Plagiarism is an unethical practice used by some individuals in academia whereby they copy other people’s work and pass it off as their own. Educational institutes and academic boards have strict anti-plagiarism policies and you can end up in deep trouble if you intentionally or unintentionally resort to these measures.
Here are a few common types of plagiarism that you should know about.
Also known as verbatim plagiarism, this refers to when you copy another author’s work word for word without crediting them. This type of plagiarism typically occurs when a chunk of text is taken directly from the source and copy-pasted on a new document without acknowledgment or attribution. The sentence structure, phrasing, and other elements are kept more or less the same as they were in the original text.
Direct plagiarism is rarely unintentional. It’s a dishonest practice and is heavily frowned upon. Most academic institutes typically take strict disciplinary actions in cases of verbatim plagiarism and consider it a serious breach of ethics and academic rules.
Self-plagiarism or auto plagiarism occurs when you reuse a significant chunk of text from your previously submitted or published work without acknowledging it. For instance, if you were to submit an old assignment after slightly restructuring your essay, it’ll still count as plagiarism even if the only person you’re copying from is you. It may not seem to be a big deal to you since it’s your own work, but repurposing old work is still unacceptable and considered plagiarism.
Sometimes, published authors mention ideas mentioned in their previous work to further their argument but don’t credit them in the bibliography. Even if they didn’t intend to plagiarize and were under the impression that they were just mentioning their old ideas, they still need to cite the original work to avoid auto plagiarism.
Mosaic or patchwork plagiarism is when you incorporate a bunch of passages, phrases, or ideas from multiple different sources in an attempt to create a new text. You may rephrase some of the main phrases used in the original texts and try to pass them on as your own ideas, but make no mistake about it, it’s still plagiarism.
Although detecting mosaic plagiarism is trickier because of the extensive rephrasing done in the work, plagiarism checkers can pick up on the copied words, ideas, and phrasing. Patchwork plagiarism is highly unethical and is a poor way to take credit for someone else’s research and ideas.
Contrary to popular belief, plagiarism can be accidental. Inexperienced students and authors often fall prey to accidental plagiarism because of neglect, incorrect citations, or unintentional paraphrasing.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t count for much in most academic boards. Accidental or not, it’s still plagiarism and can seriously affect your grades and your reputation.
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