What are the 4 types of plagiarism and how can you prevent them

When you submit a paper for college, it is imperative that you understand the consequence of plagiarism and how to avoid it. While college students have been expected to adhere to strict codes of conduct and prohibitions against plagiarism, it can be hard to avoid plagiarism. 

The consequences of plagiarism are severe, which is why educators and researchers have put a great deal of energy into preventing it. Fortunately, there are various ways available to help students avoid plagiarism.

In this article, you will learn about plagiarism, its different types, and how to prevent plagiarism.

What is Plagiarism?

What is plagiarism? Plagiarism is when you reproduce another author’s ideas, expressions, or work without their permission. There are various definitions of plagiarism and each educational institution has its own standards for what constitutes plagiarism.

One of the most accurate definitions of plagiarism is stealing someone else’s ideas, arguments, or sentence structure. This is equivalent to stealing a car. It’s wrong and can have very negative consequences on your academic career and job prospects. 

Plagiarism is an act of intellectual theft and fraud. When you use someone else’s words without acknowledging the original source, it’s plagiarism. You must make sure you attribute any work you use without proper attribution. 

Plagiarism is also against the honor code in colleges and universities. Plagiarism can result in a failing grade, suspension, or expulsion. Avoiding it is possible if you follow these steps.

Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re doing your own work. However, if you’re caught plagiarizing, you must be prepared for the consequences. When you copy other people’s words or content, you can’t claim it as your own. Even if you change the order of the words or use flowery language, it’s still plagiarizing. 

Types of Plagiarism

There are many types of plagiarism, including intentional and accidental. However, some of the major types of plagiarism committed by students are explained below.

  • Direct Plagiarism

One of the most obvious types of plagiarism is direct copying. Direct copying means stealing someone else’s work without citing the source. Using someone else’s words directly without giving them credit is known as ‘direct plagiarism.’ 

The best way to avoid this kind of plagiarism is to identify the source and cite them. If you can’t do that, you’re guilty of plagiarism

It can be hard to prevent direct plagiarism, but there are a few steps you can take to reduce your risk. One of these steps is to label notes and cite sources where possible. Using quotation marks is also a good idea. 

Students tend to forget to do this, so it’s important to label any statements you use. If you copy a paragraph from an article, you must place quotation marks around it to show where the content comes from.

  • Accidental Plagiarism

Accidental plagiarism is the result of sloppiness or laziness. In a rush to submit an assignment, students forget to include citations, quotations, and footnotes. 

The best way to avoid this plagiarism is to use quotation marks, cite the source, and provide attribution. This will help prevent accidental plagiarism. When you’re copying someone else’s work, you must mention the author by name and put quotation marks around direct quotes.

Similarly, students can misunderstand the term “common knowledge” and fall into a plagiarism trap. To prevent such a situation, students must first learn how to properly cite sources.

  • Self Plagiarism

Self-plagiarism is when a student uses the similar ideas and words he presented in his other published work. It’s a serious issue because plagiarism can harm a student’s reputation and can have serious consequences. 

While the traditional definition of plagiarism may not apply to self-plagiarism, students should be aware of the ethical implications of appropriating and paraphrasing their own published work. 

The problem can affect anyone, including students, academic researchers, and professional writers. It can even affect students who write about similar topics.  While students may not realize it, copyright laws apply to professional authors. They can’t reuse previously published work without the permission of the co authors.

  • Mosaic Plagiarism

The occurrence of mosaic plagiarism is a form of intentional plagiarism, where a student takes whole sentences from one source and puts them together with their own words without citing the original source. 

There is a large difference between paraphrasing and mosaic plagiarism, and there are different methods to avoid this type of copying. Nevertheless, mosaic plagiarism is a type of plagiarism that cannot be tolerated in schools and is illegal.

One of the easiest ways to avoid mosaic plagiarism is to use quotation marks. The reason for this is that quotation marks are essential in avoiding this form of plagiarism. 

However, if you do not cite the original source, you will end up committing the same offense twice. Mosaic plagiarism is one of the most prevalent forms of plagiarism today, which is why it is important for students to know how to prevent it.

How to Prevent Plagiarism?

  • Citing Sources

Cite your sources properly in order to avoid plagiarism. Citing your sources is one of the most important aspects of writing. It’s much better to cite someone else’s work than to use the same information without their permission. 

When possible, write down your sources, citing them whenever you can. This will prevent any accusations of plagiarism. Not citing sources properly is one of the biggest mistakes students make when it comes to plagiarism. 

Students often forget to credit the source of an academic work, and instead list only one author. While this might not be the most significant mistake, it can still result in suspension or even expulsion. 

Therefore, it’s critical to follow proper citation and paraphrasing practices to avoid plagiarism. If you’re unsure of which source you’ve used, use a plagiarism checker.

  • Using Paraphrasing tool

Using the paraphrasing tool is an easy way to remove plagiarized work, whether it is a short article, research paper, or even a phrase. 

If you’re a teacher or student, you can use a paraphrasing tool to avoid plagiarized work. The tool is free, and it compares copied phrases against resources. 

Paraphrasing tool is not only best for removing Plagiarism but it can help students in improving their writing skills. For example, the students can use this tool to improve the readability of their essay or assignment writing. 

Below, in the screenshot, you can see how it improves the readability of the content as well as this content has become plagiarism-free. 


As mentioned, avoiding plagiarism is very important. It’s important to note that plagiarism is an act of bad manners and a failure to acknowledge the author of an article or piece of work. If you are caught in this behavior, you’ll be punished with severe penalties. So, remember to acknowledge your sources when you use a piece of work. It’s also important to remember that plagiarism is illegal to use images, music, and videos without permission.

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