What are five types of plagiarism?

Types of Plagiarism

You might have heard of the three types of plagiarism: Self-plagiarism, Unintentional plagiarism, and Mosaic plagiarism. But what does each of these actually mean? If you’re not sure, keep reading to discover how to spot plagiarism in your own writing. Then, you’ll be able to avoid committing this offense in the future. In this article, we’ll go over each one in more detail.

Unintentional plagiarism

Unintentional plagiarism occurs when a writer fails to follow proper citation procedures and fails to credit the original author. This is the most common form of plagiarism, and it is not the same as intentional copying. While plagiarism is never intentional, it is still illegal, and the consequences of unintentional copying are equally harsh. As a student or a writer, you should know how to cite sources and avoid accidental copying.

Students who do not do enough research for their assignments may end up repeating the research of one source without properly citing it. By omitting citations and quotation marks, they may think they can get away with paraphrasing. They may also think that their ideas are unique and don’t need to be attributed to the original source. While they may have cited other sources, this type of plagiarism is still unethical and can result in disciplinary action.

The most common form of unintentional plagiarism occurs when writers don’t follow the proper citation rules. They use the wrong citation methods, or don’t even quote a source properly. Using a wrong citation style can result in plagiarism, and academic institutions and publications will likely penalize you. If you are unsure about the proper citation practices for your writing, you can use the plagiarism checker to ensure that your work doesn’t contain duplicative content. By following this rule, you can improve your research skills, enhance your writing, and avoid being a victim of unintentional plagiarism.

How to prevent unintentional plagiarism?

To prevent unintentional plagiarism, students should first understand what constitutes a valid source. Then, they must know how to cite the source properly. Ideally, their work should be a combination of analysis and their own ideas, but with enough references to avoid plagiarism. While some students may be unintentionally guilty of plagiarism, it is often due to carelessness or poor attention to detail. However, there are some ways to prevent plagiarism and avoid it altogether.

In the United States, words and ideas are considered intellectual property. This is why students must be aware of proper citation and note-taking practices. Although it may seem easy, it is important to note that even the most casual of students can easily commit plagiarism, and the consequences of unintentional copying can be severe. To avoid accidental plagiarism, students should take notes from class and keep a record of the sources they use in their work.


The act of self-plagiarism involves recycling words, ideas, or text from previously published papers or class assignments of your own work. Although it does not constitute outright stealing, it can pose problems in academic publications and research. The best practice is to cite prior work. This practice is acceptable when referencing an article or paper from a previous class. However, it is also not recommended to copy entire sentences or paragraphs from already published work of yourself.

Text recycling and self-plagiarism

Text recycling is a controversial form of self-plagiarism. According to a few researchers, textual recycling is not considered plagiarism because it involves only partial reusing of a piece of text. Moreover, scholars have different opinions on how much textual reuse is acceptable.

For example, Samuelson (1994) suggested that authors can reuse up to 30 percent of their previous works, while Bretag and Carapiet (2007) suggest 10%. In addition, scholars have different opinions on whether or not a particular section of an article must be entirely original, arguing that some parts are less important than others.

In academic publishing, plagiarism checkers can flag self-plagiarism during the submission process. In professional publishing, for example, journals will reject your work, and others may require you to revise or explicitly cite data used elsewhere.

How self-plagiarism can hurt your reputation?

Self-plagiarism may damage your reputation and may result in publication delays. In addition to being illegal, self-plagiarism is damaging to your reputation, and it can be embarrassing. Even professional writers and subject matter experts can become victims of self-plagiarism, and it can have serious consequences. Self-plagiarism may affect students, academic researchers, and anyone else writing on the same topic.

The use of self-authored works to supplement one’s writing is not acceptable in most cases. While re-using previous work is not always wrong, it is still plagiarism and should be reported. This is because re-using the same research or material in two different research papers can result in duplicated work, which can affect your grades. For this reason, it is vital to avoid copying the original work of your own.

What causes self-plagiarism?

Despite the fact that self-plagiarism is considered a form of plagiarism, the traditional definition of the term does not include self-plagiarism. It can be an ethical dilemma for students or even professionals who are unaware of copyright laws. Copyright laws state that professional authors cannot use previously published work unless the original content is properly cited. Further, students are often unaware of the copyright laws and implications of plagiarism.

Mosaic plagiarism

Mosaic plagiarism is a form of intentional plagiarism. In this case, the writer simply copies a section or whole text from another source, without citing the original source. Generally, this form of plagiarism is less obvious, because the rephrasing of the material is so subtle, the words and phrases remain the same. However, a university may deem the material to be mosaic plagiarized, and in that case, the student could be penalized.

In addition to being unethical, mosaic plagiarism is illegal. This form of plagiarism is a major red flag for academic dishonesty. Often, it is easy to copy parts of another writer’s work without citing the original source. This technique can be as subtle as a few words or as complex as several sentences. It is not always easy to detect, however, and it is very likely to lead to a plagiarism conviction.

When mosaic plagiarism occurs, the writer has copied someone else’s words, ideas, or text without using quotation marks. This method can lead to the resulting text that is not your own, or it can even result in the use of synonyms instead of the original words. In most cases, mosaic plagiarism is the result of not knowing how to paraphrase correctly. Using quotation marks can prevent this practice, but citing information without a citation is not sufficient.

Another form of mosaic plagiarism involves copying chunks of content from several sources and putting them together without modifying the original content. Even if you have made minimal changes, such as rephrasing sentences, you may still be plagiarizing. While mosaic plagiarism is technically illegal, it is not the same as incremental plagiarism, in that the copied material stays throughout the new piece. It is the same principle as mosaic plagiarism, but it can be subtler and more difficult to detect.

How to prevent mosaic plagiarism?

The key to avoiding mosaic plagiarism is to be aware of what makes it an ethical practice. Paraphrasing is the process of changing a sentence without losing the original idea or meaning. While paraphrasing does not constitute plagiarism, it can be considered an ethical violation if the original author is not credited. By contrast, mosaic plagiarism involves copying the exact words and phrases from several sources, without crediting the original author. This type of plagiarism may have serious repercussions for your academic and professional life.


The problem of plagiarism is becoming increasingly serious in modern academic institutions. Students can easily access more sources of information through online resources, which has increased the incidence of plagiarism. But the good news is that there are several ways to avoid plagiarism. In the meantime, students can avoid getting caught and face serious disciplinary action. While citing sources in a paper is important, citations in the reference entries will help you avoid plagiarism. And the results will be more than worth it.


  1. Samuelson, P. (1994). Self-plagiarism or fair use. Communications of the ACM,37(8), 21–25.
  2. Bretag, T., & Carapiet, S. (2007). A preliminary study to determine the extent of self-plagiarism in Australian academic research. Plagiary: Cross-Disciplinary Studies in Plagiarism, Fabrication and Falsification, 2(5), 1–15.

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