F&M College Library

Understanding Plagiarism


Copy-Paste Plagiarism occurs when a researcher takes a source and copies it word for word without the use of quotations or citations. This could be only part of a source, or a source in its entirety. 

Word Switch

Word switch plagiarism occurs when a researcher replaces words within a copied passage with synonyms and without changing the structure of the passage. This is considered plagiarism even if you include a citation. 

Accidental Plagiarism

Accidental plagiarism usually occurs when a researcher has not kept their sources and research organized. This might result in misquoting a source, or forgetting to cite a source. 

Self Plagiarism

Self plagiarism occurs when one uses a work they had previously created (either in part or entirety) for another assignment. 

More Information

For more information about the many types of plagiarism, consult the resource we consulted in making this page:  Common Types of Plagiarism (Bowdoin College).