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Plagiarism and How to Avoid it: About

Guide on Plagiarism and how to avoid it

About this Guide

This guide contains information and resources on referencing and citation and tips on how to avoid plagiarism. It was created by Lee Yen Han and is maintained by Patiswa Zibani. For feedback/comments on this guide, contact me via the Email Me box on the right.

"Speed Bump“
© Dave Coverly/
(reuse with permission)

What is Plagiarism?

The theft of ideas (such as the plots of narrative or dramatic works) or of written passages or works, where these are passed off as one's own work without acknowledgement of their true origin; or a piece of writing thus stolen. Plagiarism is not always easily separable from imitation, adaptation, or pastiche , but is usually distinguished by its dishonest intention.

"plagiarism"  The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. 2008. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press (emphasis mine).

KAUST Policy on Plagiarism

"Submitting a written document (homework, term paper, research findings, publication, etc.) that in part or in whole is not one’s own work, whether it be a quotation, an opinion, an idea obtained through conversation or reading, a fact, or research findings, without giving proper attribution through a citation specifying the source of the information."


(Graduate Student Handbook, 2021-2022; p.77)

Types of Plagiarism

Some typical types of plagiarism:

Type of Plagiarisms Description

The Ghost Writer
The writer copies another writer's work, word-for-word, and submits it as his own.

The Photocopy
The writer copies not the entire work, like the Ghost Writer, but significant portions of a single work, without alterations.

The Potluck Paper
The writer tries to disguise plagiarism by copying and mixing work from several different sources.

The Too-Perfect Paraphrase
The writer does not indicate in quotation marks text that has been copied from other writers although he has provided citations.

The Recycler/ Self-stealer
The writer submits the same assignment more than once for different courses or reuse materials from his or her previous work.

Types of Plagiarism (iParadigms, n.d.)
The Plagiarism Continuum (Walker, 1998; p103)

Did Melania Trump plagiarise Michelle Obama's Speech?

Read this opinion piece from R. Scott Rasnic in Inside Higher Ed on the subject.

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