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This guide provides an overview of plagiarism.

Types of Plagiarism 

Plagiarism takes various forms, all leading to potential disciplinary actions by professors and the university, depending on the severity. While many believe plagiarism involves only word-for-word copying, merely changing a few words with synonyms won't suffice. Proper attribution of ideas is equally important.

In academia, scholars are expected to credit not only the exact words they cite but also the lineage of thoughts and prior research. This means you can plagiarize when directly quoting without proper citation, using one's words to present others' ideas, and even duplicating one's prior work.

In this section, we will explore the most common types of plagiarism including:

  • "Direct Plagiarism is the word-for-word transcription of a section of someone else’s work, without attribution and without quotation marks." This is also referred to as clone plagiarism.
  • "Self-Plagiarism occurs when a student submits their previous work, or mixes parts of previous works, without permission from all professors involved. For example, it would be unacceptable to incorporate part of a term paper you wrote in high school into a paper assigned in a college course. Self-plagiarism also applies to submitting the same piece of work for assignments in different classes without previous permission from both professors." This is also referred to as recycle plagiarism. 
  • "Mosaic Plagiarism occurs when a student borrows phrases from a source without using quotation marks or finds synonyms for the author's language while keeping to the same general structure and meaning of the original." This type of plagiarism is frequently called patchwriting and it most frequently occurs when students fail to paraphrase correctly. This is a combination of CTRL-C and Find-Replace.
  • "Accidental Plagiarism occurs when a person neglects to cite their sources, or misquotes their sources, or unintentionally paraphrases a source by using similar words, groups of words, and/or sentence structure without attribution." This is a combination of Hybrid, Mashup, Aggregator, and Re-Tweet plagiarism. 
The quoted definitions above are from the Dean of Students at Bowdoin College Brunswich. "The Common Types of Plagiarism." Office of the Dean of Students. Accessed July 10, 2018.
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