Types of Plagiarism

thief mouse.png Plagiarism can be either intentional or unintentional.  What does this mean? 

Intentional plagiarism: If Val purposely copied from another person and did not give him or her credit to hide the fact that material used was not her own work, she plagiarized. This category includes

  • buying all or parts of an assignment
  • asking someone else to write all or part of an assignment
  • copying all or part of an assignment from another work, e.g. a book or a web site


Unintentional plagiarism: If Val is sloppy with her citations or documentation, she is still plagiarizing even if she didn't mean to steal. This category includes:

  • failing to cite a source
  • failing to use quotation marks when quoting an author's words
  • failing to put a paraphrase into her own words


 Self-plagiarism, using an assignment created for another class without permission, can be either intentional or unintentional. Self-plagiarism is considered plagiarism because each assignment given by a professor is intended to add to Val's knowledge and skills. If Val simply reuses an old assignment, she will not learn anything new or add to her skills.


The bottom line: Plagiarism is intellectual theft, even when it is unintentional.

Image credit: Microsoft Clip Gallery

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