Avoid Plagiarism

Edited by JMA, Robbi, Eng


When a person commits plagiarism, they are taking the hard work of another person and passing this information off as their own work.

What people aren't aware of is that there are plenty of ways that plagiarism can take place. Typically, this is done without mentioning that the words, ideas or other items did not originate with you.

Was this helpful? Yes | No| I need help

Most people who plagiarize do so, because the don't believe in their own work or efforts. Many don't imagine that they can create something as positive or as exciting and interesting. Some, on the other hand, simply do not want to take the time to accomplish the work they were asked to do.

Was this helpful? Yes | No| I need help

Types of Plagiarism

The following are some of the types of plagiarism that a person may find.

  1. 1
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  2. 2
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  3. 3
    Quotes without attribution
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  4. 4
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help


While this is not actually taking the work of another, it does take the look and feel of the work. In short, it uses the ideas and strictly speaking, is stealing the efforts and imagination of another person and simply writing it in your own words,nearly paragraph by paragraph. In some cases this can be legally done if the original work is the creation of the same person. If that is not the case, steer clear of it.

Was this helpful? Yes | No| I need help

Copy Pasting

We all know people who just think something sounds great, better than they could come up with and paste it onto their page. Whether it is an article from a website you find or a quote from that page, without attribution or some form of permission, it is simply not acceptable in the writing community.

Was this helpful? Yes | No| I need help


  • Typically, a quotation of fewer than 40 words is acceptable in a document. However, the quotation should cite the name of the person and the quote is placed within quotation marks. There should also be a reference next to the quote where it was taken from and at the end of an article or piece of work, there should be a reference included.
Was this helpful? Yes | No| I need help


  • This is an area where many people fall victim to true plagiarism. This is when an original idea or technical explanation is taken and then broken down and paraphrased. Usually, all the same information is touched on, but there is no citation that takes a person to the original document. As a general rule, paraphrasing in an article or resource manual should only be included when:
  • The idea is being translated into a new language.
  • A complex topic is being presented to an audience that technical terms would escape.
  • You have expressed permission from the original author and you cite their original work.
Was this helpful? Yes | No| I need help

Best Practices for Avoiding Plagiarism

  • Ideally, you will want to avoid plagiarism at all costs. This can be done by following some simple steps.
  • Always ensure that your work is original and that when you do borrow information, you properly cite the sources that you obtained your work from.
  • If information is something most people know you will not need to cite a source. If there is a complex idea or there is information that comes from a secondary source you should always cite the source and give proper credit.
  • Avoid resources that don't cite others, especially when they present themselves as an authority. This can help you to avoid accidental plagiarism in the process.
  • When you write, use more than one resource material. Study them for an hour or so and then write your own article based upon what you read in the conglomerate of text.

What are the Consequences of Plagiarism?

  • Most people believe that there are minimal concerns when plagiarism occurs. Unfortunately, this couldn't be further from the truth. There are actual--and sometimes dire or expensive consequences that are associated with plagiarizing the work of another person.
  • You can be expelled from your university or fired from your job if you are found to have plagiarized any work. This can follow you the rest of your life and make future employment difficult as this does show poor ethics.
  • Plagiarism also has legal consequences attached to it. You can receive jail time of up to a year and end up with a criminal history as a result.
  • There are also financial consequences.Plagiarism may result in fines based on the amount of damage caused by the plagiarized document. Typically the fines associated are anywhere from $100 - $50,000 per occurrence.


  • Always cite sources when they are used to avoid any concerns with plagiarism.


  • You risk your job, financial security, freedom and reputation when you plagiarize someone else work.

Sources and Citations

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


VisiHow welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.

Article Info

Categories : Author Help

Recent edits by: Robbi, JMA

Share this Article:

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 2,984 times.


Thank Our Volunteer Authors.

Would you like to give back to the community by fixing a spelling mistake? Yes | No