Libertatem Magazine

Common Types Of Plagiarism In Academic Writing

Contents of this Page

Plagiarism is one of the growing issues in academic writing that refers to copying another person’s piece of text without giving credit to the original author. In simple words, it is an attempt to present another person’s work as your own.

In academic writing, plagiarism has many types. So, it is necessary for academians to get familiar with these types, so that they can avoid it.

Alert: Plagiarism in academic writing can have severe consequences like course failure, damaged academic reputation, suspension from the institute, etc.

In this blog post, I am going to discuss some of the common types of plagiarism in academic writing.

Common Types of Plagiarism in Academic Writing

Direct Plagiarism

On top of the list of common types of plagiarism in academic writing, I have direct plagiarism also known as “Verbatim Plagiarism”. It occurs when a person copies information as a whole. In simple words, it is when someone copies and pastes information word-by-word from other sources and presents it as their own.

Let me explain this with an example, if a student submits an essay or assignment that was previously written or submitted by someone else with the same style and wording, then this will be counted as “Direct Plagiarism”. And the plagiarizer (student who committed plagiarism) will have to bear the consequences of it.

Paraphrased Plagiarism

Paraphrased plagiarism is another common type of plagiarism in academic writing. It occurs when a person reuses another person’s content by changing or removing a few words, altering sentences and styles, etc., and pretending it is their own written work.

In simple words, it is plagiarism that occurs when you paraphrase another person’s ideas or information without properly citing the original material.

This is the most commonly occurring plagiarism in academic writing, in fact, academians don’t even realize that it’s a form of plagiarism.

Source-Based Plagiarism

This type of plagiarism occurs when a student fails to properly cite the original in their academic content or cite a source that does not exist. Keep this in mind, there are multiple other reasons as well through which source-based plagiarism can happen, those reasons are as follows:

  • When the student cites the secondary source instead of the primary one.
  • Include a piece of information in academic material that is supported by two or more sources, but the student only cites one.

Generally, source-based plagiarism doesn’t refer to an act of stealing another person’s work to present it as their own. But keep in mind that it is still considered an ethical act (Plagiarism) and can result in severe consequences.

Mosaic Plagiarism

When a student uses some unique and plagiarized pieces of information one after the other is known as mosaic plagiarism or patchwork plagiarism. In simple words, the plagiarizer mixes up both original plagiarized content to avoid getting caught.

The main intention of committing this type of plagiarism in academic writing is to make the entire text look original.


You may have got a little idea what kind of information I will be mentioning here. Self—plagiarism in academic writing occurs when the student submits a piece of academic material like an assignment that is similar to his/her previously submitted work.

Let me explain this with an example, if a student has submitted an essay in high school, then it would be unacceptable if he/she again submits the same essay in college without the permission of both professors (high school and college). Doing this will be considered “Self-plagiarism”.

Not just this, this type of plagiarism can also occur when a student reuses his/her old ideas or words and phrases to describe a piece of information.

Accidental Plagiarism

This is the final and yet common type of plagiarism in academic writing. As the name indicates, accidental plagiarism occurs when a person accidentally copies another person’s information. This type of plagiarism can occur due to several reasons:

  • When the students forget to cite or quote the original source.
  • When they unintentionally paraphrase a source by using similar words and phrases
  • When some pieces of written information or its style accidentally match with already existing one.

Accidental plagiarism can occur both intentionally and unintentionally. But keep this in mind, it is still considered a serious offense in academic writing and can lead to serious consequences.

How To Deal With Plagiarism – Different Ways

Below, I have discussed multiple ways through which plagiarism can be eliminated.

Rewrite Text Using Your Words

This is the recommended yet most effective way to deal with any kind of plagiarism. Rewriting the text in your own words refers to replacing words and phrases of the plagiarized text with their relevant synonyms. This will not be enough; you will also have to alter the sentence structure (rearrangement of words) to make the text completely 100% unique.

However, while rewriting the text make sure the original meaning of the text remains the same. But wait, what if you are not able to rewrite it efficiently? This process not only requires good writing skills but also time and effort.

If this is the case with you, then don’t worry, there is still a way. You can get help from an article rewriter – an online tool that will quickly rewrite the given text in a unique way by replacing words with synonyms, and alteration of sentences.

Add Citations

Another way to remove plagiarism from academic material is by citing the original source. It is an act of giving credit to the original author or material for information that you have used. Doing this will indicate that you are not pretending another person’s work is your own.

Citing the original source will completely eliminate the risk of plagiarism, but there is one condition. You have to accurately cite the source, otherwise, it will result in source-based plagiarism.


Adding quotations both at the end and the start of the plagiarized content can also help you eliminate plagiarism. While quoting, you can make use of words like Stated that, According to, etc.

However, it is important to note that, if your academic material is too much plagiarized, then quoting is the way you should go with it. When you quote too much text or information, it will leave a bad impression on others regarding your writing abilities.


Plagiarism is considered a serious offense in academic writing and can lead to severe consequences. There are many types of plagiarism, in this article, I have discussed some of the common ones in detail. I have also explained multiple ways through which academians can deal with the issue of plagiarism. Happy Academic Writing!

About the Author