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Plagiarism: Don't let it happen to you!

Types of Plagiarism

Direct Plagiarism

Also known as verbatim plagiarism, this is one of the most serious academic offenses. It involves deliberately copying your sources word for word without citing them, trying to claim ownership of the text falsely, and making most of your content just a copy/paste of someone else’s ideas.

Don't be a "Ghost Writer" - The writer who turns in another's work, word-for-word, as his or her own.

Mosaic Plagiarism

This involves intertwining someone else’s work with your original research and opinions. This is one of the most deceptive forms of plagiarism and often includes copying text from several different sources, paraphrasing a few sentences, and then adding a few original lines – all without changing the ultimate meaning of the source content.

Paraphrasing Plagiarism

As its name suggests, this involves paraphrasing, or simply altering, a few phrases from your source material while still keeping most of the structure and meaning intact. This is the most common type of plagiarism and one of the most difficult to avoid. 

Keep in mind that translating another’s work from a foreign language into English is also a type of paraphrasing plagiarism.


This involves copying all or a large chunk of your own previous original work without citing it as a source in your new paper. In essence, it’s the same as verbatim plagiarism, even though you’re using your own work. In instances where you copy your work for another course (for example), you likely won't get caught, but that doesn't make it ethical.

Don't be a "Self-Stealer" - The writer who borrows generously from his or her previous work, with or without citing properly. Set yourself an expectation of originality that aligns with the expectations set by SCU.

Accidental Plagiarism

This typically refers to mistakes made in the citation, such as leaving out the quotation marks; you’ve paraphrased a passage from another’s piece of writing without realizing it and you’ve forgotten to include the source. Accidental plagiarism is one of the most difficult to avoid, so it's important to be diligent in your note-taking.

Source-Based Plagiarism

This involves omitting one or more sources from your references list. In cases where you pull information from several different texts, you may only cite the primary data source. The most severe source-based plagiarism involves falsifying sources and making up facts and data. 


FixGerald. (2021, August 4). Everything you should know about types of plagiarism.

NYU Libraries. (2022, December 16). Plagiarism and how to avoid it.