is used extensively or rather misused and exploited by those in power. Democracy has assumed multiple implications and meanings and has flourished even in surprising places where those in power serve to weaken the institution of democracy or give it an autocratic meaning.In the contemporary world, democracy is a word that is used extensively or rather misused and exploited by those in power. Democracy has assumed multiple implications and meanings and has flourished in surprising places where those in power serve to weaken the institution of democracy or give it an autocratic meaning (Lewis, 1996)
Reason for plagiarism: Source not citedReference Lewis, B. (1996). A Historical Overview. Journal Of Democracy, 7(2), 52-63. https://doi.org/10.1353/jod.1996.0030

Now that we have seen the types of plagiarism that may exist in your work intentionally or unintentionally along with examples of plagiarism, knowing the consequences of plagiarism is equally important. The subsequent section sheds light on the consequences you can face as a result of plagiarism as a writer or a student.

Consequences of plagiarism

1. Academic penalties

If you are a student who indulges in one of the types of plagiarism in assignment writing, it can attract severe academic consequences and penalties. The penalties may range from grade penalties and failed course to suspension or even expulsion.

For instance, RMIT University in Australia takes academic misconduct very seriously. For any academic misconduct inclusive of plagiarism by students of RMIT University, the university authorities can initiate the following actions.

  • Cancellation of results

  • Suspension/ Expulsion leading to the cancellation of enrolment

Proceeding further, along with similar lines, if we talk about the universities in the United States, the consequences of plagiarism can be far more severe. For instance, Stanford University is one of the most eminent universities in the US with a global reputation. Stanford University has an official Honor Code which students must adhere to at all times. For any violation of the Honor Code especially in the case of plagiarism by students, the University authorities can initiate the following actions

  • Suspension of students for one quarter

  • Community service up to 40 hours

  • No Pass/No Credit results by professors

2. Legal consequences

The above consequences wherein we discussed academic penalties are for students specifically. In general, for students, writers, and developers, acts of plagiarism can also lead to legal consequences as plagiarism is punishable by law in most countries.

In Australia, acts of plagiarism are tried under the 1968 Copyright Act. In Australia, plagiarism can lead to criminal prosecution which may attract imprisonment (up to 5 years) or a fine amounting to 600,000 Australian dollars.

Even if you are copying code in web development, you will be liable for copyright infringement and will have to face similar legal consequences as stated above.

Furthermore, if we talk about plagiarism laws in the United States, cases of plagiarism are tried under the Copyright Law of the United States. As per the law, the author of an original work can initiate legal proceedings against the plagiarist. In the United States, plagiarists can be sent to prison to serve a sentence of up to 1 year and may even be liable for a monetary fine of up to USD 50000.

All in all, in almost all the top countries of the world, plagiarism is dealt with by legal proceedings if reported.

3. Reputation losses

Even if a person guilty of plagiarism is able to avoid academic consequences or legal proceedings, being called out for plagiarism in front of colleagues or peers can lead to a loss of reputation and credibility. In such cases, it may be difficult and emotionally embarrassing for an individual to continue in the same environment amid people who have acknowledged their plagiarism.

Hence, for your academic reputation or professional reputation, there is every reason why you should avoid acts of intentional plagiarism and act with caution against the risk of accidental plagiarism in the best interest of your future. Knowing all types of plagiarism and being careful about the same can save you from reputational losses.

How to avoid plagiarism?

How to avoid plagiarism in work

There are some simple steps in which you can avoid plagiarism. Some quick tips are given below for you to understand so that you can refrain from plagiarizing.

1. Understand and add perspective

If you are a blogger, content writer, or student working on an assignment, you should not just copy and paste the content. Your objective should be to first understand the concept and then express your understanding of it in your own context by adding your perspective to it.

2. Utilize an extensive range of sources

When you write an assignment or a research paper, use a wide variety of sources rather than extracting all the factual information from one source. When you include all the information from a single source, the risk of plagiarism is much higher. Also, when you refer to different sources, you can enhance your understanding of the concept in a more worthwhile way and then feel more confident about expressing your own knowledge and perspectives rather than simply paraphrasing from a single source.

3. Cite all your sources correctly

There are two parts to it. Firstly, to avoid plagiarism, you need to ensure that you are citing all your sources. Secondly, all the sources that you are citing should be correctly cited as an inappropriate citation, or mentioning the name of the author incorrectly can also result in plagiarism. This is what we repeatedly stressed in the examples of plagiarism mentioned above.

4. Work on creating your unique style

If you are a blogger or content writer with bright career aspirations, plagiarism or copying will certainly not help. In fact, your inability to create unique content will always be a roadblock to your development as a content creator. Sooner or later, plagiarism will get you into trouble. Hence, what you need to do is establish your unique writing style which speaks for your authenticity as a writer.

5. Get a plagiarism report from us

Let’s say you have completed an assignment on Tesla SWOT Analysis. How do you know if your work is free from plagiarism or not? We will provide you with a credible plagiarism report so that you can be sure about your assignment before you send it to your professors. We will be more than happy to help. For getting your work checked for plagiarism, reach out to us in the following email.

6. Use quotation marks where needed

When you use excerpts from an author’s works or refer to a part of someone else’s research or findings, you should definitely use quotation marks. When you use quotation marks for short extracts from someone’s work, it will not result in plagiarism. Besides, you also need to reference the source and offer proper attribution.

Plagiarism FAQs

Listed below are some common doubts or questions that people have about plagiarism

1. Can I cite recycled information from my previously published work?

As explained above, if you are reusing information from your previously published work, it can amount to self-plagiarism that can attract certain negative consequences. Hence, even when you use your previous work, it is recommended to use proper citations.

2. Is plagiarism punishable by law and can it attract punishment?

Yes, in most countries, plagiarism is punishable by law and can attract imprisonment. As mentioned above, in the US, acts of plagiarizing can lead to an imprisonment of up to 1 year while in Australia, it can lead to an imprisonment of up to 5 years.

3. Can I be expelled for copying in my assignments or plagiarism in my academic work?

Yes, most universities deal seriously with plagiarism and consider it an act of serious academic misconduct. Punishment for plagiarism by most universities may range between course failure and universities expelling students and cancellation of their enrolment.

4. Do I need to cite all sources correctly?

Yes, to avoid plagiarism, it is important that you cite all your primary and secondary sources correctly with the right attribution. If you do not cite the sources correctly or do not cite all the sources you have taken information from accidental plagiarism or source-based plagiarism. This has been very well explained in the examples of plagiarism given above.

5. Even if I use synonyms, would it still account for plagiarism?

Yes, if you are taking an author’s original work and simply modifying the content by using synonyms or a different set of words without giving attribution to the author, it will still be considered an act of plagiarism. To cite an example, for an assignment on Coca-Cola PESTLE Analysis, you cannot simply use someone else’s research and present it with synonyms without even citing the source.

6. Are there any free plagiarism checker tools available?

Yes, there are free plagiarism checker tools available that you can use. However, most universities comply with plagiarism standards as per Turnitin for plagiarism check.

Having highlighted the frequently asked questions about plagiarism, the next section delineates the ways in which coders, students, and other professionals can avoid plagiarism.

Takeaway

Now that you know all the possible types of plagiarism and how to deal with plagiarism, you definitely deal with plagiarism like a pro. Plagiarism may be unintentional but it can still land you into trouble and we did see above how the consequences of plagiarism can be quite scary. We are sure this guide will be a great resource for you to be able to create plagiarism free content and codes. It has all the knowledge about plagiarism that you always needed!

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