Plagiarized content has caused numerous scandals in the past, leaving both the academic and public world shocked. Even the most brilliant minds and great authors have been accused of claiming someone else’s work as their own.
It doesn’t matter if it is about classic novels, magazine articles, or scientific papers — plagiarism always causes serious reactions and is considered not only illegal but also immoral.
In the world of modern technology, it is easy to find numerous sources. People publish their great ideas, creative work, experiences, etc. They write blogs and share research and documents online.
With a simple Google search, everyone can find and replicate content they like and turn it into their own. There are many scams we can encounter online but there are also a lot of useful tools that can help us detect this kind of fraud and prevent us from committing plagiarism.
Why so Many Authors Commit Plagiarism?
Accusing someone of committing plagiarism is a serious matter. Stealing on its own is a crime, but taking someone else’s ideas may hurt the actual author. Any sincere writer will tell you that it’s unacceptable and degrading to commit plagiarism as that would call their personal abilities and talents into question.
Yet, plagiarism still happens for many reasons. Sometimes it is the work of opportunists and fraudsters, but in many cases, it is nothing more than mere coincidence.
Types of Plagiarism
In order to learn how to write original and imitation-free content but also know how to recognize the intent of the author who committed plagiarism, we must first learn about several different types of plagiarism.
Since there are billions of words written by humans, vast databases and a lot of literature, many people believe that a stolen sentence or two will not harm anybody but only save their valuable time. That’s why they consciously choose to commit plagiarism. There are four types of intentional plagiarism in total.
1. Complete Plagiarism — Stealing of Intellectual Property
We’ll start with the worst type of plagiarism. Unfortunately, some people are bold enough to take someone’s entire work and say it’s their own. This is the most severe type of intellectual property theft.
However, in situations in which multiple collaborators clash over authorship, an individual involved in the process of creating content can be left out of the list of creators. This is another critical issue related to copyright and appropriation.
2. Direct Plagiarism
This type of plagiarism refers to those people who use other authors’ lines, even entire sections, without mentioning them as a source or putting their words under quotation marks.
The only difference from the first case is that the thief uses segments, maybe even from many different authors, to get quality content without personally investing knowledge.
3. Mosaic Plagiarism
This plagiarism type includes taking small fragments, terms, and phrases from various authors and assembling them into one allegedly original document.
In such pieces, it is very hard to recognize plagiarism, which makes this one of the most pernicious types of fraud in the world of literature.
4. Inaccurate Sources and Fabricated Information
During the writing process, writers check the reliability of their sources. However, it can happen that their source was using inaccurate data, which can result in plagiarism.
Also, when someone fabricates or rewrites information from a written document on their own initiative, that can be called plagiarism too.
Plagiarism can also be a result of someone’s mistake or random occurrence. That means that people can commit plagiarism without actually being aware of it. There are two types of unintentional plagiarism.
1. Auto Plagiarism
This phenomenon literally means to imitate yourself. It happens especially with academic articles and research papers but is even possible in literature and journalism. The author may use the same references in several pieces without realizing it.
The question remains whether this kind of oversight should be considered plagiarism. Still, in highly professional literature pieces and journals, there are rigorous rules that classify such faults as a type of plagiarism.
2. Plagiarism by Accident
Sometimes it happens that after reading too much literature, we write a sentence or an entire paragraph that resembles another sentence or paragraph too much and thus becomes plagiarised. Also, plagiarism occurs (to a certain extent) whenever we use a common phrase or clichés in writing.
To avoid such unintentional, yet harmful, mistakes, we should focus more on using original terms, a unique writing style, and finally, tools that will help us improve the authenticity of our content.
Every creative writer strives to be authentic and recognizable. To achieve that, writers must be creative and never look for shortcuts. One thing’s certain — all quality work will eventually find its audience.