While plagiarism may seem like an easy way to complete a paper, it has long-term consequences for your academic career. Patchwork plagiarism is another form that is sneakier and harder to detect. 

People who practice this type of plagiarism take different phrases or parts from two or three, or even more sources and structure them into a single paragraph. 

In this article, we will talk about what patchwork plagiarism is, examples of this type of plagiarism, and other terms related to this.

Patchwork plagiarism definition

Patchwork plagiarism occurs when a person takes pieces of material from several different sources they structures and organizes them to present in the paper without citing, paraphrasing, or giving credit to the respective authors.


As mentioned above, patchy plagiarism involves three or more sources, structuring them differently. Throughout the article, we present quotes from three sources on the topic “What is academic integrity?“.

  1. Academic integrity is:

‘the expectation that teachers, students, researchers and all members of the academic community act with honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility.’ 

  1. Academic Integrity is:

‘a productive approach which entails a focus on promoting the positive values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage as the intrinsically motivated drivers for ethical academic practice.’

  1. Academic Integrity is:

a demonstration of personal integrity in an academic environment. Integrity in academic work is central to all learning. It forms the basis of academic work in any institute of higher learning and is built on the principles of fairness, honesty, trust, respect, responsibility, and courage. Making a commitment to not engage in acts of dishonesty, falsification, misrepresentation, or deception is the first step in preserving academic integrity.

These are three familiar sources from which one can produce a paragraph by combining them. With these three, let’s see what a normal plagiarism patchwork would look like.

Academic integrity tends to be derived from a person’s integrity that orients individuals to have a productive approach showing values, trust, honesty, justice, respect, and responsibility.

In this paragraph, almost everything that has been mentioned in the three articles has been used, reorganizing them. 

In this paragraph, no quotations, citations, or even credits are used for the respective authors, which means that it is not shown in any way that it was taken from somewhere.

Patchwork plagiarism Vs. Paraphrasing

Both patchy plagiarism and paraphrasing are more or less similar; one of the first differences is that patchwork plagiarism is in a more hidden form. The point is that both change the structure of those ideas taken so that a plagiarism detector does not detect them. 

Even if practicing this form of a plagiarism detector like Crossplag cannot avoid it, Crossplag will still detect this. Although they may be somewhat similar, they have some key differences. 

In essence, paraphrasing summarizes the ideas of others by changing the structure in such a way that it is more different. Paraphrasing is supported in academic writings as long as the source is cited; otherwise, it is considered plagiarism and a violation of academic integrity.

Patchwork plagiarism, on the other hand, takes phrases from many sources and rearranges them. People who commit these types of plagiarism match these phrases with the closest synonyms to give a new structure to their writing, but they need to offer something original. 

In their writings, a jumble of ideas is simply created, but by no means an original idea.

Therefore, even though they are similar, paraphrasing is allowed in the form that the sources are cited, while patchwork plagiarism is, in all states, a violation of academic integrity and is not supported in any form.

Patchwork plagiarism vs paraphrasing
Patchwork plagiarism vs paraphrasing

How can it be avoided?

None of us would want to be labeled as plagiarists or violators of academic integrity and professional ethics. 

So, it is necessary to avoid patchy plagiarism, starting from the simplest form, which is to be honest with yourself and your audience at the beginning and gain their trust. 

To avoid patchwork plagiarism and other forms of plagiarism, it is essential to keep notes, present original ideas, cite sources, and check for plagiarism in a plagiarism detector such as Crossplag.

Keep notes

Research is the main point for any academic writing, essay, or blog. Even if it is an article or essay writing, it should not start immediately in the first steps of research.

It would be best if you always researched the topic by keeping notes in your own words. Always keep notes in your own words; in this way, you will avoid plagiarism, even if it is accidental. 

Organizing your notes and combining them with your ideas is the best skill you can possess so your paper will be less likely to contain plagiarism.

Present original ideas

Another way to avoid patchwork plagiarism is to avoid taking other people’s ideas and organizing them, but to present your original ideas. 

Although the topics you will have to write about have been discussed hundreds of times, you should be able to present an original idea from your point of view. Note-keeping can help avoid patchwork plagiarism, but you must avoid copying ideas. 

Always recheck your notes to make sure you haven’t copied something from other authors that could be penalized. Presenting original ideas is the best way to avoid patchwork plagiarism and plagiarism.

Cite sources

People who do not cite the sources from which the material came are committing plagiarism. To avoid being accused of this, you must always mention where the material found in your work came from.

Citing sources is another way to avoid plagiarism. Although the form of citations varies depending on the format style, you must mention quoted phrases again.

Set aside a section in your note-taking for the sources you need to cite so you can take steps. Refrain from falling into plagiarism by neglecting citations.

Check for plagiarism

Avoiding patchwork plagiarism is necessary, so check your paper for similarities. An opportunity to check your letter is Crossplag; you can use this platform without guessing at all. 

Crossplag is a plagiarism detection tool that protects customer privacy and offers an accurate and fast check of your paper.

Proofreading your paper keeps you away from patchwork plagiarism and makes you more credible and honest to your audience.

As a result, even though you took notes, you can sometimes forget something, and that’s normal. Therefore, these detectors were created to point out these releases and more for the education of avoiding plagiarism.

Discovering similarities by manually checking yourself or having another person do it takes time and is boring. The purpose of plagiarism detectors is to give users a faster and more self-aware way to detect plagiarism.

To avoid patchwork plagiarism and avoid violating academic integrity, never avoid checking your paper for similarities.


Patchwork plagiarism is one of the types of plagiarism through which, as mentioned at the beginning, the person copies phrases from several sources and restructures them into a paragraph of his own. 

Patchwork plagiarism may be similar to paraphrasing, but they differ because paraphrasing is supported in academic writings as long as it is expressed through quotation marks or quotes, while patchwork plagiarism is strictly prohibited.

To avoid patchwork plagiarism, you must take notes during research and be careful to write in your own words. Among other steps are the citation that should not be overlooked in any given phrase, and checking for similarities should be done whenever the work is finished. 

Avoiding patchwork plagiarism also avoids academic dishonesty and violation of professional ethics. Also, save yourself from failing college or getting a bad grade.

Patchwork plagiarism is academic dishonesty and should be avoided in all possible forms. Academic integrity is essential in our career, so to be honest, trustworthy, and respected by your audience, avoid patchwork plagiarism in all possible conditions. 

Show original ideas and create works according to your thoughts; in this way, you will always stay away from doing patchwork plagiarism.