Simply speaking, plagiarism is when you present someone else’s ideas as your own. It’s when you incorporate their work into your own without acknowledging that your work was inspired or influenced by theirs.

Reckless or intentional plagiarism is oftentimes flagged as a serious offense in academic and professional settings. But whenever we’re asked, “what is plagiarism?” we emphasize the fact that it isn’t always intentional.

There are many ideas and opinions to explore for your research papers or other written work. Nevertheless, it’s possible for you to share the same sentiments with other academics, analysts, or researchers. Or maybe you used their work to defend your argument — but you didn’t add proper citations. This is unintentional plagiarism. 


What Is Considered Plagiarism?

Plagiarism involves the copying, duplicating, misattributing, and stealing of ideas or content that somebody else wrote. It can also be the sloppy summarization or poor paraphrasing of someone else’s published content.

Take a look at the different things that can be considered plagiarism by your teachers or superiors:

  • Inserting a word-for-word quotation of an idea without proper citations
  • Copying and pasting content with mentioning the source in the bibliography
  • Paraphrasing somebody else’s work by just changing some words or sentence structures
  • Failing to acknowledge somebody else’s assistance or contribution to your work
  • Blatantly submitting somebody else’s written work as your own


What Are the Different Types of Plagiarism?

There are various types of plagiarism that could result in academic or professional probation, or worse.

  • Direct Plagiarism
    •  This is the act of not changing a single word from another person’s work and submitting it as yours. Or if you do change some parts, you only replace some words or rearrange the sentences.
  • Mosaic Plagiarism
    •  Mosaic plagiarism is the act of taking ideas and borrowing phrases from different source materials and then putting them together for your own paper. This could lead to unintentional plagiarism.
  • Self-Plagiarism
    • We’ve heard the question, “What is self-plagiarism?” from so many students. If you copy and paste parts of your previous work into the one you’re writing now, you’re committing self-plagiarism.
  • Accidental Plagiarism
    • Unintentional plagiarism often occurs when you forget to cite the source of your references or if you cite the wrong source. In this case, always be careful with your citations.

It’s okay to paraphrase somebody else’s ideas as long as they are properly credited. And even if you think your research paper or written content is unique, you never know if you unintentionally plagiarized somebody else’s work. For this reason, it might do you well to use a plagiarism checker before turning in your work.

Make sure your work is original. Always check for plagiarism using Smodin’s checker.