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Plagiarism & Academic Integrity: Try It! Identifying Plagiarism

Instructions

See if you can identify plagiarism

in the following examples!

 

Tip: Make sure to read the explanation of why the student's use of the source material is acceptable use or plagiarism.

 

 

Example 1

From the Original Source:

The premise for this article may be entirely bogus. Under what circumstances do the travels of young American undergraduates warrant inclusion in a discussion about pedagogy and cultural studies in 'the South'? The answer is that despite its massive size and prestige, the American university system mirrors the national political economy more generally.

From the article, "Privileged Migration: American Undergraduates, Study Abroad, Academic Tourism," by Marcus Breen, published in Critical Arts: A South-North Journal Of Cultural & Media Studies, volume 26, issue 1, 2012, pages 82-102.

Used in a Student's Paper:

Breen admits that the premise for this article may be entirely bogus. However, he defends his premise because the American university system mirrors the national political economy more generally (83).

 

 

 

This IS plagiarism! Although the student states the author's name and gives the page number that the information came from in MLA format, he does not use QUOTATION MARKS to enclose the directly quoted material. By using the information without quotes, it appears to the reader that the student paraphrased (or put into his own words) the information from the source, when, in fact, the information is a direct quote. Furthermore, the page number(s) must be included at the end of EVERY sentence that contains a direct quote.

 The correct way to cite is:

 Breen admits that, "[t]he premise for this article may be entirely bogus" (83). However, he defends his premise because, "the American university system mirrors the national political economy more generally" (83).

Example 2

From the Original Source:

The concept of social capital can help us understand the relationship between the Hispanic community and the important factor of information about college. Less access to desirable social capital may result in a lack of adequate information about higher education finances, and that, in turn, may result in college-qualified Hispanic high school graduates applying to community colleges instead of 4-year schools.

From the article, "Social Capital, Financial Knowledge, and Hispanic Student College Choices," by Noga O'Connor, Floyd M. Hammack, and Marc A. Scott, published in Research In Higher Education, volume 51, issue 3, 2010, pages 195-219.

Used in a Student's Paper:

O'Conner, Hammack, and Scott (2010) argue that when analyzing the connection between the Hispanic community and the "important factor of information about college," "social capital" is a useful concept (p. 215). Hispanic high school graduates who meet the requirements for acceptance to a four-year school "may" end up applying to community colleges instead because the "social capital" of the Hispanic community is not conducive to these students receiving information about how to finance a higher education (O'Conner, Hammack, and Scott, 2010, p. 215).

 

 

 

This is a great example of proper paraphrasing and citing! The student references the authors and includes the date and page number according to APA format. He also restructures the sentences. The student keeps the important phrase "social capital," and puts it in quotations, but paraphrases most of the rest of the excerpt. The student keeps the phrase "important factor of information about college" because rewording it might result in losing the authors' meaning. The student also makes sure to keep the original word "may," making it clear that the authors are presenting one possible reason why Hispanic students have higher enrollments at community colleges, but that there may be other factors as well.

It may look like the student "over-cited," but this is not the case. When including ANY direct quote in a sentence, even just a word or two, you MUST also include a proper citation for that sentence.

 

Example 3

From the Original Source:

A model of patriotic dissent has emerged in which activists have sought to narrow the gap between America's lofty promise of liberty and justice for all and the actual experience of oppressed or marginalized Americans: the working classes, women, and African Americans, for example.

From the article, "The American Gay Rights Movement And Patriotic Protest," by Simon Hall, published in the Journal Of the History Of Sexuality, volume 19, issue 3, 2010, pages 536-562.

Used in a Student's Paper:

Hall (2010) argues that an archetype of patriotic objection has developed in which activists strive to lessen the distance between America's ambitious guarantee of liberty and justice for all and the reality of subjugated or undervalued Americans: the lower classes, females, and black Americans, for instance (p. 538).

 

 

 

This IS plagiarism! Although the student changes most of the words from the original source, and provides the author, date, and page number in proper APA format, he does not rearrange the sentence – the structure of the student's sentence is too similar to the structure of the original sentence.

 This would be an acceptable way to paraphrase:

 According to Hall (2010), activists have developed an archetype of patriotic objection in which they lessen the distance between the reality of groups that have been traditionally undervalued and subjugated, such as black Americans, females, and workers, and the American promise of liberty and justice for all (p. 538).

Example 4

From the Original Source:

Risk is a feature of modern industrial civilization.

From the article, "Online Dating and Mating: Perceptions of Risk and Health Among Online Users," by Danielle Couch and Pranee Liamputtong, published in the journal Health, Risk & Society, volume 9, number 3, 2007, pages 275-294.

Used in a Student's Paper:

Couch and Liamputtong (2007) maintain that "[r]isk" is a characteristic of "modern industrial civilization" (277).

 

 

 

This is acceptable use. The student properly cites in APA by referencing the authors before the quote, including the publication date in parentheses following the authors' names, and including the page number in parentheses at the end of the quote.

This is an especially good direct quote, because the student changes the word "feature" (a common word that can easily be replaced without losing the meaning of the orignal statement) to "characteristic," but keeps the unique language of the original statement.

Example 5

From the Original Source:

Because the ultimate goal of Buddhism is to liberate people from the root causes and the superficial manifestations of suffering, all Buddhist services are fundamentally spiritual in intent.

From the article, "Buddhism as a Support System for Southeast Asian Refugees," by Edward R. Canda and Thitiya Phaobtong, published in the journal Social Work, volume 37, issue 1, 1992.

Used in a Student's Paper:

According to Canda and Phaobtong (1992), all Buddhist services are fundamentally spiritual in intent, because the ultimate goal of Buddhism is to liberate people from the root causes and the superficial manifestations of suffering (p. 65).

 

 

 

This IS plagiarism! Even though the student uses APA style by referencing the authors, including the publication date in parentheses following the authors' names, and including the page number, rearranging the sentence alone is NOT enough to avoid accidental plagiarism.

A combination of paraphrasing and direct quotes is the best way to use this information in a paper:

According to Canda and Phaobtong (1992), freeing people from the "root causes and the superficial manifestations of suffering" (p.65) is the highest objective of Buddhism. Therefore, Buddhist services are always "fundamentally spiritual in intent" (p. 64).

Example 6

From the Original Source:

Through a discussion with one charter operator, the researchers in this current study were informed that in order to deter fur seals, the operator would strike fur seals on the head with a hammer or other blunt object when they came in close proximity to their vessel.

From the article, "Behavioural Responses Of The Australian Fur Seal (Arctocephalus Pusillus Doriferus) To Vessel Traffic And Presence Of Swimmers In Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia," by Richard Stafford-Bell, Mark Scarr, and Carol Scarpaci, published in Aquatic Mammals, volume 38, number 3, 2012, pages 241-249.

Used in a Student's Paper:

In the course of their study into the behavioral responses of Australian fur seals to boat traffic, Stafford-Bell, Scarr, and Scarpaci (2012) spoke with a charter operator who admitted that he "would strike fur seals on the head with a hammer or other blunt object" when the seals came near his boat.

 

 

 

This IS plagiarism! The student did a great job combining paraphrasing and direct quotes, but she forgot to include the page number.

The following use of the original source information is acceptable:

In the course of their study into the behavioral responses of Australian fur seals to boat traffic, Stafford-Bell, Scarr, and Scarpaci (2012) spoke with a charter operator who admitted that he "would strike fur seals on the head with a hammer or other blunt object" when the seals came near his boat (p. 247).

Example 7

From the Original Source:

Arms trafficking is unlikely to decrease without increased cooperation between the United States and Mexico.

From the article, "This is Gun Country: The International Implications of U.S. Gun Control Policy," by Laura Mehalko,  published in the journal Boston College International & Comparative Law Review, volume 35, number 1, 2012, pages 297-330.

Used in a Student's Paper:

According to Mehalko, the United States and Mexico need to work together to decrease arms trafficking (299).

 

 

 

This IS acceptable use - the student rewords the author's ideas in her own words, restructures the sentence, and properly cites the author's ideas in MLA format by beginning the sentence with "According to Mehalko" and including the page number at the end of the sentence.

 

Example 8

From the Original Source:

In fact, African American trade unionists and other workers developed and sustained an expansive vision of social change that placed economic justice issues at the center of Birmingham's larger black freedom struggle.

From the article, "An Unmistakably Working-Class Vision: Birmingham's Foot Soldiers And Their Civil Rights Movement," by Max Krochmal, published in the Journal Of Southern History, volume 76, issue 4, 2010, pages 923-960.

Used in a Student's Paper:

By developing and sustaining an expansive vision of social change, African American trade unionists, along with other workers, put economic justice issues in the middle of Birmingham's larger black freedom struggle (Krochmal 924).

 

 

 

This IS plagiarism! Even though the student cites the author and the page that the information came from in MLA format and restructures the sentence, she uses too much of the original language. Phrases such as "developing and sustaining an expansive vision of social change," "economic justice issues," and "larger black freedom struggle," should either be placed in quotes, or paraphrased.

An example of acceptable use:

By creating and maintaining a wide "vision of social change," African American trade unionists, along with other laborers, made "economic justice issues" a focal point of Birmingham's "larger black freedom struggle" (Krochmal 924).

Jenica Ibarra

Jenica Ibarra - SPC's picture
Jenica Ibarra - SPC
Contact:
Reference & Instruction Librarian

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2465 Drew St. LI 114

Clearwater, FL 33765

(727) 791-2771

ibarra.jenica@spcollege.edu

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