What is Verbatim Plagiarism and How to Avoid It

What is verbatim plagiarism? Read on to find out why this serious infraction could hinder your abilities as an author or student.

Writers can fall victim to many common types of plagiarism, and verbatim plagiarism is one of those. If you want to write ethically, avoid copyright infringement problems and self-plagiarism, it’s a good idea to understand various forms of plagiarism, including verbatim plagiarism. 

Verbatim plagiarism occurs when you copy and paste text from another writer’s work into your work and do not give it proper attribution. This type of plagiarism is also known as direct plagiarism. It can occur if you copy the work word for word, but it also happens if you substitute a few synonyms while keeping the main sentence structure similar and most of the words the same.

What Are The Consequences Of Verbatim Plagiarism?

What is verbatim plagiarism and how to avoid it?

Passing someone else’s work off as your ideas, without proper citation and credit to the original author, is a serious ethical offense. If you are writing a research paper for school, your institution will have penalties in place, including potentially failing the class or the project, because of plagiarism.  Academic dishonesty can cause you to get expelled from your school.

In professional research situations, failing to cite an original source that you quote can lead to having your entire research project dismissed. Even if the verbatim plagiarism comes from your own work, if you do not indicate that you are using a direct quote from something already published, your work gets discredited. 

Finally, suppose you have published something professionally, and the publisher finds you are guilty of plagiarism because of copied text from someone else’s original work or your own previous work. In that case, you may find yourself in breach of your contract. 

Learn more about the consequences of plagiarism.

How to Avoid Verbatim Plagiarism

Tips for avoiding plagiarism
Before turning in any work, use a plagiarism checker to scan it for any accidental plagiarism

The easiest way to avoid verbatim plagiarism is to avoid using another writer’s exact words. Also, referencing different sources when writing a piece will help.

In all types of writing, but especially in academic writing, make sure you cite all works you use. If you are quoting directly, use quotation marks and the appropriate in-text citation using MLA or APA format. If you are paraphrasing, add the appropriate citation. 

Finally, before turning in any work, use a plagiarism checker to scan it for any accidental plagiarism. Remember, even something common knowledge needs proper citation if it is another author’s words, so use a program like TurnItIn to check your work. 

Verbatim Plagiarism Vs. Different Types of Plagiarism

Verbatim plagiarism is similar to other types of plagiarism, and a writer can be guilty of more than one. For instance, mosaic plagiarism or patchwork plagiarism describes pasting bits and pieces from other writers’ works and passing them off in your own words. Some of those pieces of copied text can be examples of verbatim plagiarism.

Similarly, global plagiarism occurs when the writer copies the entire work of another author. If the work is word for word, then it is also an example of verbatim plagiarism. 

Learn more about the different types of plagiarism.

A Final Word on What Is Verbatim Plagiarism

Verbatim plagiarism occurs any time you quote another author’s work word-for-word, or close to it, without citing the original author. This type of plagiarism is a serious offense that will cause disciplinary action, particularly in a school setting. 

Using proper citation and a plagiarism checker will both help you avoid this error. When creating a paper or report, always paraphrase and write in your own words, with credit to the original author.

Remember, no matter what platform you are writing for, you need to protect yourself against the consequences of plagiarism. Be ethical in your writing, and you can create works that you will be proud of without the risk of serious consequences due to intentional or accidental plagiarism.

If you’d like to avoid plagiarism, use the best plagiarism checker you can afford.

FAQs About Verbatim Plagiarism

What is verbatim copying?

Verbatim copying of someone else’s original content occurs when you take someone’s writing and copy it into your own work, claiming it as your own. This infraction is a serious issue that can lead to failing grades or discredited research.

What is verbatim and non-verbatim plagiarism?

Verbatim plagiarism occurs when you take a word-for-word copy of someone else’s work. Non-verbatim plagiarism occurs when you paraphrase, but use the other author’s ideas without proper attribution.


  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.