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Arkansas State University

Plagiarism: Home

Learn the basics of plagiarism.

Defining Plagiarism

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the technical term for stealing someone else's intellectual property (words or thoughts).

Plagiarism is derived from the Latin word plagiarius meaning "kidnapper."

Plagiarism “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source.”
Plagiarism. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.Retrieved January 12, 2011, from

6 Types of Plagiarism

Type 1: Copy and Paste Plagiarism or Direct Plagiarism

When you copy a sentence, phrase, or paragraph word for word, but do not quote your source.

Type 2: Word Switch Plagiarism

When you rephrase a person's work and insert it into your own work without acknowledging its original source.  If you take a sentence from a source and change a few words without acknowledging your source, it is still plagiarism.

This is not paraphrasing. For information on how to correctly paraphrase, see When To Cite.

Type 3: Mosaic or Blending Plagiarism

When you: mix words or ideas from an unacknowledged source in with your own words or ideas; mix together uncited words and ideas from several sources into a single work; or mix together properly cited uses of a source with uncited uses.

Type 4: Insufficient Acknowledgement

When you correctly cite your source once, but continue to use the author's work without giving additional proper citation.

Type 5: Self-Plagiarism

When you use a paper or assignment completed for one class to satisfy the assignment for a different class.  Even if you modify a previous paper or assignment, you must get permission from your professor/ instructor and correctly cite your previous paper.

Type 6:  The Ghost Writer

When you turn in someone else's work word-for-word as your own.  For example if you pay/get someone to write your paper for you.  You must still give this person credit, but then you wouldn't want to do this in the first place as it would likely result in a failing grade.

How Plagiarism is Detected

How your professors/ instructors WILL catch you:

  • The level of the writing style and language is more advanced than the student usually writes

  • Student uses jargon or specialized terminology that is above the student's level of knowledge and education.

  • The quality of writing within the assignment is inconsistent.

  • The paper contains references from that are not included in the reference (Works Cited) page.

  • The paper's reference list (Works Cited) is incomplete.

University of Nebraska Medical Center Plagiarism LibGuide

A-State professors have access to anti-plagiarism software via Blackboard.

You may use any one of a number of free plagiarism checkers available on the web to check your work.  These include:

Grammarly Plagiarim Checker

EasyBib Plagiarism Checker

Small SEO Tools Plagiarism Checker



To learn more about citations, including using citation builders and managers, visit our

Citation Style Guide at:

Thank you

Thank you to Elizabeth Rugan of the University of South Alabama's Marx Library for the use of her Guide as the template for this Guide.