The Thirteen Types of Plagiarism in Order of Severity

You’re likely familiar with the term “plagiarism.” We’re taught, early in our education, that plagiarism is copying someone else’s work and claiming it as our own. Sounds simple enough, right? The reality is, there are many ways of being dishonest about the work we produce and giving appropriate credit to whom the original work belongs. The next time you write a paper, make sure you’re keeping your citation standards high. Don’t allow yourself to succumb to any of the thirteen possible ways to plagiarize.

For a similar reference I created in 2015, please see the popular Did I Plagiarize? flowchart.


3 thoughts on “The Thirteen Types of Plagiarism in Order of Severity

  • September 1, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Yikes! All those permutations of plagiarism makes me think of pretty much every political speech I have ever heard. The same words used in similar sentence implying vague promises never intended to be delivered upon.

    Kidding aside, this was a great infographic offering a good quick read with valuable information.
    I hadn’t thought of or heard of all the variations above – solid fuel to consider.

    I still can’t help but think that everything developed going forward is based on something from our pasts. Playing devils advocate, using a sentence above as an example, the familiar phrase “Kidding aside” must be from some published work, or it wouldn’t be a familiar phrase. Should I have put a copyright or reg mark on the word “infographic”? oh and “going forward”; I am sure that phrase has been published as no one would say “going backward” 🙂
    Let’s update that sentence:
    Kidding aside*, this was a great(1) infographic*, offering(2) a good quick read with valuable(3) information.
    *some phrases may be owned or copyrights of others.
    (1) “great” is owned by familiar titles such as “Great Expectations” Great Balls of Fire and many other entities.
    (2) “Infographic” we didn’t have the time to search out who first pen the word “infographic” but someone surely takes credit for the first one or at least being the first person to call it such.
    (3) “valuable” used in this instance, no value is implied or promised, nor guaranteed.

  • October 12, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Thanks for putting this together. I went back to link this content to an older post: “SHAME on the nasties who pirate Intellectual Property.” While I began the article in support of authors who are having their eBooks pirated wholesale, I conclude with a strong stand against stealing the words and concepts of others in any fashion. I hope any of my readers who are plagiarizing unintentunally will hop over to take a look (and immediately begin to be diligent about attribution).

    Christophe’s tongue-in-cheek, devil’s advocate post reminds us all that common sense must prevail – we do want our articles to remain readable.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

  • October 18, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Just as conventional educational methods are becoming increasingly obsolete in this new knowledge economy, I firmly believe that all forms of plagiarism should not only be legalized but also heavily encouraged in all educational contexts. In real life outside schools, these types of “plagiarism” now occur on a regular basis especially in the realm of social media and so-called journalism (a.k.a. “click-bait”). The reality is that no ideas in this world are purely original, and both forgery and plagiarism have always been part of human history since time immemorial: the Judeo-Christian holy scriptures is full of them, for example, and so are many of the founding documents of our Western civilization. It is highly doubtful that teaching students to “cite sources” contributes to learning, but rather serves merely as cumbersome distractions that keep learners from integrating information and ideas.


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