17 Common Types of Plagiarism and How to Avoid Them

Plagiarism is a word every student has heard of, yet many would define it differently. According to Cambridge Dictionary, plagiarism is using somebody else’s words without their consent and not giving them any credit. However, different types of plagiarism have different definitions and how to avoid them.

types of plagiarism

Types of Plagiarism Common in Academia

Plagiarism is one of the most unethical things you can do as a student. Plagiarism claims can cause the accused student to be suspended or expelled. In addition, their academic record can reflect the ethical offense, possibly causing the student to be barred from proceeding to the next academic level.

In fact, if the plagiarized text is copyrighted or trademarked, the plagiarist can face legal repercussions. Overall, there are many different ways to plagiarize someone else’s work. Here are 17 types of plagiarism that every student should know and how to avoid them.

Direct Plagiarism

Amongst the types of plagiarism, this is considered the most dishonest because it involves directly copying another person’s work and passing it off as original and your own. It also involves either copying specific sections or paragraphs without crediting the author or submitting someone else’s work in your own name.
To avoid direct plagiarism, paraphrase and cite the source. If you need help paraphrasing, ask our subject experts, who will gladly help you.


Self-plagiarism is when you reuse pieces of your previous work without giving credit.
If you have submitted work to a teacher, you cannot submit that work again and claim it is new and original. Instead, work on each assignment a new. Remember to cite and paraphrase your work.

Accidental Plagiarism

It occurs when a student neglects to cite their sources or misquotes their sources. To avoid accidental plagiarism, first, understand the topic under discussion and the idea behind it, and then write it in your words. Finally, run the assignment through a plagiarism checker before submitting it.

Mosaic Plagiarism

This is one of the types of plagiarism with consequences, such as failing your assignment. It occurs when a student borrows phrases from a source without citing or uses synonyms while keeping to the same structure, ideas, and meaning of the original material. Proper paraphrasing and appropriate citation of the sources help in preventing mosaic plagiarism.

Paraphrasing Plagiarism

Amongst the different types of plagiarism, this is one of the most common. Students often commit it accidentally or unintentionally. It occurs when your text is too close to the original wording and you fail to credit the original author properly.

To prevent paraphrasing plagiarism put the author’s ideas completely in your own words. Then include citations in your writing identifying the original author, the name of the source, and other essential elements depending on the style guide you’re adhering to.

types of plagiarism

Outline Plagiarism

Outline plagiarism is copying another person’s framework of ideas/thoughts, including headings. Just like other types of plagiarism, to avoid this type, strive for originality in your outline.

Global Plagiarism

Global plagiarism is intentionally duplicating an entire work of someone else without attribution. Writing all assignments from scratch is the best way to avoid global plagiarism. Use proper in-text citations and include references in your work.

Citation Plagiarism

Its also known as misleading attribution or inaccurate authorship plagiarism. It occurs when a student uses the wrong citations or inappropriately credits other people’s work. Writing all sources correctly, including in-text citations, is the best way to avoid citation plagiarism.

READ ALSO: How to Cite a Research Paper

Incremental Plagiarism

It occurs when small pieces of quoted or paraphrased material are plagiarized in your work. It’s easy to miss because there is usually a fair amount of original content surrounding it. To avoid it, keep track of your citations so that it becomes easy to cite the original author when you’re writing. Also, always double-check what you’ve written and use modern tools to check for accidental plagiarism.

Verbatim Plagiarism

Verbatim plagiarism is copying parts of another person’s work word for word without giving credit. To avoid verbatim plagiarism, avoid using another writer’s exact words. Also, reference different sources when writing.

Secondary Plagiarism

It refers to borrowing information from secondary sources without adequately citing and referencing the source. As a result, you credit another person for someone else’s work. To avoid this plagiarism, always cite the original author.

Collaboration Plagiarism

This is one of the types of plagiarism that is difficult to detect. It occurs when a group of students works on a project or assignment, and only one student claims the assignment as the sole author. The solution for this is for every student to work on their assignment alone. That way, it becomes your original work.

Aggregator Plagiarism

It occurs when the written text has proper citations but lacks originality. To avoid this plagiarism, read widely on a topic so that you can include original new information when writing.

Bibliographic Plagiarism

It occurs when you copy someone else’s bibliography and submit it in your document. To avoid bibliographic plagiarism, keep track of the sources and where the information came from. This will help you avoid plagiarism when you begin writing.

Incidental Plagiarism

It occurs when someone provides citations but to non-existent sources. To avoid incidental plagiarism, dig deep enough for the right sources and ensure they are acceptable in academia, and point to an author or coauthors. When you need to cite online sources, include the accessed date and appropriate URL in the reference.

Bluffing Plagiarism

This is also one of the worst types of plagiarism because you’re pretending to own certain concepts while, in reality, you’ve written source text in your own way without crediting the original author. To avoid this plagiarism, do extensive research on the assignment topic to have a broad knowledge. Also, always credit other people’s contributions and the source of ideas and words, whether paraphrased or summarized

Patchwork Plagiarism

Patchwork plagiarism involves using quotes or paraphrased ideas without attribution and rearranging them to pass them off as original material. To avoid patchwork plagiarism, work on each task from scratch, write original content, cite your sources, and use a plagiarism checker before submitting your work.

FAQ on Types of Plagiarism

Check out these frequently asked questions on types of plagiarism and their answers.

What are the most common types of plagiarism?

Paraphrasing, direct, accidental, and self are the most common types of plagiarism.

What are the three levels of plagiarism?

Level 1: It occurs when a student demonstrates poor use and understanding of referencing conventions, including how to present direct quotations. And shows poor paraphrasing skills.

Level 2: It occurs when sections are copied from other sources and presented as your own. There is also a failure to utilize referencing conventions.

Level 3: It occurs when there’s fabricated referencing, or the work is without referencing and keeps to the same structure and meaning as the original work.

Level 4: It occurs when a student submits an assignment identical to another student.

READ ALSO: How to Cite a Movie in Any Format

What are 5 ways to avoid plagiarism?

  1. Present your own original ideas in every paper
  2. Paraphrase the original text in your words and cite the source
  3. Credit the original author and reference and cite the source correctly
  4. Include quotations in direct quotes and cite the source
  5. Use a plagiarism checker to scan your work and ensure it is plagiarism free.

Summing Up

If, after reading this article and you’re still asking, what are the different types of plagiarism with examples? Then reach out to our subject experts, who will give you examples at an affordable price to help you better understand the types of plagiarism. Or click the Order Now button and get 100% unique content.

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