Answers to Hot Questions: Can You Plagiarize Yourself?

help how to not plagiarize yourself

Can You Plagiarize from Yourself When Writing?

This is a question that comes up more often than you might expect. The short answer is yes. Although it may seem strange it is possible to plagiarize yourself. It is referred to as self-plagiarizing and refers to using work that was previously submitted for another assignment. Is it illegal to plagiarize yourself? There is some disagreement as to whether or not using something you wrote previously is plagiarism but most academic institutions consider it so. Professional journalists have also found themselves in hot water for self-plagiarizing. When you include material previously written by you in a new essay or paper, that material must be cited just like any other resource. A journalist can’t submit the same article several times and represent it as new on each occasion, and it is the same for students. That is plagiarism and you can find yourself in trouble if you get caught. So, what about using paraphrasing website?

What Are the Different Plagiarism Types?

Plagiarism can be looked at in a number of different ways when considering the different types. All plagiarism can be considered to fall into one of two broad categories:

  • deliberate plagiarism
  • unintentional plagiarism (like weak essay paraphrasing often detected at universities).

However, most plagiarizers will claim it was unintentional if caught it needs to be broken down further. Unintentional plagiarism is generally when the writer cites a source incorrectly or inadvertently overlooks citing a source but for the most part has attempted to follow the rules.

There are four basic types of intentional plagiarism:

  1. Direct. The most obvious is the outright copying of a paper or text written by another person and claiming it as your own. This type of plagiarism is referred to as direct or clone plagiarism.
  2. Paraphrasing. Paraphrase plagiarism is rewording and restructuring content but retaining the original idea. If the original meaning is kept then credit must be given to the author. Paraphrase plagiarism may be partial or a complete paper.
  3. Mosaic. Another common plagiarism technique is known as patchwork or mosaic plagiarism. This is taking small amounts of information from many different works and combining them to make a new paper, the idea being to not take enough from any one source to register with checkers as plagiarism.
  4. Self-plagiarizing is the fourth type and involves including work you have previously used without citing it. Turnitin, a checking plagiarism site lists 10 types of plagiarism but these types will fit at least partially into one of the areas mentioned here.

can you plagiarize from yourself

Is Plagiarism Illegal?

Plagiarism alone is not a criminal or civil offense. It is an ethical issue and involves academic or professional dishonesty. However, it can become a legal issue if the plagiarism infringes on an author’s intellectual property rights, including copyright or trademark. It is up to the legal system to determine if plagiarism has actually violated the law. When plagiarism becomes a legal issue the consequences become even more severe. The individual committing plagiarism may have to make monetary restitution in addition to the normal penalties for being caught plagiarizing.

How Can I Be Sure I’m Not Plagiarizing?

To avoid plagiarizing you must first become aware of what constitutes plagiarism. Cite resources correctly and never represent another person’s work as your own. Take advantage of the tools available to check for plagiarism in your work to ensure nothing has been overlooked. Also, you can use rewriting service. The answer to the question “can you plagiarize yourself?” should help in avoiding self-plagiarism and using online tools and doing your own work will take care of the rest.

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