Find out about the different types of plagiarism

Writing an essayThere are many different forms of plagiarism. Here are the most common – some are obvious, others come as a surprise to many students!  Read on to see what they are…

  • Taking someone else’s words and making it look like they’re your own.
  • Taking someone else’s ideas and making it look like they’re your own.
  • Rewording an idea you found, without giving credit to the person whose idea it is.
  • Failing to put a quotation in”quotation marks” (so people can’t tell that someone else wrote it).
  • Copying substantial sections of someone’s words or ideas, even when you use quotations or give credit (because the work you’ve created is essentially their work – there’s little or no originality).
  • Giving the wrong information about the source of words or ideas.  This is often where the student or author adds many references that they found in the reference section of a single journal and have never actually read.  There is a correct way to deal with this though – you can write ‘Smith (1999) cited in….[The Journal you have]‘ and this is acceptable.
  • Changing the words of a source but copying the sentence structure without giving credit.  Examples of this might be replacing two or three words in the sentence with synonyms.

Self plagiarism is also a type of plagiarism – this refers to copying your previously submitted (or published) work without making it clear about the relationship between the old and the new paper.  In the context of a student, this is dishonest because your tutor sets work for you to research and complete – they don’t expect you to just hand in previous work as this defeats the object of the assignment.

Similar to plagiarism:

Plagiarism v Détournement
Plagiarism v Détournement

A détournement, French for "rerouting" or "hijacking", is a technique developed in the 1950s by the Letterist International, and later adapted by the Situationist International (SI).

Plagiarism v homage
Plagiarism v Homage

Homage is a show or demonstration of respect or dedication to someone or something, sometimes by simple declaration but often by some more oblique reference, artistic or poetic.

Gulliver's travels parody
Plagiarism v parody

A parody or spoof is an imitative work created to imitate, or comment on and trivialize an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of satiric or ironic imitation.

Bohemian rhapsody pastiche
Plagiarism v pastiche

A pastiche is a work of visual art, literature, or music that imitates the style or character of the work. Unlike parody, pastiche celebrates, rather than mocks, the work it imitates.

Plagiarism v Détournement
Plagiarism v Cryptomnesia

Cryptomnesia occurs when a forgotten memory returns without it being recognised as such, and it is instead believed to be something new and original.

Plagiarism v homage
Plagiarism v Swipe

Swipe is a comics term that refers to the intentional copying of a cover, panel, or page from an earlier comic book or graphic novel without crediting the original artist.