A Complete Guide to Plagiarism

Academic plagiarism is a common issue among students of all academic levels. However, it is at the college and university levels that the consequences of plagiarism can be of a severe nature. This guide provides a quick overview of the different types of plagiarism, the consequences, and what can be done to avoid plagiarism. Let’s look at the meaning of plagiarism first.

What is Plagiarism?

According to the Oxford Dictionary,

Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. … Plagiarism may be intentional or reckless, or unintentional.

Plagiarism is stealing people’s ideas, words, and other forms of creative work. Not referencing academic sources in an appropriate referencing style can have unprecedented repercussions on your academic and professional career.

Types of Plagiarism

Plagiarism isn’t just stealing words; it has various types.

The different types of plagiarism are briefly discussed below. For a comprehensive guide, check here.

  • Global Plagiarism - taking the entire work of someone else and passing it as your own.
  • Self Plagiarism - reusing your own previous work without citing.
  • Mosaic Plagiarism - taking phrases from sources without using quotation marks.
  • Find-and-Replace Plagiarism - only making changes in specific keywords while copying text and not in the entire document.
  • Remix Plagiarism - using paraphrased content from multiple sources to develop perfect content.
  • Copy-and-Paste Plagiarism - direct copy and pasting from sources without giving citations.

Examples of Plagiarism

Although Plagiarism has many forms, the most common ones are discussed below.

  • When you copy text or phrase word for word and do not use quotation marks to write it, you are referring to it as your own work.
  • Another form is when you copy a lot of text from other sources, even with proper citations, it constitutes a major section of your text. Too much text from other work takes away the originality of your text.
  • Some students use their own work from previous assignments without properly citing it. This is also a form of plagiarism.
  • The highest level is when you submit work done entirely by someone else. It is academically dishonest and unfair means.

How to Avoid Plagiarism?

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to stop it from happening in the first place; Make sure to;

  • Summarise, paraphrase and quote any information directly taken from another resource of literature.
  • Do not forget about giving the due credit to the original author through in-text citations and a list of references.
  • Use free plagiarism checker tools to ensure that your text is original.

Learn more about avoiding plagiarism in your academic writing with the help of our complete guide on how to avoid plagiarism.

Detecting Plagiarism Using Plagiarism Checker Tools

There are various plagiarism-checking tools, and some are free, while others are paid tools. It is important to note that all academic institutes check papers submitted by students with plagiarism detection tools. The top plagiarism checker tools include Turnitin plagiarism checker, Grammarly plagiarism checker, smallseotools plagiarism checker etc.

The paid plagiarism checker tools can be expensive for many students. The good news is that you can also use these tools to find plagiarism in your paper before your school does. Here are the top 12 free plagiarism checkers of 2021.

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Number of Citations in a Single Document

There is no fixed number of citations that should be in a particular piece of academic writing. There is no particular influence that a large number of references can have. However, the number of citations can be affected by the following reasons.


Paraphrasing is taking a text and restating it using other words. Paraphrasing is not considered plagiarism. It is the right way to use someone else text. Make sure to always cite the source you have paraphrased from. If you do not cite the source, it would be considered plagiarism. Also, ensure that the text you are paraphrasing is not too close to the text you have taken it from.

Frequently Asked Questions

The reliability of the plagiarism checker tools depends on the software you are using. Make sure to do proper research before using any tool. There are plenty of reliable plagiarism-checking tools available online. You can check out the list on our website.

Our Plagiarism Prevention Software is equipped with the same technology as Turnitin Plagiarism Checker, the world’s leading plagiarism-checking tool, and finds similarities from the top scholarly publications and internet libraries’ content databases.

ResearchProspect Plagiarism Checker uses AI technology and does not publish your paper in any public content database. You can be certain of this!

You will also be able to delete your files and personal information from our ResearchProspect server once you have received your plagiarism report.

The ResearchProspect Plagiarism Prevention Software, which uses the same technology as Turnitin, will check your document against the largest content database in the world, which includes millions of scholarly databases such as Elsevier, IEEE, and Springer, well as billions of web pages.

Our Plagiarism Checker does not have access to Turnitin’s global database with student papers. Only your university can add and compare submissions to this database.

The turnaround time depends on the length of the document. Plagiarism report for short documents with a word count of up to 7500 words is usually delivered within 10-20 minutes. Larger documents with a word count greater than 25,000 words can take longer.

You will be shown an estimate on the order overview page. As soon as the check is done, we will send you an email.

No, you will never get a 100% match because the ResearchProspect Plagiarism Checker does not save your document in our database. This is our guarantee!

The ResearchProspect plagiarism results will be similar to the plagiarism results your tutor will see, but there are two notable differences;

Additional Information and Resources Our Plagiarism Checker is enhanced to include additional information and resources to enable students to avoid plagiarism. Private Databases Many universities have private content databases with which they compare your document. The ResearchProspect Plagiarism Detection Software does not have access to that database.

However, most student-written academic papers are eventually published in public databases, and the ResearchProspect plagiarism checkers will compare your document with all the text material in them.