Handing in a paper that contains plagiarism is one of the quickest ways to get a failing grade in a class. Many students commit plagiarism without even realizing it because they are not aware of all the rules for citing sources. Before the internet, it was a little easier for students to get away with copying, but now there are plagiarism-checkers online that most institutions use. Because it is such a serious problem for students, writing instructors have identified several different types of plagiarism that students need to learn to avoid.
The most obvious type of plagiarism is direct plagiarism, when a student directly copies another author’s words without using quotation marks or giving the original author’s name. Some students are more subtle and copy multiple phrases and insert them in their own sentences. Many students don’t realize that any use of another author’s words and phrasing is a form of academic dishonesty. Another type of plagiarism that students may not be aware of is self-plagiarism, which means handing in or copying from a paper the student has already submitted elsewhere.
However, most plagiarism is unintentional. Accidental plagiarism occurs when students forget to cite a source or fail to realize that paraphrases also need citations. Failing to use quotation marks around a direct quote, even with a citation, is another common mistake that students make. Even though students don’t intend to be dishonest, they are responsible for any plagiarism that shows up in their papers. Instructors may require that the essay be rewritten, they may assign an automatic zero, and they may require that students go through a disciplinary procedure.
Purchasing an essay is also a form of plagiarism, but if the essay is original and sounds like the student’s voice, the plagiarism is not likely to be detected. There are various services that sell original essays, and desperate students will buy essay from them. Students who are busy juggling multiple responsibilities may feel that buying an essay is their only means of passing a class, and they turn to a company with a reputation for fast service. Satisfied customers who use essay writing services say that they do it because “they will type my essay fast.”