The Different Faces of Plagiarism and Their Consequences

If you’re in academia, then you’ve probably heard of plagiarism and the dark shadow it casts over one’s attempt at originality and creativity in academic writing. Imagine working so hard on an original research paper, publishing it, and feeling so proud of your efforts, only to have someone else copy it and pass it as their own work. That would suck, right?

But, what about the time you wrote an essay, only to have your teacher or lecturer comment that some parts of it appear plagiarized? How’s that possible? Well, that’s because there are many forms of plagiarism, each with its own consequences.

Read on to discover the different shades of plagiarism, the effect they can have on your work, and the best way to avoid it.

Direct Plagiarism

This is the grand villain of plagiarism in academic writing because it’s just like a copycat. This type of plagiarism involves directly copying and pasting someone else’s written work, word for word, without even the courtesy of quotation marks.


 If you’re caught in the act of direct plagiarism, you might face academic or professional consequences. In academic settings, it can result in failing the assignment, course, or even expulsion from school because it goes against academic ethics and rules. If you must use another person’s work directly, ensure that you give credit to the original author by adding a citation.

Paraphrasing Plagiarism

Another crafty form of plagiarism that you should avoid in your academic assignments is paraphrasing plagiarism. Here, you take someone else’s work, tweak a few words here and there in sentences, and present it as your own. Although the words may differ, the original idea still remains.


Paraphrasing plagiarism isn’t a clever getaway. If your ‘paraphrased’ academic work is too similar to the original, it’s still considered plagiarism. Consequences may range from failing a paper to facing disciplinary actions.


Did you know that reusing your own work without properly citing or attributing yourself is a form of plagiarism? Self plagiarism is a stealthy form of plagiarism because it involves your own work! If you have previously published work, be careful not to duplicate some portions when working on new papers.


Although the degree of severity of self plagiarism may be lower compared to other forms of the vice, it’s still considered an academic offense. In some settings, it can result in failing the assignment or being accused of academic dishonesty. It’s crucial to cite your previous work or request permission to reuse it since some publishers may have a strict criteria on how much of your previous work is usable.

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Avoiding all the different types of plagiarism can be a gruesome task, especially if you’re barely halfway through your academic assignment and the deadline for submitting it is approaching fast. In such a scenario, you’d be easily tempted to just copy and paste your work, which would only lead to negative results. Luckily for you, we’ve got your back here at Writers Nests.

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