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plagiarism

TL;DR

“Plagiarism is the fear of a blank page.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Citation may help show a good faith fair use argument, but it neither prevents plagiarism nor guarantees fair use.”[1] — Kevin Smith

Do not do these

Do not use more than 10% quotes from any source (direct or paraphrased, cited or not). In most universities and colleges and with most professors and instructors, you cannot have any more than 5% of the contents of your paper or assignment taken from any source even if you cite them perfectly.

Do not copy/paste. It is rarely a good idea. Unless the sentences you are copy/pasting have a special significance, copy/pasting the works of others can potentially get you in trouble.

Do not make a collage out of others’ works. You are not an aggregator.[7] Your assignments aren’t there to see if you can find others’ works, copy them, paste them into your paper, and then cite them. That will get you a failed mark. Your assignments, even if they are already answered on the Internet, must reflect your own thinking.

If you need to learn more, then keep on reading.

Videos to watch

Do I have to cite?


Plagiarism: Definition and Examples | LiteraryTerms[2]

This section is taken from the following source:

‘Plagiarism: Definition and Examples | LiteraryTerms’, Literary Terms, 11-Sep-2016. [Online]. Available: https://literaryterms.net/plagiarism/. [Accessed: 06-Mar-2019]

What is “Plagiarism”?

Plagiarism is the act of using someone else’s ideas, words, or thoughts as your own without giving credit to the other person. When you give credit to the original author (by giving the person’s name, name of the article, and where it was posted or printed), you are citing the source. Plagiarism is when you do not include this information in your paper. There are other forms of plagiarism, as well, such as reusing a paper and having someone else write for you.

“The following are all examples of plagiarism:

  • quoting or paraphrasing material without citing the source of that material. Sources can include web sites, magazines, newspapers, textbooks, journals, TV and radio programs, movies and videos, photographs and drawings, charts and graphs; any information or ideas that are not your own;
  • quoting a source without using quotation marks—even if you do cite it;
  • buying a paper online or downloading a paper from a free site;
  • copying or using work done by another student;
  • citing sources you didn’t use; and
  • turning in the same paper for more than one class without the permission of both teachers.”[3]
  • “copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not”[4]

Examples of Plagiarism

A recent famous example of plagiarism that cost a journalist his job is Jayson Blair of The New York Times in 2003. Newspapers are stories about real events and should be accurate and true. News reporters are supposed to talk to the people involved to get the right information. However, Blair falsified (lied about) facts in his stories, making up events to make his story 1) sound better. Additionally, he took stories from other papers, such as a San Antonio news story, and wrote it as his own. He won awards based on his writing, but when it came out that his stories were either made up and/or stolen from other writers, he was forced to quit and his career was ruined. Because of what he did, no newspaper will want to risk hiring him. Plagiarism can cause a lot of problems for writers.

Types of Plagiarism

a. Direct

This is when text is taken word-for-word from another source. You may often copy and paste information off the Internet and put it on your posters and in reports. This is plagiarism if the website’s name is not included and quotes are not used around the information.

b. Mosaic or Structure

Changing words while still using the sentence from a source is as much plagiarism as if every word was copied and pasted. You should paraphrase information — put it into your own words and sentence style — and cite your source.

c. Self

Just because you wrote a paper doesn’t mean you can use it again. This is also called “recycling.” Once you have turned in a paper to one teacher, you are not allowed to use it for another class or the next year. By not coming up with new ideas, this is cheating. You can take the same idea (after discussing it with your teacher), but you must do more research and write the paper over and include new ideas or expand an old one.

d. Accidental

A lot of times, you don’t realize you are plagiarizing. You may have been copying and using the information you found, without anyone correcting you. Maybe you were never taught how to cite a source, paraphrase information, or take notes, in order to write original material. Perhaps you meant to cite but forgot to go back to the section and enter the information. This is more obvious if you cited all along, but have one or two items that aren’t.

e. Authorship

There are many people who will write papers for money. Additionally, there are people who think being a good friend is writing someone else’s paper to help them out. However, taking someone else’s written ideas and putting your name on the paper is still plagiarizing. If you don’t write your own papers, you are missing out on important writing practice.

The Importance of Avoiding Plagiarism

Students who do any kind of plagiarizing in middle and high school can get a failing grade (such as an F), possibly detention, or more. In college, students who plagiarize can fail the paper and the course. Additionally, the college can put the words “Academic Dishonesty” on the student’s transcript next to the course grade of F. This may not seem like a big deal, but if a potential employer sees “Academic Dishonesty” on a transcript (which employers require as proof of a degree), they may decide they don’t want to risk hiring someone who cheats. It’s best to never even try cheating. If you’re used to working hard, doing the work yourself, and learning how to improve even when you don’t do well, you will avoid the risk of being tempted to plagiarize later.

Plagiarism is a serious issue and should be avoided at all costs. There are different ways of committing plagiarism, but even if you do so accidentally, you may find yourself in trouble. Be sure to write down the names of people from whom you found information as you write your paper. This will help keep you out of trouble. Ask your teacher any time you’re not sure what to do.

Example of Plagiarism in Literature

In 2002, a well-known author, Stephen Ambrose, was accused of plagiarism in his book “The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s over Germany.” It was found that parts of his book were very similar to a 1995 book by University of Pennsylvania history professor Thomas Childers. It was later found that four other books by Ambrose were possibly plagiarized. Needless to say, this did not help his career.

Examples of Plagiarism in Pop Culture

Example 1

In 1988, a rap duo, Milli Vanilli, was making quite an entrance into the music world. They even won the Grammy award for Best New Artist in 1990. However, the award was taken back when it was revealed that they were not actually the singers on their album. Someone else had sung the tracks, and they lip synced at performances to promote it. While many artists will lip-sync at big events, it is at least their voices on the recordings. This duo cheated by having someone else singing, and they got the credit. This is plagiarism. Their new-found fame at once disappeared in scandal as fans were angry at being fooled. After all the news and stories exposing their shame, Milli Vanilli (Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan) had a rough time recovering. Needless to say, artists since then have taken care to not follow their footsteps.

The Aftermath of Milli Vanilli’s Lip-Syncing Scandal | Where Are They Now? | Oprah Winfrey Network[5]
Watch this video on YouTube at https://youtu.be/5VLKU4h18EU.

Example 2

Video games are extremely popular in pop culture. Game designers and production companies spend a lot of time and money developing great games. One company, Majestic Studios, changed from their game platform and focused on a new one. Lost in Limbo was released in March 2008. However, by June, players had realized that the game was totally plagiarized, with scenes, story lines, and characters stolen from other games. The game was quickly taken off the market, and the Majestic Studio owners split up.

Counterfeiting

This is the process of making copies of something but illegally, such as forgers do when they make fake money. It’s illegal, and can land people in jail.

Purloin

When someone takes something that’s yours without asking, they purloined it. To purloin something is to steal it, to take it dishonestly.

Examples of Plagiarism[6]

By Georgetown University (some emphases are by Eric Bright)

This section is taken from the following source:

‘Examples of Plagiarism’, Georgetown University. [Online]. Available: https://honorcouncil.georgetown.edu/system/what-is-plagiarism/x. [Accessed: 06-Mar-2019]

(The format of the following examples was drawn from Acknowledging The Work of Others illustrating several types of common plagiarism. […])

THE ORIGINAL PASSAGE

This book has been written against a background of both reckless optimism and reckless despair. It holds that Progress and Doom are two sides of the same medal; that both are articles of superstition, not of faith. It was written out of the conviction that it should be possible to discover the hidden mechanics by which all traditional elements of our political and spiritual world were dissolved into a conglomeration where everything seems to have lost specific value, and has become unrecognizable for human comprehension, unusable for human purpose. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1973 ed.), p.vii, Preface to the First Edition.

EXAMPLE I

word-for-word plagiarism

This book has been written against a background of both reckless optimism and reckless despair. It holds that Progress and Doom are two sides of the same medal; that both are articles of superstition, not of faith. Interestingly enough, Arendt avoids much of the debates found in some of the less philosophical literature about totalitarianism.

When material is taken directly from a book, article, speech, statement, remarks, the Internet, or some other source, the writer must provide proper attribution. In this example, no credit is given to the author.

EXAMPLE II

the footnote without quotation marks

This book has been written against a background of both reckless optimism and reckless despair. It holds that Progress and Doom are two sides of the same medal; that both are articles of superstition, not of faith.1 Interestingly enough, Arendt avoids much of the debates found in some of the less philosophical literature about totalitarianism. 1 Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1973 ed.), p.vii, Preface to the First Edition.

When material is quoted word-for-word, a footnote alone is insufficient. The material that represents a direct quotation must either be put within quotation marks or indented. For example:

A. As Hannah Arendt explains, her book was “written against a backdrop of both reckless optimism and reckless despair.”1 The book “holds that Progress and Doom are two sides of the same medal . . . .”2

B. As Dr. Arendt has explained:

This book has been written against a background of both reckless optimism and reckless despair. It holds that Progress and Doom are two sides of the same medal; that both are articles of superstition, not of faith.1

Interestingly enough, Arendt avoids much of the debate found in some of the less philosophical literature about totalitarianism.

EXAMPLE III

the paraphrase

Hannah Arendt’s book, The Origins of Totalitarianism, was written in the light of both excessive hope and excessive pessimism. Her thesis is that both Advancement and Ruin are merely different sides of the same coin. Her book was produced out of a belief that one can understand the method in which the more conventional aspects of politics and philosophy were mixed together so that they lose their distinctiveness and become worthless for human uses.

Even if the author’s exact language is not used, a footnote is required for material that is paraphrased.

EXAMPLE IV

the mosaic

The first edition of The Origins of Totalitarianism was written in 1950. Soon after the Second World War, this was a time of both reckless optimism and reckless despair. During this time, Dr. Arendt argues, the traditional elements of the political and spiritual world were dissolved into a conglomeration where everything seems to have lost specific value. In particular, the separation between the State and Society seems to have been destroyed. In this book, she seeks to disclose the hidden mechanics by which this transformation occurred.

Even though this example includes some original material, selected phrases of the original are woven throughout the passage — a. reckless optimism and reckless despair, b. traditional elements of the {our in original} political and spiritual world were dissolved into a conglomeration where everything seems to have lost specific value, and c. hidden mechanics.

EXAMPLE V

the “apt phrase”

Following the Second World War, scholars from a variety of disciplines began to explore the nature of “totalitarianism.” One of the most pressing issues for these writers was understanding the “essence” of totalitarianism. How, for example, is a totalitarian regime different from an authoritarian regime? Although authors disagree on the precise answer to this question, a common thread running throughout most of the classic works on totalitarianism deals with the relationship between State and Society. In a totalitarian state, the traditional boundaries between State and society are dissolved into a conglomeration so that the two become indistinguishable.

This passage is almost entirely original, but the phrase “dissolved into a conglomeration” is taken directly from Arendt. Even though this is a short phrase, it must be footnoted. Only phrases that have truly become part of general usage can be used without citation.

When & How to Avoid Plagiarism | LiteraryTerms.net[8]

This section is taken from the following source:

‘When & How to Avoid Plagiarism | LiteraryTerms.net’, Literary Terms, 11-Sep-2016. [Online]. Available: https://literaryterms.net/when-and-how-to-avoid-plagiarism/. [Accessed: 06-Mar-2019]

How to Avoid Plagiarism

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to make sure that you are always:

  • writing your own papers
  • taking notes from sources instead of copying down whole sentences
    • including the sources you are using
    • when finding information, be sure you are writing down the name of the author and the book, web page, or article from which you got it.
    • then when you are writing, mention where you got the ideas as you are writing. Even if you aren’t quoting word-for-word from the source, you are using the ideas. This must be cited in your paper assignment.

You may notice when reading some articles that the writer has a name in parentheses at the end, such as (Tolkien 272). This means the writer got the information from a book by Tolkien on page 272. At the end of the paper, a page called References or Works Cited will list all the sources that the writer used to write the paper. There are many different styles of citation, such as MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association), and Chicago style. Besides telling from whom you got your information, you also avoid plagiarism by writing your own papers. The Internet has made it easy to get information in a heartbeat. Instead of copying and pasting information, you should be writing down notes, just as you would if it were a book. It’s better to get a bad grade with original writing than to get a good grade with someone else’s, because

  1. You aren’t learning how to write properly, which will affect you in the future.
  2. If you ever get caught, you will be in much more trouble than if you had simply received a bad grade.

An item that many people plagiarize all the time without realizing it is visual graphics, such as pictures and videos. If you are posting these to your social media or other online account or using them in a project, you must put the link from where you found it. For example, if you are using pictures for a poster, you can insert a text box with the link before you print it. It doesn’t need to be in big font so long as it can be read. Otherwise, write down a brief description of the picture in your notes and copy down the link. You can then write or type the URL link under the picture in your assignment. Make sure readers know you did not film or take the picture.

When in doubt, ask!

When to Avoid Plagiarism

You should always avoid plagiarism. Any time you have a paper, project, report, poster, even homework, you should be doing your own work. If you are using ideas and information from other people’s books, web pages, etc., you need to say so in your assignment.

Copying homework from another student is also plagiarism. That student did the work. Even if you know how to do it, copying it from someone else is cheating. Homework is one way teachers can tell if students understand the material. If you are having trouble, the teacher will not know that you may need more help. This will cause you a problem when it comes to tests.

Make sure that any time you do schoolwork you use your own ideas and writing, and give credit to information from other sources. If you are not sure when to cite information, ask your teacher.

Student Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism[9]

© 2002 by Education World®. Education World grants educators permission to reproduce this page for classroom use. Edited by Eric Bright in June 2019. You can find the original document here: https://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/TM/curr390_guide.shtml

Note Taking

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to take careful notes. When taking notes, always do the following:

  • first, read the entire text and summarize it in your own words. Then paraphrase important points and copy usable quotes. Enclose quotes in quotation marks;
  • carefully distinguish between material that is quoted, material that is paraphrased, material that is summarized, and your own words and ideas. Consider using different coloured ink for each type of source;
  • include in your notes all the information you will need to cite your sources.
  • copy all source information into your working bibliography using the format your teacher has provided;
  • print any web pages you use. Write the URL and the date on the web page if it isn’t included on the printout; and
  • save all your notes and printouts until you receive your final grade.

Citing Sources

You must cite the source of every quote, every paraphrased passage, and every summarized idea you use in a research paper. Commonly known facts, such as dates or definitions, do not need to be cited unless you take those facts directly from a specific reference source, such as an encyclopedia or a textbook. If you’re not sure whether a source should be cited, include it just in case.

Sources must be cited both in the body of the paper and in the bibliography. In the body of the paper, you must do the following:

  • copy quoted material exactly, enclose it in quotations marks, and name the author immediately before or after the quote. Use the same procedure for summarized or paraphrased material, but omit the quotation marks;
  • cite the source information (title, publisher, date, and so on) for the quote or paraphrased or summarized information either in parentheses within the text or in a footnote or endnote; and
  • list on a reference page at the end of your paper the information for all the sources you have cited. (This is not the same as the bibliography.)

The bibliography is a list of all the sources you used—both those you cited and those you used for research, but did not cite directly. The bibliography should follow the format your teacher has provided.

Writing The Paper

The following tips on the writing process also will help you avoid plagiarism.

  • read your notes carefully and make sure you understand the material before you begin to write;
  • write a preliminary draft without looking at your notes. Leave spaces where you think you’ll want to include quotes or supporting material;
  • use your own words as much as possible. No one expects you to write like an expert or a professional writer. You should, however, write like a serious, responsible student;
  • cite all sources as you write your rough draft;
  • read through your final draft and make sure all uncited ideas are your own.

Plagiarism resources

  1. Plagiarism: What it is and how to avoid it [10] A 1h45min course at Lynda.com which is fully available for free through public libraries
  2. Avoiding Plagiarism: Writing With Integrity [3] A 35min tutorial on YouTube
  3. Plagiarism Examples from Former Students [11] A 25min lecture on YouTube
  4. Turnitin — The Plagiarism Spectrum [7] It shows 10 most common plagiarism examples
  5. Plagiarism.org [13] An on-line resource where students can find tens of articles, videos, examples, Questions and Answers, explanations, and in-depth information on Understanding Plagiarism, Preventing Plagiarism, Plagiarism Research, Plagiarism Policies, and more

Bibliography

[1] K. Smith and J.D., ‘If I cite the source I am using, can it still be copyright infringement?’, Scholarly Communications @ Duke. 30-Nov-2007 [Online]. Available: https://blogs.library.duke.edu/scholcomm/2007/11/30/citation-infringement/. [Accessed: 07-Sep-2019]

[2] ‘Plagiarism: Definition and Examples | LiteraryTerms’, Literary Terms, 11-Sep-2016. [Online]. Available: https://literaryterms.net/plagiarism/. [Accessed: 06-Mar-2019]

[3] Avoiding Plagiarism: Writing With Integrity. The Texas A&M University Writing Center, 2015 [Online]. Available: https://youtu.be/F1S1FZ-bn5E. [Accessed: 07-Sep-2019]

[4] Plagiarism.org, ‘What is Plagiarism?’, Plagiarism.org, 18-May-2017. [Online]. Available: https://www.plagiarism.org/article/what-is-plagiarism. [Accessed: 07-Sep-2019]

[5] The Aftermath of Milli Vanilli’s Lip-Syncing Scandal | Where Are They Now. Oprah Winfrey Network, 2013 [Online]. Available: https://youtu.be/5VLKU4h18EU. [Accessed: 07-Sep-2019]

[6] ‘Examples of Plagiarism’, Georgetown University. [Online]. Available: https://honorcouncil.georgetown.edu/system/what-is-plagiarism/x. [Accessed: 06-Mar-2019]

[7] Turnitin, ‘The Plagiarism Spectrum: Instructor Insights into the 10 Types of Plagiarism’, turnitin.com, 2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.turnitin.com/static/plagiarism-spectrum/. [Accessed: 07-Sep-2019]

[8] ‘When & How to Avoid Plagiarism | LiteraryTerms.net’, Literary Terms, 11-Sep-2016. [Online]. Available: https://literaryterms.net/when-and-how-to-avoid-plagiarism/. [Accessed: 06-Mar-2019]

[9] Education World ®, ‘Student Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism’, 2002. [Online]. Available: https://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/TM/curr390_guide.shtml. [Accessed: 07-Sep-2019]

[10] E. Loftis, ‘Plagiarism: What it is and how to avoid it’, Lynda.com - from LinkedIn, 20-Jul-2015. [Online]. Available: https://www.lynda.com/Higher-Education-tutorials/Plagiarism-What-it-how-avoid-it/368046/420130-4.html. [Accessed: 07-Sep-2019]

[11] Plagiarism Examples from Former Students. 2014 [Online]. Available: https://youtu.be/o-FdQxONCQ4. [Accessed: 07-Sep-2019]

[12] Purdue Writing Lab, ‘Research and Citation Resources - Purdue Writing Lab’, Purdue Writing Lab. [Online]. Available: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/resources.html. [Accessed: 07-Sep-2019]

[13] ‘Plagiarism.org’, plagiarism.org. [Online]. Available: https://www.plagiarism.org/. [Accessed: 07-Sep-2019]

plagiarism.txt · Last modified: 2021/02/07 21:07 by Eric Bright