Types Of Plagiarism

Now that we have stressed the seriousness of plagiarism, it is important for you to look in more detail at the different types of plagiarism there are: after all, students often plagiarise due to ignorance or carelessness, rather than intent.

Different types of plagiarism:

Deliberate plagiarism

This needs little explanation. Deliberate plagiarism is the simple - and totally wrong - act of attempting to pass off someone else's work as your own.


This type of plagiarism is a little more strategic - it involves reading a few texts, writing down a few key sentences, changing the words around, and throwing in a few quotes and citations to throw your tutor off the scent: then, 'hey presto', you have the perfect essay, right? Wrong!

Your tutors have read those books and seen this method before. As with the first example, this type of plagiarism can only be done deliberately and it won't work.

Patchwork paraphrasing

This is much the same as the above, except that it involves reading (and stealing) from more books and 'patching' their ideas together - this, too, is easily detectable, always deliberate and definitely deceitful, aided and abetted by online plagiarism!


This involves reading texts, selecting key phrases and then writing down the ideas so that they seem different, though the ideas are actually the same - this type of plagiarism is bluffing in the worst way, because you are pretending that you have ownership of certain ideas in order to fool others into thinking you know more than you do.

Stitching sources

This type of plagiarism is within the 'grey zone' because all the sources used are usually correctly cited, but the student has failed to develop their analytical skills to enable them to work effectively and produce work that is truly their own. This is still plagiarism, but is more likely to be accidental as a result of inexperience.

Using a copy of your own work

This one may surprise you: plagiarism of this type is not based on stealing the work of others, but on reworking your own. You may have covered the topic before and gained a good grade; if you are now short on time, it can be easy to think that you can piece your old work together with your new work and produce a successful amalgam. Unfortunately, you can't get two grades (or degrees) for the same work, so even if you do this without knowing that it's wrong, it is still classed as plagiarism.

All of the above are types of plagiarism, to a greater or lesser degree, and should be avoided at all cost!