Complete Plagiarism Guide 2024

Updated: January 8, 2024

Complete Plagiarism Guide

Academic writing needs the highest levels of integrity to be done well. Submitting a plagiarized paper might compromise your grades and damage your academic reputation. Thus, it is imperative to avoid plagiarism if you want to produce quality work.

You might knowingly or unknowingly plagiarize your work as a student or researcher, since writing requires extensive research and data from various external sources.

Many learners copy content directly or through paraphrasing, which might result in intentional plagiarism. But sometimes, you might craft your work from scratch but end with plagiarized content. No matter the case, plagiarism breaches the ethos governing the academic and scientific fields and is considered a severe offense.

Fortunately, you can avoid such cases by using a free plagiarism checker tool. If you want to submit original content and maintain academic honesty, you are in the right place. We provide an extensive guide to help you understand plagiarism, why it occurs, and how to pass plagiarism checker tools.

Plagiarism Definition: What Is Plagiarism?

It is imperative to define plagiarism and what it entails before we proceed to the types and tools. Plagiarism is stealing another person’s work and presenting it as your original work. It covers different aspects like published, unpublished, electronic, or written works. Whatever the form of this misdemeanor, it stands for using someone else’s work or ideas without consent or proper citation.

Whether intentional or not, copying content is a punishable offense. Apart from getting penalized academically, you might also encounter legal issues from the authors.

Different parameters define plagiarism, and understanding them will simplify your writing process. That is why college tutors and professors often use a plagiarism detector tool to ensure students submit unique content written from scratch.

Here are the consequences of turning in copied content:

  • Poor grades
  • Banishment from your course or research work
  • Expulsion from university
  • Damaged academic reputation
  • Litigation
  • Strained relationships with professors
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Common Types of Plagiarism

Plagiarism-free academic papers are highly valued in colleges and universities. But plagiarism sometimes sneaks into research projects and essays in various forms, whether accidental or intentional. Now that you understand the definition of plagiarism, let us explore the common types of plagiarism that happen in academic writing:

Complete Plagiarism

Plagiarism mostly varies in terms of the degree of the copied content and the author’s intention. Complete plagiarism, also known as global plagiarism, is one of the severest forms of academic dishonesty. It occurs when a learner copies the entire content of another author’s work and submits it as their original paper. This form of plagiarism is simply stealing someone else’s work and is intentional.

Thus, complete plagiarism is regarded as deliberate academic dishonesty and devalues ownership of the original author. Copyright violation recognizes this offense, often resulting in legal conflicts and abuse of intellectual property. Academic consequences are also severe and might lead to expulsion from school and a damaged reputation.


Also known as direct plagiarism, the verbatim type occurs when you lift a section of another author’s work and use it in the ‘as-is’ format without proper attribution. As a result, your work reflects the original owner’s structure, ideas, and writing style. Changing a few words or sentence structures will not help since the results remain similar.

So, avoid direct copy-pasting, and if you must do it, ensure you cite the original work, acknowledge the source, and include quotation marks to identify the quoted sections.


Self-plagiarism, or auto-plagiarism, happens when you reuse the original work you previously submitted. It is considered an offense since you already received an acknowledgment, and claiming it again is unacceptable.

Many authors rehash their scholarly work, whether partial or complete sections, which still falls within the scope of auto-plagiarism. Thus, ensure you incorporate proper in-text citations and quotation marks to attribute your previous work.


As the name suggests, accidental plagiarism occurs unintentionally. Innocent paraphrasing and failing to add an in-text citation or quotation blocks are instances of accidental plagiarism. Therefore, you must be keen when crafting your academic papers to avoid this offense. Cross-check your work thoroughly and cite your sources correctly.


This type of plagiarism involves changing another person’s words and sentences and submitting the work as your own. However, the meaning, topic, and ideas remain the same. It is a common form of plagiarism among students and other authors; even though it might seem smart, it is often detectable when your tutor or editor runs a check for plagiarism. Thus, please keep in mind that using your own words without citing the original author is an offense and might result in harsh penalties.


This type of plagiarism happens when you introduce inaccurate or misleading citations in your work, for instance, when your tutor or supervisor finds incorrect data when reviewing your references. So, avoid manipulating data or adding false information because it might result in severe consequences in sensitive fields, such as medicine. Indicate the correct primary and secondary sources to validate your paper.


Also called contract cheating in the academic field, ghostwriting is another type of plagiarism among students. It happens when you hire an unrecognized individual or professional writer to complete your academic papers for money.

Ghostwriting breaches the ethos of academic writing since the work doesn’t reflect the learner’s original judgment and thoughts. It is academic dishonesty severely punished at the institutions of higher learning.

How Plagiarism Check Works: How to Check for Plagiarism

Knowing how to check for plagiarism is vital, but do you know how the plagiarism checker tool works behind the scenes? A plagiarism checker operates on an advanced database software that scans documents and matches them against existing text versions. Tutors and professors in colleges and universities use plagiarism checkers to scan academic papers submitted by students. Fortunately, students can also access online tools to check for plagiarism free of charge before submitting their work.

Plagiarism checker tools function on the principle of scanning and matching content in the online space. The tools crawl within existing documents in different databases, searching for similarities. The checkers highlight the identified matches by analyzing specific keywords. Some advanced tools also detect paraphrasing plagiarism.

Thus, checking your work for plagiarism isn’t a complex process. Most tools require you to upload or paste your document onto the platform. Once you hit the ‘check plagiarism’ tab, the tool will scan and generate results within a few minutes. You will get an originality percentage, plagiarized sections, and a list of sources from which the content was borrowed.

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How to Avoid Plagiarism

One simple way of avoiding plagiarism is to conduct extensive research and put in the effort while keeping track of each reference you cite in your paper. To produce unique, plagiarism-free academic papers, consider the following best practices:

  • Pay extra attention to your references during research.
  • Use credible sources, and don’t fabricate data.
  • Use citations, quotations, and paraphrasing correctly.
  • Review and proofread your paper multiple times.
  • Read your college or university’s plagiarism policy.

Adopting these strategies will help you to pass plagiarism checker tools and turn in unique papers to your professor.

Online Plagiarism Checker Tools

You can use numerous online tools to check plagiarism in your academic papers. We have listed a few of the best free plagiarism checker tools available today.

Turnitin Plagiarism Checker

Turnitin is one of the top-rated plagiarism checker tools in academic writing. It is a great supportive instrument for academic authors, researchers, and scholars. Turnitin cross-checks papers against billions of student papers in different disciplines and languages and generates accurate results.


Another effective tool is ProWritingAid, an AI-powered writing assistant with various tools to polish your text. One of its paid features is the plagiarism checker tool. It scans your document, conducts a thorough plagiarism check, displays the percentage of plagiarized content, and offers links for uncited sections.


Grammarly is among the best plagiarism checker tools online that offer accurate solutions to students and corporate professionals. It is simple to use and doubles up as an editing tool. Apart from checking the originality score of your work, it highlights sections where you need to include citations and provide the sources.


EasyBib is a popular tool that compares your submitted documents against billions of online sources. It detects copied content and notifies you of the plagiarized phrases. Besides checking for originality, EasyBib reveals grammatical errors, language style, and incorrect formats.

Plagiarism CheckerX

PlagiarismX is a free plagiarism checker for students that scans and matches papers against numerous academic sources. It is a great tool since you can easily download and use it on the go. Unlike other tools, this one is faster and doesn’t store data.

Best Plagiarism Topic Ideas

Imagine you’re assigned a task to compose an academic paper about plagiarism. Which topic to choose? Below is a list of a few topic ideas on plagiarism:

  1. What is plagiarism?
  2. Definition and impact of plagiarism.
  3. Discuss how paraphrasing causes plagiarism.
  4. Contract cheating in universities.
  5. How plagiarism affects the reputation of an institution.
  6. Importance of academic integrity.
  7. Discuss why plagiarism is morally unethical.
  8. Is plagiarism rampant among international students?
  9. An analysis of the negative consequences of academic dishonesty.
  10. Comparison of university policy on plagiarism and copyright law.

Bottom Line

As a student, you should strive to produce high-quality academic papers that pass plagiarism checks without being flagged. Ensure you conduct extensive research while taking note of your references. If you can’t avoid quotes, format them correctly and cite your sources in line with the assigned formatting standard.

George Lynch
George Lynch
Literature, Psychology, Religion
Experience: 3+ years
I’ve been enjoying academic writing since day one in college. Today, having a full-time job, I’m still looking forward to writing essays and research papers online for others.
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