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  • Writer's pictureMatt Garris


The following post is adapted from my personal academic coursework.

Maurer et al. identified four types of plagiarism: accidental, unintentional, intentional, and self-plagiarism. Avoiding these requires an intentional, focused effort. While many may find it easy to avoid intentional plagiarism and self-plagiarism, it is important to remember how much higher God’s standard is than mankind’s standard. Romans 3:10 (NKJV) reminds us that “there is none righteous; no, not one.” We should not celebrate because we merely avoided the easy pitfalls, we must remain diligent to avoid all violations of academic integrity violations.

To avoid accidental plagiarism requires the writer to be diligent in remembering how to cite everything. The tediousness of this requirement is compounded for those scholars who find themselves switching between MLA and APA formats.

Additionally, it is useful to keep good notes when researching information. I have found that outside of academic settings, people often repeat information with no regard for where it originated. Maurer et al. referred to this as “unintentional [plagiarism, in which] the vastness of available information influences thoughts and the same ideas may come out via spoken or written expressions as one’s own.” I find that over the years I have been so inundated and saturated with information that I have developed the habit of not being mindful of the source. Nonetheless, academic integrity demands that scholars find out “who thought it first” and give credit where credit is due.


Holy Bible, New King James Version. (2020). Thomas Nelson (Original work published 1982).

Pandoi, D., Sanjaya, S. G., & Gupta, A. K. (2019). Role of virtues in the relationship between shame and tendency to plagiarise. The International Journal of Educational Management, 33(1) 66-85.


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