Assume that you have written an academic piece about something. In this academic piece, you have supported your comments by the evidence. Now, somebody exactly uses your piece using the same references, but your sentences are completely rephrased.

Certainly, this is not an academic piece. I am not sure if we could say the person has plagiarized? Is there a term for this academic misconduct?

  • Welcome! Thanks for the question. Can you clarify please. What was the purpose of their re-writing your piece? Was it to embarrass you or misrepresent your claims to another party? It would be helpful to know. You can edit your own question and add some details or history. Thanks
    – Elliot
    Oct 26, 2020 at 0:42
  • What research have you done on the accepted meaning of plagiarism? Oct 26, 2020 at 14:57
  • This is formulated as a question about the meaning of English words, but in its substance it is a question about the norms of academic and scholarly integrity. The question may thus get more, and more detailed, answers on the Academia Stack Exchange (although they will probably be essentially the same as the one given here by chasly).
    – jsw29
    Oct 26, 2020 at 15:45

2 Answers 2


According to Oxford University

Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement.

Note that it says work not words. It doesn't matter if the words are different or even in a different language. If you have stolen someone's work, you are guilty of plagiarism.

If the new piece is not academic - perhaps it is for a newspaper, you should still acknowledge the original author.

  • 2
    The OP's being uncertain about whether this is plagiarism seems to be due to confusing plagiarism with the violations of copyright. What is described here would unquestionably amount to plagiarism and thus constitute a grave misconduct on part of a researcher, regardless of whether it would also amount to a violation of the law. The norms of academic and scholarly integrity are different from the norms embodied in the copyright law.
    – jsw29
    Oct 25, 2020 at 21:56
  • And often finding what references to incorporate is more work than analyzing them. Oct 26, 2020 at 2:54
  • what do you mean? Can you clarify your comments @ Accumulation
    – user330
    Oct 26, 2020 at 14:16

Technically speaking, this is "paraphrasing" as none of your exact words were copied.
However, depending on the circumstances and nature of the assignment, paraphrasing can also be considered just as bad as plagiarizing.


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