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The 10 Most Common Types Of Plagiarism

Do you know plagiarism has become a major issue in academic world? The Josephson Institute Center for Youth Ethics conducted a survey on 43,000 high school students in 2010. The results revealed that one out of three students submit plagiarized assignments. According to another study conducted by Rutgers University (2002-2005), the percentage of graduate students who admitted to cheating on academic papers was 40. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense.

10 Types of Plagiarism

Turnitin, a renowned plagiarism checking software company, has published a spectrum report on 10 types of plagiarism styles that are very much prevalent nowadays. Here, we will be discussing all those styles in detail. We will also suggest how to avoid plagiarism in the second part of the blog.

1. CLONE

Cloning is the most problematic and common form of plagiarism. It refers to the act of submitting someone else’s work (word for word) as one’s own. Let us explain this with an instance.

Original work Plagiarized work
Source – A study on satirical internet memes

Memes can be considered as cultural analogues to genes. The funny or witty language used in satirical memes implicitly mock some so called existed cultural notions and contemporary situations.

A study on satirical internet memes

Memes can be considered as cultural analogues to genes. The funny or witty language used in satirical memes implicitly mock some so called existed cultural notions and contemporary situations.

Here, the highlighted content is plagiarized. We can see that each sentence has been copied word to word from the original text. This act violates intellectual property right of the author.

2. CTRL- C

In this type of plagiarism, a particular portion of the text is copied from a single source without any alteration. It is also a common form of plagiarism. Let us look at an example for better understanding.

Original work Plagiarized work
Source – A study on Saussure’s contribution to the field of semiotics

A dyadic model of sign has been introduced by Ferdinand De Saussure. According to him, sign refers to the whole that results from the association of signified and signifier.

Saussure’s dyadic model of sign

Ferdinand De Saussure is a Swiss semiotician and linguist. He introduced dyadic model of sign. According to him, sign refers to the whole that results from the association of signified and signifier.

The highlighted portion is plagiarized. Here, it can be noticed that the last sentence has been copied without any alteration from the source quoted in the left column.

3. FIND-REPLACE

It refers to the act of changing phrases and keywords but copying the essential content (word to word) from the source. It is one of the most common types of plagiarism. Let us discuss this with an example.

Original work Plagiarized work
Source – Internet memes and their role

Now-a-days the term ‘meme’ has gained much popularity. This term was coined by the revolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in his first book ‘The Selfish gene’ in 1976. ‘Meme’ basically functions as a fundamental cultural unit of transmission of cultural ideas, practices or symbols from one mind to another.

The role of internet memes

In contemporary world, the term ‘meme’ has gained much popularity. This term was introduced by the great revolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in his first book ‘The Selfish gene’ in 1976. ‘Meme’ generally functions as a unit of transmission of cultural notions, practices or symbols from one mind to another.

The highlighted sentences are plagiarized. Certain phrases and words have been changed here. But the essential content is identical with the source.

4. REMIX

When one paraphrases from multiple sources and make the content fit together, it is known as remix. This type of plagiarism is also very common nowadays. Let us look at an example.

Original work Plagiarized work
Source-1. An analysis on Roland Barthes’s Mythologies

In his famous book, “Mythologies”, Roland Barthes introduces a second level of signs. He uses several examples to explain this.  

Source-2. A study on Roland Barthes

Roland Barthes, a famous literary critic, introduced a second level of signs. In this level, a sign itself becomes a signifier and a new connotation is added to it. . For example, we can say that the sign rose (signifier+ signified) becomes a signifier in the second level and it represents love as a new meaning is added to it.

Roland Barthes’s contribution

In his work next “Mythologies”, Roland Barthes discusses about the second level of signs. He explains this with several examples. According to him, a sign itself becomes a signifier and a new meaning is added to it. Let us discuss this with an example. The sign rose (signifier+ signified) becomes a signifier in the second level and it symbolizes love as a new connotation is added to it.

The section marked with grey color is taken from source 1. The portion highlighted with yellow color is paraphrased from source 2. It is clear that the sentences are paraphrased from multiple sources.

5. RECYCLE

It is a form of self-plagiarizing. It refers to the act of borrowing from one’s own previous write-up. Let us take an instance.

Original work Plagiarized work
Source – An analysis on Richard Dawkin’s The Selfish Gene  

Richard Dawkins proposed his revolutionary theory on memes in his famous book “The Selfish Gene”. According to him, memes are analogues to gene.

Richard Dawkins and his theory on memes

Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist, discussed his theory on memes in his great work “The Selfish Gene”. According to him, memes are analogues to gene.

In this given example, the highlighted sections are borrowed from the text quoted in the left column.

6. MASHUP

In this type of plagiarism, materials copied from multiple sources are mixed together without proper citation. Let us elaborate this with an example.

Original work Plagiarized work
Source-1. Charles Sanders Peirce and his contribution

Charles Sanders Peirce was an American philosopher. His contribution to the field of semiotics is noteworthy. 

Source-2. A study on Charles Sanders Peirce’s triadic model of sign

American philosopher, C.S.Peirce introduced a triadic model of sign.  This model includes three levels –  represntamen, an interpretant and an object. According to Peirce, signs can be grouped into three categories; icon, index, symbol.

Triadic model of sign

Charles Sanders Peirce was an American philosopher. His contribution to the field of semiotics is noteworthy. He introduced a triadic model of sign.  This model includes three levels –  represntamen, an interpretant and an object. According to Peirce, signs can be grouped into three categories: icon, index, symbol.

In this given example, the highlighted sections are copied from different sources and combined together. It can be observed that the sources are not cited here.

7. HYBRID

In this type of plagiarism, copied passages (without citation) are combined with perfectly cited sources.

Original work Plagiarized work
Source-1. Theory on Carnivalesque

The root of the concept ‘Carnivalesque’ can be traced back to the medieval festival ‘Feast of Fools’ of sub-deacons of the cathedral. This concept of carnival was introduced by Bakhtin.

Source.2- Mikhail Bakhtin’s view on Carnivalesque

According to Mikhail Bakhtin, Carnival is a kind of syncretic, ritualized pageantry, which highlights a specific aspect. It is that precise moment in which, life escapes its official furrows and enacts utopian freedom.  

Mikhail Bakhtin was a Russian philosopher. The concept of carnival was introduced by him. The root of the concept ‘Carnivalesque’ can be traced back to the medieval festival ‘Feast of Fools’ of sub-deacons of the cathedral. This concept of carnival was introduced by Bakhtin. According to him, “Carnival is a kind of syncretic, ritualized pageantry, which highlights a specific aspect. It is that precise moment in which life escapes its official furrows and enacts utopian freedom” 1. James. A, 2005,“Mikhail Bakhtin’s view on Carnivalesque”, The New Yorker, p.6 

Here, the section marked with grey color is copied from source 1 (without citation). The section marked with yellow color is taken from source 2 and it is properly cited. This content is plagiarized due to the copied passage.

8. 404 ERROR

When a paper incorporates citation to inaccurate or non-existent information about the sources, it is known as 404 error.

Original work Plagiarized work
Source – A critical analysis of Milton’s Paradise lost

In his great epic poem Paradise Lost, John Milton portrays the character of Satan from a completely different angle. The plot is takes from Bible. Satan and his followers challenge the supremacy of God. Samuel Anderson, a literary critic says, “the basic plot line is not developed properly”.

A study on Milton’s Paradise Lost

In his great epic poem Paradise Lost, John Milton portrays the character of Satan from a completely different angle. The plot is takes from Bible. Satan and his followers challenge the supremacy of God. Samuel Anderson, a literary critic says, “the basic plot line is not developed properly”.

1 For a detailed analysis on Milton’s Paradise Lost, see Anderson’s article “A critical review of Milton’s Paradise Lost” May 10, 1993

 

In this example, it can be noticed that inaccurate source has been cited.

9. AGGREGATOR

In this type of plagiarism, the text includes proper citation but it does not contain original work.

Original work Plagiarized work
Source-1. A study on Riders to the Sea

“Riders to the sea” is a one-act play by J.M. Synge. This masterpiece chronicles the lives of the inhabitants of Aran island. This play revolves around the binary of life and death.

Source-2. Interplay of symbols in Synge’s Riders to the Sea

 The main theme is beautifully conveyed through the clusters of multi-layered symbols in Synge’s Riders to the sea. The central symbol is the Sea. “The Sea” is the symbol of life and at the same time it is the destroyer of life.

“Riders to the sea” is a one-act play by J.M. Synge. This masterpiece chronicles the lives of the inhabitants of Aran island. This play revolves around the binary of life and death.1 The main theme is beautifully conveyed through the clusters of multi-layered symbols in Synge’s Riders to the sea. The central symbol is the Sea. “The Sea” is the symbol of life and at the same time it is the destroyer of life.21 Johnson. P, 2008, A Study On The Riders To The Sea, Applewood Books, p.18 2 Brown. G,2005, Interplay of symbols in Synge’s Riders to the Sea, Allison and Busby, p. 5 

Here, all the sources are cited properly. But it can be observed that the paper does not include original work. The whole content is taken from the sources mentioned in the left column.

10. RE-TWEET

In this type of plagiarism, the paper incorporates proper citation but it resembles the original text’s structure or wordings.

Original work Plagiarized work
Source – Saussure’s Structuralism

Ferdinand De Saussure, a Swiss semiotician and linguists, analyzed the language system from a different aspect. His contribution to the development of the theory “structuralism” is noteworthy. According to him, language is system of sign and signifier. The elements of a language system can only be defined in relation to each other and to the entire system.

Saussure and structuralism

Ferdinand De Saussure, who was a Swiss linguist, described the language system from a totally different perspective. He contributed a lot to the development of the theory of structuralism. From his viewpoint, language can be defined as a system of sign and signifier. The elements of this system can be comprehended in relation to the whole system and to each other.

1O’Conner. M, 2004, Saussure’s Structuralism, Austin Macauley Publishers, p.12  

In this example, the source is cited properly. But the words (highlighted) used in the content rely too closely on the original piece’s wordings.

Expert Tips to Avoid Plagiarism

After consulting with our experts, we have come up with the following tips to avoid plagiarism:

• Paraphrasing is the best way to avoid plagiarism. Read the original text several times so that you can find out the key ideas. Explain all those concepts in your own words in your assignment. It is suggested not to copy verbatim more than two words in a row from the source

• Cite all the sources. This is one of the most effective ways to avoid plagiarism. There are several types of citations styles including APA, MLA, Harvard, Oxford, Chicago, etc. Each style has a particular format. You can follow any one of these styles. Before citing the sources, read all the guidelines provided by your university. Inaccurate citation can constitute plagiarism (as mentioned earlier)

• Suppose you encounter an axiom, which is hard to paraphrase, quote the phrase then. You cannot alter words while quoting a source

• If you are including a quote in your paper, you need to cite it properly. It is recommended to mention paragraph number or page number

• If you want to avoid plagiarism, then you have to include a reference page at the end of your assignment or academic paper.

Hope, these tricks will help you compose a plagiarism-free paper. You have to be very cautious about this issue. If you are not confident enough, then you can seek guidance from professionals.

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