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Critical Information Literacy: Plagiarism

Navigating Academic Integrity, Anti-Plagiarism, AI Language Models, Critical Thinking, and Referencing Styles


Welcome to the Awareness of Plagiarism LibGuide! This guide aims to provide a comprehensive comprehension of plagiarism, its consequences, and prevention strategies. This resource will equip you with the necessary knowledge and tools to maintain academic integrity and ethical writing practises, whether you are a student, researcher, or educator.

Please note that this LibGuide functions as a general resource for understanding plagiarism. Refer to the University of South Africa's specific policies and guidelines on plagiarism and academic integrity. They are included in this LibGuide for your convenience.

This LibGuide is not intended to provide legal advice. Consultation with legal professionals or institutional authorities is always advised for specific legal concerns or questions.

Remember that maintaining academic integrity is essential for your professional and personal development. Let's immerse ourselves in the world of plagiarism awareness and arm ourselves with the knowledge and skills necessary to uphold academic integrity!

Unisa Plagiarism Policy

Understanding Plagiarism

Meriam-Wester online dictionary define PLAGIARISM as

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
  • to use another production without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft

Self-plagiarism: is the act of copying your own work after it has been published or unpublished to be resubmitted for another evaluation without permission? 

What is a Plagiarism checker?

Plagiarism checkers are widely used by educational institutions to ensure academic integrity and by businesses to safeguard intellectual property. It is critical to use these tools to avoid any legal or ethical issues that may arise as a result of plagiarism.

How does plagiarism detector work?

Plagiarism checkers use keyword analysis to identify exact matches and non-exact matches.

Types of Plagiarism

Direct Plagiarism: Direct plagiarism occurs when someone copies word-for-word from a source without providing proper attribution or quotation marks. It involves presenting someone else's work as your own, without any acknowledgment.

Self-Plagiarism: Self-plagiarism, also known as recycling or duplication, happens when a person submits their own previous work, or a substantial portion of it, as new or original without proper citation or disclosure. While it is acceptable to reuse ideas, it is important to cite previous work to avoid misleading others.

Paraphrasing Plagiarism: Paraphrasing plagiarism occurs when someone rewrites or rephrases someone else's work without giving appropriate credit. Even if the words are changed, if the sentence structure and ideas remain the same, proper citation is necessary.

Mosaic Plagiarism: Mosaic plagiarism, also known as patchwriting, involves taking small sections of text from various sources and combining them without proper attribution. This type of plagiarism attempts to disguise copied material by rearranging words or sentence structures while maintaining the original meaning.

Accidental Plagiarism: Accidental plagiarism happens when a person unintentionally fails to provide proper citation or attribution. It can occur due to poor note-taking, lack of understanding of citation rules, or improper paraphrasing.

Verbatim Plagiarism: Verbatim plagiarism involves directly copying a significant portion of text from a source without attribution. It can include copying sentences, paragraphs, or entire sections without any original contribution or acknowledgment.

Collusion: Collusion occurs when individuals collaborate or work together on an assignment or project but submit it as their individual work. It violates academic integrity policies, as each person is expected to contribute independently and receive individual grades.

Citation Plagiarism: Citation plagiarism, also known as citation manipulation or fake referencing, involves providing incorrect or inaccurate citations to give the appearance of research and credibility. This can include citing non-existent sources, misrepresenting sources, or fabricating references.