Plagiarism does not necessarily apply only to copy/paste as there are other types of plagiarism as well. People who indulge in getting by with plagiarism have realized that copy/pasting is easy to trap. Therefore they have experimented with other types of plagiarism. They put in this effort just to try and fool the teacher or their audience and of course the popular plagiarism websites.
Reading a paragraph and then changing the sentences and words around is another common type of plagiarism. It’s always safe to quote the actual sentence and cite the author and the article from where you are taking the quote. Give credit where credit is due and don’t try to hide it and make it into your own idea.
This happens when you read an article and you like it and you decide to follow the same writing style. You may not be actually plagiarizing what the original topic of the paper is, but you might be so caught up in following the writing style that you fail to put your own point across.
Students run into problems when trying to differentiate between public knowledge and a particular author’s personal idea. Public knowledge comprises of general knowledge and needs no attribution; for example the earth’s circumference, number of planets in our solar system, how to boil water. All these are considered to be public knowledge that doesn’t require referencing. But any particular discovery has to be attributed to the discoverer. We automatically reference the law of gravity to Newton, or relativity to Einstein.
At times we use metaphors to make comparisons to try and explain something by simplifying it or associating it with something else. However, if you are using someone else’s metaphor you should put it in quotes and name the author.
Plagiarism can be deliberate or accidental. If you have deliberately and knowingly done plagiarism then it’s cheating, but if it happens accidentally you will still get blamed for it. Therefore, the best way to avoid plagiarism is by using a good plagiarism checker to be absolutely sure that your work is plagiarism free.