What is Plagiarism

What is plagiarism? Probably, everybody knows what this term means, because in the modern world this word is used too often. The term “plagiarism” itself means stealing words, ideas or inventions and passing them off as one’s own.

According to the encyclopedia Britannica, the definition is as follows:

“Plagiarism, the act of taking the writings of another person and passing them off as one’s own. The fraudulence is closely related to forgery and piracy—practices generally in violation of copyright laws. If only thoughts are duplicated, expressed in different words, there is no breach of contract. Also, there is no breach if it can be proved that the duplicated wordage was arrived at independently.”

Plagiarism in academia, blogging or web content means almost the same – stealing someone’s work and using it without permissions of the author.

Most Widespread Types of Plagiarism

Among the most commonly committed types of plagiarism you may come across these ones:

  • Direct plagiarism – this is a word-for-word copying of someone else’s text without proper acknowledgment.
  • Self-plagiarism is usually interpreted as re-using previous works and passing them off as newly created ones, though quite often it may happen unintentionally.
  • Mosaic plagiarism occurs when mixing copy-pasted text parts with paraphrased sentences which is usually done with the help of synonyms, so that plagiarism checkers cannot find similarities easily.
  • Unintentional plagiarism occurs by accident, however it doesn’t mean that it won’t entail any punishment. It happens as a result of poor-referencing, failing to double check whether all the sources of information were cited or not, etc.

How to Detect and Avoid Plagiarism

There are many anti-plagiarism tools for detecting text matches. For now, they cannot find all types of plagiarism, however some of them are efficient enough to detect even paraphrased text.

Using plagiarism checker helps not only detect plagiarism, but also avoid it by scanning every paragraph or page and finding some similarities. So, if you failed to attribute a source, the checker will definitely remind you to do this.

Such tools also help teachers and professors to detect academic misconduct and assess students more accurately. Another huge group of people who is interested in writing highly-original texts consists of writers and bloggers. Even if a blogger or writer creates a text mostly on his or her own, he or she can run the risk of committing accidental plagiarism. This usually takes place because of a great many sources they review to get inspired and write their own blog posts or stories. Thus, using a plagiarism checker turns to be of great help for bloggers, guest bloggers, journalists and writers too.