Types of Plagiarism


Many types of plagiarism exist; some are obvious and some are not. A writer must know what constitutes plagiarism because ignorance of the facts will not excuse him or her from the consequences. The University of Pittsburgh's undergraduate plagiarism policy (University of Pittsburgh, 2008) lists examples of plagiarism:

  • Copying text "as is" without quotation marks and with no citation or source.
  • Reordering the elements of the source text without citation.
  • Copying pieces (sentences, key phrases) of the source text without citation.
  • Paraphrasing without citation.
  • Reproducing information that is not common knowledge or self-evident without citation.
  • Incorporating an idea heard in conversation without citation.
  • Using your own past material or another student's material as a new idea without citation.
  • Paying for another to contribute to your work without citation.
  • Using software or online translators to translate material without citation.
  • Paying someone else to do your work, purchasing material, or translating from someone else's material (web-based or hard copy). (Calvano, 2011, p.1)

The best defense against plagiarism is knowledge and the practice of effective writing skills. Learning how to paraphrase, quote, and to properly cite and reference material is critical. A writer will never gain good writing skills if he or she does not create their own work. Not procrastinating and beginning papers early will help to squelch the temptation to cheat by plagiarizing. The writer's academic, professional, and personal reputation is too valuable to lose over a moment of laziness or weakness. Using a plagiarism checker is a helpful way to check for plagiarism, even accidental, and ensure that writing is original and well cited.


Calvano, B. (2011). Plagiarism in higher education. Retrieved from

University of Pittsburgh. (2008). Undergraduate plagiarism policy. Retrieved from