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Many times you tend to copy information from different sources without giving proper citation and credit. It leads to the violation of rules and results in plagiarism. Which have serious consequences and result in fines or other penalties. 

Do you ever embarrassed of being identified for using someone's information? Truly, this guide is the best solution to get rid of plagiarism. 

Read this information to understand source-based plagiarism and how you can avoid it! 

Understanding Source-Based Plagiarism

Source-based plagiarism is "using someone's ideas, thoughts and information without credit to the author". It is a type of plagiarism that manipulates the reference, intentionally or unintentionally. 

For example, you copy a piece of information from a primary source and give credit to the secondary source. So this type of confusion refers to source-based plagiarism. 

It comes in various related forms, such as:

  • Copy-paste of text without quotation marks. 
  • Using someone's copyrighted material without citation. 
  • Too much paraphrasing and use of synonyms to alter the words. 
  • Do not use original thoughts and words to describe the information. 

All these things lead to academic offense and result in disciplinary action. Because it is unfair to use the source and give no credit and disrespect the author. 

Types of Source-Based Plagiarism

Plagiarism is presenting someone's ideas or thoughts and it becomes a global concern. Plagiarism has different types and you should understand their differences. Each type has its particular reasons and consequences that you should know how to avoid. 

Common forms of source-based plagiarism are: 

  • Word-for-word plagiarism
  • Paraphrasing plagiarism
  • Mosaic plagiarism
  • Inadequate citation

1. Word-for-word plagiarism

It is when you copy-paste the primary source information, without crediting the author. You take no permission to use their words and even not cite them with quotation marks. It refers to word-for-word plagiarism and results in various consequences. 

For example, when you directly copy a paragraph from a site and paste it into your new work. You never mention the source of the cite and from where you got this paragraph. It often identifies as word-for-word plagiarism. 

2. Paraphrasing plagiarism

Paraphrasing is different from plagiarism and you must know the difference between them. Paraphrasing plagiarism is a form of plagiarism. 

Where you use your own words to rephrase someone else's information. You do not change the entire meaning of the primary sentences and pretend to be yours. 

For example, when you read an informative article and want to add some paragraphs or sentences to yours. You make a few changes to words by rephrasing them and submit them as the original work. This type of plagiarism refers to paraphrasing

3. Mosaic plagiarism 

Mosaic plagiarism is another type of plagiarism. It is also famous for patchwork plagiarism and for using different site materials at once. It happens when you combine all of them and create a new piece of work. 

You do not cite the sources and proper credit to their work. It results in serious consequences and puts a bad impact on overall performance. 

For example, You use different authors' ideas, thoughts, and information to make a new document. You put a few changes of words and combined them together as your original work. This type of activity is mosaic plagiarism and you disrespect different authors at the same time. 

4. Inadequate Citation

It is an act in which you never directly quote or properly cite the direct or partial information. You give no complete data of the writer, publication date, title, and page number from where you use the words. 

For example, when you use someone's information you: 

Source-based plagiarism is also unethical and violates academic or professional settings just like other types of plagiarism. You should learn how you can copy and paste the text without plagiarism and uphold integrity. 

Consequences of Source-Based Plagiarism

Copying someone's work without giving proper credit can have serious consequences. Three basic categories of consequences that can help you understand the consequences of source-based plagiarism are: 

  • Academic consequences
  • Professional consequences
  • Legal consequences

1. Academic Consequences

Academic consequences refer to a state when students plagiarize in academic settings. They often use a direct method of copy-paste to submit their assignments. 

For example: When you copy entire information from a source and submit it as your own, you commit plagiarism. Here your teacher may detect plagiarism and give a zero grade for the assignment. 

Some of the negative consequences in academic settings result in: 

  • Failing assignments and grades. 
  • Academic probation. 
  • Suspension at the severity of plagiarized content. 

2. Professional Consequences

Professional consequences belong to a professional setting. In which journalists and many other professionals detect source-based plagiarism. 

For example: A journalist copies an article from another source and does not acknowledge the use of their primary research. Not giving proper attribution to the original author, often leads to professional consequences. 

Some of the negative impacts on professional performance are: 

  • Loss of journalist's credibility
  • Reputational damage
  • Loss of job opportunities 
  • Loss of job

3. Legal Consequences

Legal consequences are the extreme actions on the excess and severe plagiarism cases. Source-based plagiarism also often results in bad consequences.

For example: When a company and a professional official use copyrighted material without permission. Copyright infringement has a specific law to make the person guilty of not showing respect. 

The legal consequences may result in: 

  • Legal actions
  • Fines
  • lawsuits
  • Imprisonment 
  • Heavy dues 
  • Regular charges 

Therefore, it is always crucial to give proper credit to the primary and original source. It helps you to avoid plagiarism and prevent your work from negative consequences.

How to Avoid Source-Based Plagiarism

Source-based plagiarism is not good for academic and professional health. So you should avoid it from your work to create a unique and original work. 

Some essential points are: 

  • Conduct proper research on a topic
  • Taking notes effectively
  • Paraphrasing correctly
  • Properly citing sources

1. Conducting thorough research

Research is an inquiry of identifying information through various sources. Once you conduct your research make key points to explain the process in your words. 

Gather different ideas and thoughts to write down in your work. This is the best tip to avoid source-based plagiarism in your content. 

2. Taking notes effectively

Taking notes is active learning to know about different perspectives. It helps you to keep concentrating on a topic and get more knowledge. The key tip to avoid plagiarism is changing words and paraphrasing properly. Proper citation is also necessary to make your work plagiarism free. 

Tip: Sometimes paraphrasing is considered plagiarism and you should avoid it too. 

3. Paraphrasing correctly

Paraphrasing and rephrasing are different things, but their excessive practice results in plagiarism. Paraphrasing is the restating of words to change the meaning and to create a new piece of work. 

For this purpose make sure to add original ideas and creativity to work. Make sure to use your words to describe the basic purpose of the topic. So, do not forget to quote the prime source of information to give proper credit. 

You can now use a paraphrasing tool to make your thesis at free access. With a simple click, you make it possible to write a plagiarism-free thesis on your own. 

4. Properly citing sources

Proper citation and giving credit is the essential key to avoiding plagiarism. Source-based plagiarism means using someone else's original research without giving a proper citation. 

For this cause, use the proper citation style to mention the source. It could be APA, MLA, or a format that your instructor recommends to you. 

Make sure to cite all sources either simple sentences or quotations of someone's work. Give them proper credit to prevent plagiarism and its bad consequences. 

Some of the above-mentioned tips are enough to avoid plagiarism in your content. By following them, you may prevent your work from duplication and can create a new document. 

Pro tip: Using plagiarism-checking tools can help you identify areas where you may have failed to give proper credit. It helps you to make your work plagiarism free and credible to share. 


Avoiding source-based plagiarism is crucial for maintaining academic and professional integrity. In this article, we have explained source-based plagiarism and its negative impact. It will truly help you to understand plagiarism and its bad impact on different settings. 

A brief overview of the above-mentioned tips are: 

Following above mentioned tips help you ensure that your work is original and free from plagiarism.