10 Most Common Types of Plagiarism to Avoid (Especially #7) in 2023

different types of plagiarism

Plagiarism refers to the unauthorized use of someone else’s intellectual property, whether it be text, illustrations, computer code, or other media. Imitating another person’s writing word for word is a common example of plagiarizing. However, it isn’t limited to that.

Different types of Plagiarism exist in writing. Some are done deliberately, while others are done unintentionally. We know that no one likes to copy other’s work, but Plagiarism is a thing that happens, even to seasoned writers also. 

plagiarism is real

We’re sharing the different ways Plagiarism is committed to helping you avoid inadvertently using another person’s work. 

10 types of plagiarism that you should be aware of

Here are some of the most common types of Plagiarism that many beginners and even experienced writers commit.  

1. Complete plagiarism

Complete Plagiarism occurs when a researcher takes a published paper or manuscript from a different author and then submits it using their name.

This is arguably the most severe case of Plagiarism. It isn’t done as often as in other forms because it can have serious repercussions.

2. Direct plagiarism

Direct Plagiarism happens when you copy a piece of work to the letter and claim it as your own. Instead of writing your thoughts or ideas, a writer uses someone else’s exact words without proper attribution or quotation marks.

When you borrowed a passage from but forget to put the lifted content as a quote from a cited source, you’re committing direct Plagiarism. Copying someone’s work is a synonym for crime in writing vertical. Read this guide that covers eight tips to avoid Plagiarism in your next project.

3. Self-plagiarism

Reusing past ideas and write-ups to fulfill new projects is called self-plagiarism. It’s sometimes called auto-plagiarism or duplication. Even though you are using your own words and ideas, it isn’t very ethical to reuse a previously submitted piece.

You don’t have to imitate the full piece to make a duplicate. Just copying a few paragraphs from previous write-ups and incorporating them into a new paper can count as plagiarized work. 

Since this often involves published researchers, many journals have started using special software to run manuscripts and check for duplicates. We’ve covered a detailed guide explaining self-plagiarism and its sensitivity.

4. Hired plagiarism

As the name suggests, hired Plagiarism occurs when you pay someone to write an essay for you then claim it as your own. Whether you hire someone to write the entire piece or a small part, it is still considered Plagiarism. 

It is one of the most severe types of Plagiarism that you’d think of. First, it is dishonesty with your assignment – and secondly, the service providers in the market aren’t professional enough on the topic. 

5. Mosaic plagiarism

Mosaic Plagiarism, also called patchwriting, happens when you copy and paste words from multiple sources, then string them together to create an entirely new piece. Even paraphrasing lifted passages would count as mosaic Plagiarism if you keep the structure of the original piece.

This type of Plagiarism is common amongst content writers, as they give more weightage to quantity over quality – and copy/paste then comes into play. Our creative writing tips guide articulates some of the very common and easy-to-apply tips to help you become a brilliant writer.

6. Contributing author plagiarism

Let’s say you worked closely with a group or another person to create a piece of work, but not everyone was listed as an author. This is called contributing author plagiarism. Mario Biagioli (an eminent researcher of law & science) stated it as “a new form of plagiarism” – see the reference publication here.

No matter how big or small their involvement is, using other people’s work without attribution is considered Plagiarism. All contributing authors must be credited properly. This clearly questions the credibility of the publication and not giving the deserved credits to the contributing authors.

7. Bibliography plagiarism

Copying someone else’s list of sources is called bibliography plagiarism. It might happen when you want to avoid hours of research. Instead of building your own sources, you resort to finding a similar paper, then use the sources they’ve listed.

It sounds like a common practice, right? But it falls under the bracket of appalling types of Plagiarism. To learn more about bibliography, refer to the guide on p.org that explains annotated bibliography and citation in greater detail.

8. Secondary source plagiarism

A simple way to avoid Plagiarism is by citing the appropriate sources, including secondary references, which often consist of a bunch of information from other sources.

 For instance, if you’re writing about your community’s history, and you interview the elders and make appropriate citations but fail to cite the old newspapers you’ve also used to validate information, it’d be considered secondary source plagiarism.

There has been so much discussion you’d find about this type of Plagiarism. While composing this article, we put a lot of research in place and found an interesting discussion on Quora about secondary Plagiarism

9. Accidental plagiarism

We love using idioms when explaining things, so here is one to describe a type of Plagiarism that exists but not intentionally (always).

As mentioned, Plagiarism can be done unintentionally. You might be influenced by a write-up you’ve just read and use a similar choice of words in your work. You might use an idea that you came across during research but forgot its source. 

Learning how to properly cite your sources is crucial to avoiding Plagiarism in your writing. If you fail to make the proper attributions or misquote sources, you are doing accidental Plagiarism.

To avoid this, you should practice writing notes when you are doing research. Among many other bits of advice, we recommend avoiding these not-so-good writing advices to witness great success as a writer.

10. Outline plagiarism

Copying the outline of a published work can be considered Plagiarism. For example, following the exact structure used by an author in their novel, even if you don’t lift any passages from the work, still makes your piece unoriginal.  

David Swisher, an experienced higher education coordinator, perfectly explained his experience with Plagiarism in a Quora thread here. It’s important to understand that Plagiarism is not just using someone’s work, but putting a question mark on your own credibility as a writer.

Is Plagiarism going to end soon?

Whether intentional or not, Plagiarism is a practice we all should strive to avoid in school, work, or social media. We are responsible for the content we publish; hence, we must respect other people’s original work and strive to create our own.

Make sure you understand the different types of Plagiarism so you can avoid them. You can also use online plagiarism checkers. We recommend Grammarly if you’re a blogger or planning to build your career as a content writer. 

For students and research worker, options like Unicheck and Scribbr is a good one to have. These tools can detect similarities with other published works or missing citations, which can help keep your work free from Plagiarism.