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Plagiarism, Its Types, Detection, and Ways to Avoid

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Plagiarism is an academic dishonesty and is also commonly regarded to be as a rampant vice among the students. There is an ever increasing concern regarding the increasing level of plagiarism among the college going students. There are several forms of plagiarism exist and is quite tough for most of the students to master. For example, copying from the other sources without giving them the credit or paraphrasing the works of other and not acknowledging them are two of the most common forms of plagiarism. However, in this essay, I will demonstrate by understanding on plagiarism and what I have learnt more on this from the article named “What is Plagiarism and how to avoid it?” by Ish Kumar Dhammi and Rehan UI Haq. In this essay I will talk about plagiarism, the different types of plagiarism and how to detect and avoid them while writing manuscript.

Definition of plagiarism

From the article mentioned above, I learnt many things in relation to plagiarism. As per Vehvilainen, Lofstrom and Nevgi (2018), plagiarism refers to the unreferenced use of the published and unpolished works and ideas of other people. I have learned very quickly that people can be pretty good at cheating. Plagiarism is something that can take place at any stage of planning a write up, researching or publication. With the same, even it is applied to the electronic and print versions as well. I have always thought of plagiarism to be a wrongful appropriation. To me, it is something equal to stealing. Most of us use to think of plagiarism as copying or borrowing the ideas and work of other people. However, these terms like “borrowing” and “copying” just disguise the seriousness of this offense. Plagiarism is simply an act of fraud.

Types of plagiarism

There are several different forms of plagiarism and they are- verbatim plagiarism, mosaic plagiarism, and paraphrasing, self-plagiarism, Image plagiarism and cyber plagiarism. Firstly, the verbatim plagiarism is when we use other people’s written words in our own name and do not acknowledge them in any way. One of the most common form of verbatim plagiarism is when we copy and paste the published articles without doing any referencing. Secondly, the mosaic plagiarism refers to the type of plagiarism in which each and every words are not copied but it involves mixing our own words in other’s opinions, works or ideas. Thirdly, paraphrasing is one of the most common type of plagiarism. It is when we rewrite any particular paragraph in our own words. In this case, we just change few words of the original sentences. Changing few words alone do not make the whole thing as our own writing. If the original authors or writers are not acknowledged and if it is not referenced, then it would amount to plagiarism.

Fourthly, self-plagiarism refers to the use of our own earlier work in another context in absence of citing that it was already used formerly. However, in this form, the main idea is that we, as the writers, should let out readers know that it was not the very first use of the material that they are reading. Republishing the text is one of the most common examples of this type of plagiarism. It is also to mention that self-plagiarism is further divided into four different types and they are- a) duplicate publication, b) augmented publication, c) segmented publication and, d) text recycling. Duplicate publication is when we submit same manuscript to two different journals. It is a serious offence and in such cases, the editor could take any action as per the COPE flowchart. On the other hand, the augmented publication is when we add more data to our formerly published words and modifies the aim of that study in any way. Thirdly, the segmented publication is when two or more papers are derived from similar research works. Lastly, text recycling, as the name itself suggest, is the act when we use huge part of our own published text in our new written manuscript. It can easily be detected by the plagiarism software. Moreover, as per, cyber plagiarism on the other hand can be defined as “downloading or copying in part, or in their entirety, articles or research papers found on the Internet or copying ideas found on the Web and not giving proper attribution”. Lastly, the image plagiarism refers to the type of plagiarism that are done using images and videos without receiving proper permission and providing proper citation.

Detecting plagiarism

Detection of plagiarism refers to the process of locating the instances of plagiarism in any work or write-up. The high use of internet and computers in contemporary world has made it very easier to plagiarise other people works. Although it is a highly intolerable action in the digital community, academic career and literary community, still it is done by the people. It is a practice that all the reputable companies and individuals try their best to avoid. There are certain websites made available by the information technology for the common writers that can detect plagiarism. The other learned readers and watchful viewers can also detect plagiarism because of their familiarity with the already published material that they have read to seen earlier.

Avoiding plagiarism

In most of the cases, plagiarism could be avoided by citing the sources from where the materials are taken, by simply acknowledging that there are some materials that has been borrowed or by providing the readers with all the details and information that are required for finding that the source is enough for preventing the plagiarism. As stated above, using any piece of music, video or image in our work that we have produced in absence of receiving appropriate permission and providing proper citation is also plagiarism. All these can be avoided by simply practising ethical and honest writing. Keeping honesty in all the writings and crediting the original sources are very important. When we fail to do this, we commit plagiarism and that is a serious offense. In these days, this conduct is considered to be a serious issue in the world of academics. To avoid this, one should attribute the references, provide footnotes, make use of quotation marks when required, and give proper acknowledgement to the original writer and at the same time, give all the source of information as well. With the same, in order to avoid self-plagiarism, it is very important to take the permission from the copyright holders or publishers of the former articles. Moreover, in the cases of reproducing an image or figure, directly quoting the significant portion of any published work or reproducing any table, taking permission from the publisher is very important for avoiding plagiarism.

Dealing with plagiarism

When plagiarism is detected in any document, the faculty or the person in charge should follow some significant processes for ensuring that the incident is handled properly and consistently. As stated above, plagiarism is an academic misconduct. It is breach of ethics. Although it is not a crime but it does constitute the risk of copyright infringement. I have also learnt that the act of plagiarism is not punished by the law but instead, it is punished by the institutions. The publishing companies, educational institutions and professional associations have the full right to pose penalties and suspensions and in most of the cases, even expulsions of the authors as well. If an editor detect any misconduct by the author in the manuscript the editorial staff of the reviewers and the other editors have the whole right to take the necessary actions. If he is sure that plagiarism has been done in the manuscript, he then simply reject the manuscript and even retract if it is already published before.


Copying the media, composing a piece of music that stealing other’s composition, making video by making use of the footages of others, copying write-ups are some of the most common activities in present society. Despite all their popularity, they are still counted to be as plagiarism. Hence, we should increase the awareness related to plagiarism and other unethical conducts among the authors and the scientists. We all should act honestly in our works and we should never violate the copyright laws. If still we do so, then we have to prepare ourselves to face the punishment and this in turn would also bring disrespect for us. We would then even loss our academic position as well. Although there are many different types of plagiarism but what I understood is that, all the type amount to plagiarism and all of them are treated the same. Penalty is a must for plagiarism. It is an academic misconduct and the only thing that can make a difference in the penalty is if it is a first time offence or a repeated one.

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