types of plagiarism
There are many types of plagiarism, making it essential that students learn to cite their sources. Source: Joe Raedle/AFP

Passing off someone else’s work as your own — even by accident! — is a serious offence in university. The American Psychological Association (APA) defines plagiarism as “the act of presenting the words, ideas, or images of another as your own; it denies authors or creators of content the credit they are due”.

It’s essential to know there are different types of plagiarism before you head off to university; failing to properly attribute your sources can come with severe ramifications, from failing a course to being expelled.

Let’s explore what are some of the common types of plagiarism and how you can stay clear of them:

Types of plagiarism

Direct plagiarism

Direct plagiarism involves taking someone’s work or ideas without citation. 

Global plagiarism

This type of plagiarism involves taking an entire piece by someone else and passing it off as your own.

Paraphrasing plagiarism

Another common type of plagiarism is paraphrasing plagiarism. As its name suggests, it involves paraphrasing another person’s work and presenting it as your own.

Patchwork plagiarism

Not unlike a mosaic art piece, patchwork plagiarism involves sourcing quotes and phrases from different articles and putting them together as your own work.

types of plagiarism

Many things can count as plagiarism. Source: Issouf Sanogo/AFP

Why should you use plagiarism checkers?

With the many types of plagiarism to stay clear of, free plagiarism checkers are nifty tools for university students in the digital age.

While Turnitin is a popular plagiarism prevention software, there are other free services that can help you check your work before submission.

Here are five free plagiarism checkers for students:

  • Grammarly
  • Quetext
  • EasyBib
  • Unicheck
  • Duplichecker

Read more about each of them here.