Examples of Plagiarism & How it can be Avoided

26.03.23 Plagiarism overview Time to read: 6min

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Before examining examples of plagiarism, it is essential to understand what plagiarism is.
Plagiarism is the practice of presenting the work of another as one’s own. That’s just the rudimentary description; there’s a lot more depth to it, and you might be shocked at how many examples of plagiarism there are. This article will cover the most prevalent examples of plagiarism.

Examples of Plagiarism – In a Nutshell

  • This article focuses on examples of plagiarism
  • The most common examples of plagiarism are: direct, patchwork, paraphrasing and self plagiarism.
  • This article will show examples of plagiarism and the corrected versions.
  • Copyright rules prohibit the duplication of written works, and if you are caught, you will be required to face the repercussions.
  • Plagiarism leads to legal issues, money loss, and a damaged reputation.

Definition: Examples of plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined as the unacknowledged use of another person’s words or ideas.

Examples of plagiarism include:

  • Closely paraphrasing a source.
  • Not enclosing a direct quote in quotation marks
  • Copying and pasting portions of multiple sources into a new document.
  • Omitting an in-text citation
  • Submitting a text in its entyrety that is not yours
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Examples of plagiarism: Direct plagiarism

  • When you quote, you take a short section from another text and put it in quotation marks.
  • If you don’t use quotation marks or a citation, you are directly plagiarizing, which means you are using somaeone else’s exact words without giving credit. Even if a few words are changed, it’s still plagiarism.
  • To properly cite a passage, you must introduce it in your own words, enclose it in quotation marks, and provide a reference indicating the source.

Original text

“Ancient Sparta has been revered for the past two and a half millennia as the unrivalled warrior city-state, where every man was trained to battle to the death from infancy. This perspective, as pervasive and alluring as it is, is nearly entyrely untrue.” (Cole, 2021).

Direct plagiarism


In the public imagination, Ancient Sparta has been regarded as the unrivalled warrior city-state for the past two millennia. As pervasive and appealing as the notion that every male was trained to battle to the death from infancy is, it is not accurate.

Quoted correctly with a citation


In the public imagination for the past 2,500 years, Ancient Sparta has been regarded as the “unrivalled warrior city-state” where “every male was trained to battle to the death from infancy.” Despite its prevalence, this perception is profoundly deceptive. (Cole, 2021).

Examples of plagiarism: Paraphrasing plagiarism

Paraphrasing plagiarism is among the most common examples of plagiarism. A writer commits paraphrasing plagiarism when he or she repurposes the work of another with just minor modifications.

However, if you portray another person’s original concept in your writing without acknowledging them, even if you do it in your own words, this constitutes plagiarism.

Original text

“So much of modern life include opposable thumbs, from building with a hammer to ordering takeout on smartphones. Our predecessors’ applications were much simpler. Strong and dexterous thumbs allowed the construction and use of tools, stones, and bones for the food-gathering slaughter of large animals.” (Handwerk, 2021).

Plagiarized Paraphrasing


From building a house to using a smartphone, opposable thumbs are essential. Ancestors had far simpler applications. Their powerful and nimble thumbs helped them build and use tools, stones, and bones to hunt large animals.

Correct paraphrasing


Because opposable thumbs are so common, few people think about them. Our ancestors may have considered them life-or-death. Per Handwerk (2021), opposable thumbs helped early humans survive and prosper by allowing them to make tools and weapons to kill giant animals.

Examples of plagiarism: Patchwork plagiarism

Patchwork plagiarism, also known as mosaic plagiarism, occurs when snippets of copied text are skilfully woven into an author’s otherwise unique work. Often occurring in tandem with more obvious examples of plagiarism, this form of copying is simple to overlook.

Original texts

“An eagle feather headdress is synonymous in the minds of many Americans with Native Americans and the untamed west, cowboys, and Indians.” (Van Heuvelen, 2020).

“On June 25, 1876, near the Little Big Horn River in present-day Montana, 210 men of the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry Unit led by Lieutenant Colonel George Custer met thousands of Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne warriors.” (McDermott, 2021).

Patchwork plagiarism


Many Americans associate the headdress with the “wild west and cowboys and Indians” narrative. Little Bighorn is a famous cowboys-versus-Indians conflict.

Lieutenant Colonel George Custer led 210 7th Cavalry soldiers against tens of thousands of Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne warriors on June 25, 1876. Americans remember “Custer’s Last Stand” because of Custer’s catastrophic defeat.

Correctly citing multiple sources


The headdress is a well-recognised icon of Native American culture and a key element in “the narrative of the wild west and cowboys and Indians” (Van Heuvelen, 2020). The Battle of Little Bighorn is one of the most notable examples of this tale.

Lt. Col. George Custer of the United States Army’s 7th Cavalry faced up with thousands of Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne warriors on June 25, 1876. (McDermott, 2021). Although Custer and his troops lost badly, the battle has been immortalized in American popular culture as “Custer’s Last Stand.”

Examples of plagiarism: Self-plagiarism

You may be surprised to learn that it is possible to self-plagiarize. How? After all, it’s your prerogative to do anything you want with your ideas.

This is true, but there is a catch. Two years ago, you published an essay on reforming your city’s zoning restrictions; today, you’re preparing a research paper on other localities’ zoning laws throughout the preceding decade. Reusing essay text in a research paper constitutes self-plagiarism. You can use the same sources if you correctly cite them.

Examples of plagiarism: When is a citation needed?

Common knowledge refers to undisputed truths. No citation is needed for this material. If you say Paris is France’s capital without citing your sources, you won’t be accused of plagiarism.

Common knowledge is widely known, unquestioned, and easily verified. It has no known author or publication. When uncertain, include a citation.

Common knowledge

July 4 is recognised as Independence Day in the United States.

Not common knowledge—citation needed


The Continental Congress voted for independence on July 2, 1776, although Independence Day is commemorated annually on July 4.

Correctly cited information


The Continental Congress voted for independence on July 2, 1776, although Independence Day is commemorated annually on July 4. (National Archives, 2005).

Examples of plagiarism in the real world

Plagiarism is typically discussed in the context of academics, but it is an issue that affects a wide range of businesses, from pop music to politics.

Examples of plagiarism in art

Reusing or replicating previous materials has been a significant aspect of numerous art forms. However, it is feasible to plagiarize artistic works.

In 1966, renowned Pop Art artist Andy Warhol was sued by photographer Patricia Caulfield for unlawful use of one of her images. Warhol saw her photograph of hibiscus blossoms in the 1964 edition of Modern Photography and incorporated it into his silkscreen piece Flowers.

While Warhol’s team contended that this was “fair usage,” a judge concluded that Warhol plagiarized the photograph. This resulted in lasting reputational costs and a substantial monetary settlement.

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Common examples of plagiarism include self, paraphrasing, direct, and patchwork plagiarism.

When you paraphrase somaeone else’s ideas without giving them proper credit, you are committing plagiarism.

Yes, the unacknowledged reuse of one’s work is considered self-plagiarism. This includes resubmitting an entyre assignment or repeating portions or data from a previous submission without citation.