Academic Writing

Types of Plagiarism

Hamp-Lyons & Courter (1984, pp. 161-166) distinguish between four types of plagiarism:

  • outright copying
  • paraphrase plagiarism
  • patchwork plagiarism
  • stealing an apt term

Examples:

Original Text

While the Education Act of 1870 laid the groundwork for the provision of elementary or primary education for all children in England and Wales, it was not until the implementation of the 1944 Education Act that all girls and boys were entitled to a secondary education. Indeed, the decades immediately following the Second World War saw such a rapid increase in educational provision - in the USA, and many countries of Western and Eastern Europe, as well as in Britain - that some writers refer to the 'educational explosion' of the 1950s and 1960s. The minimum school-leaving age was extended from 14 to 15 years (in 1947) and raised to 16 (in 1971-2), but the proportion of people choosing to pursue their studies beyond this age hurtled upward; by 1971, 30 per cent of 17- year-olds were in full-time education in schools or colleges, compared with 2 per cent in 1902, 4 per cent in 1938, 18 per cent in 1961 and 22 per cent in 1966. The Robbins Report (1963) undermined the view that there was a finite pool of ability - a limited number of people who could benefit from advanced education - and provided ammunition for the expansion of higher education. This expansion took place through the establishment of new universities and growth of existing ones, as well as through the conversion of colleges into polytechnics which could offer degree courses, and the founding of the Open University. In 1970, 17.5 per cent of 18- year-olds entered further or higher education on a full-time basis (compared with 1.2 per cent in 1900, 2.7 per cent in 1938, 5.8 per cent in 1954, and 8.3 per cent in 1960); another three million people enrolled for part-time day classes, evening classes or sandwich courses.

Bilton, Bonnett, Jones, Stanworth, Sheard & Webster (1981, p. 381)

Outright copying is when a student uses exactly the same words as the original author without using quotation marks or saying where the words are from. For example:

Student's text

While the Education Act of 1870 laid the groundwork for the provision of elementary or primary education for all children in England and Wales, it was not until the implementation of the 1944 Education Act that all girls and boys were entitled to a secondary education. Indeed, the decades immediately following the Second World War saw such a rapid increase in educational provision - in the USA, and many countries of Western and Eastern Europe, as well as in Britain - that some writers refer to the 'educational explosion' of the 1950s and 1960s.

Paraphrase plagiarism is changing some of the words and grammar but leaving most of the original text the same. For example:

Student's text

The Education Act of 1870 put down the basis for providing primary education for every child in the United Kingdom. It was not, however, until the establishment of the 1944 Education Act that all male and female children were given the right to education at secondary school.

Patchwork plagiarism is when parts of the original author's words are used and connected together in a different way. For instance:

Student's text

The right to elementary education for every child in England and Wales was established in the 1870 Education Act. However, the right to secondary education had to wait until the implementation of the 1944 Education Act. Following that act, in many countries of the world, there was such a rapid increase in educational provision that it was called the 'educational explosion' of the 1950s and 1960s.

Stealing an apt term is when a short phrase from the original text has been used in the students work, possibly because it is so good. For example:

Student's text

In England and Wales, all 5 year all children have had the right to an education since 1870. This has not, however, been the case for 11 year olds, who had to wait until 1944 for a national system of secondary education. Once this system was established, though, secondary education expanded rapidly in the decades immediately following the Second World War.

See also Modern Language Association (2009, pp. 56-58).