Experts’ guidelines on how to avoid plagiarism


Plagiarism refers to an instance where an individual represents another author’s ideas, expressions, language, or thoughts as their original work. Plagiarism ranges from intentional to unintentional plagiarism, and both cases are considered as fraud and therefore, punishable in a court of law. In most countries, it is regarded as a severe offense, and there are several cases of imprisonment as a result of plagiarizing. However, it is recommended that learning institutions train their students always to maintain the originality of their work to avoid being victims of plagiarism in the future. 

With the improvement in technology, it has become possible to detect even the minor instances of plagiarism that could not be easily identified. Therefore with time, plagiarism will be a thing of the past.

Types of plagiarism include:

Complete plagiarism 

This is whereby a researcher picks published work of another researcher and submits it as his or her work. Complete plagiarism is termed the worst form of plagiarizing and tantamount to stealing or intellectual theft.

Source-based plagiarism

This is a form of plagiarism that occurs as a result of many different sources. i.e., when a researcher uses a reference that does not exist or incorrect referred to as a misleading citation. This type of plagiarism may also occur when one gives a secondary source of data or information and instead cites only the primary sources.

Direct plagiarism

It is also referred to verbatim plagiarism, and it occurs when an author decides to copy a text from another author, word by word without even using attribution or quotation and therefore submitting it as his or her own. This type of plagiarism is almost the same with complete plagiarism. However, it refers only to some sections but not the whole document as it is in the case of complete plagiarism. It is termed dishonest and, therefore, punishable.


Self-plagiarism occurs when the author decides to re-use some vital information about his or her work that has been published without attribution. Self-plagiarism or duplication mostly affects publishing authors but not students. However, many journals have put the limit to which the author can re-use their own articles. This has been made possible by the use of plagiarism software that is used to detect any element of plagiarism.

Paraphrasing plagiarism

This type of plagiarism mostly affects college and university students. It involves using someone’s work but make only a few changes. This type of plagiarism can be controlled by encouraging people to do their research comprehensively, understand the concepts and then put them down in ultimately their own words

Accidental plagiarism

This form of plagiarism occurs as a result of negligence or paraphrasing unintentionally. This is a common case in students; learning institutions should also play a significant role in stressing the importance of being careful to the students so that they can avoid this type of plagiarism. However, plagiarism, whether intentional or accidental, is equally punishable.

How to avoid plagiarism.

Ways to avoid plagiarism include; understanding the context at hand and ensure that you do not copy and paste an article from another person or your past published work. Also, it is essential to use quotes to indicate you have used information from another paper. Lastly, it is good to ensure that you identify and manage your citations


In conclusion, while we ensure that we avoid plagiarism at all costs, it is crucial to ensure that our work is of quality standard. i.e., that can be read and understood easily by any person that comes across it. This will be possible if we deploy various academic skills that we learn from different platforms or learning institutions.

Experts' guidelines on how to avoid plagiarism