The writing process often requires the gathering and analyzing of information. When that information is the product of another person's research or is another person's ideas, it must be acknowledged, or cited. Not giving documentation credit is to present the material as yours, which is intellectual dishonesty and a form of plagiarism.
1. To use and pass off (the ideas or writings of another) as oneís own.
appropriate for use as oneís own passages or ideas from (another).
intr- To put forth as original to oneself
the ideas or words of another.
you can see from the above definition, plagiarism occurs when you use another
personís words or ideas and present them as yours, intentionally or
unintentionally. They can derive from various sources - including, but not
limited to - print materials, Internet and other electronic resources, speeches,
interviews, movies, and music.
the material is your own (having come from your original research, creativity,
or analysis) or is "common knowledge," documenting its source is
necessary. While there is no single definition of "common knowledge," it is
generally understood to be that which is widely known and can be found in
numerous general reference sources.
when to cite is, in some instances, very clear; occasionally, however, it is not
so obvious. The following examples are offered to help you avoid plagiarism.
Buying or borrowing a paper
Having someone else write a paper for you
Copying and pasting another person's words from the Internet, or, for that matter, from anywhere (and not using quotes)
obvious examples of plagiarism are:
Directly quoting another personís written or spoken words (and not citing the source)
Reprinting graphs, charts, diagrams, or other illustrations that you did not create (and not citing)
obvious plagiarism involves:
Paraphrasing someoneís written or spoken words (and not citing)
last category, paraphrasing without plagiarizing, can be the most difficult to
understand. The following is an excerpt from the Indiana University Writing
Tutorial Serviceís pamphlet on plagiarism
which outlines the
differences between acceptable and unacceptable paraphrasing.
the ORIGINAL text, from page 1 of Lizzie Borden: A Case Book of Family and
Crime in the 1890s by Joyce Williams et al.:
rise of industry, the growth of cities, and the expansion of the population were
the three great developments of late nineteenth century American history. As
new, larger, steam-powered factories became a feature of the American landscape
in the East, they transformed farm hands into industrial laborers, and provided
jobs for a rising tide of immigrants. With industry came urbanization the growth
of large cities (like
an UNACCEPTABLE paraphrase that is plagiarism:
The increase of industry, the growth of cities, and the explosion of the population were three large factors of nineteenth century America. As steam-driven companies became more visible in the eastern part of the country, they changed farm hands into factory workers and provided jobs for the large wave of immigrants. With industry came the growth of large cities like Fall River where the Bordens lived which turned into centers of commerce and trade as well as production.
makes this passage plagiarism?
preceding passage is considered plagiarism for two reasons:
writer has only changed around a few words and phrases, or changed the order
of the originalís sentences.
writer has failed to cite a source for any of the ideas or facts.
you do either or both of these things, you are plagiarizing.
NOTE: This paragraph is also problematic because it changes the sense of several sentences (for example, "steam-driven companies" in sentence two misses the originalís emphasis on factories).
Hereís an ACCEPTABLE paraphrase:
River, where the Borden family lived, was typical of northeastern industrial
cities of the nineteenth century. Steam-powered production had shifted
labor from agriculture to manufacturing, and as immigrants arrived in the United
States, they found work in these new factories. As a result, populations
grew, and large urban areas arose. Fall River was one of these
manufacturing and commercial centers (Williams 1).
Why is this passage acceptable?
is acceptable paraphrasing because the writer:
accurately relays the information in the original and uses their own words
the reader know the source of her information.
Hereís an example of quotation and paraphrase used together, which is also ACCEPTABLE:
is this passage acceptable?
is acceptable paraphrasing because the
the information in the original passage accurately.
credit for the ideas in this passage.
which part is taken directly from the source by putting the passage in
quotation marks and citing the page number.
that if the writer had used these phrases or sentences in their own paper without
putting quotation marks around them, they would be PLAGIARIZING. Using another
personís phrases or sentences without putting quotation marks around them is
considered plagiarism EVEN IF THE WRITER CITES IN THEIR OWN TEXT THE SOURCE OF
THE PHRASES OR SENTENCES QUOTED.
read more about the subject of plagiarism, consult the following websites:
The OWL (Online Writing Lab),
What It Is and How to Recognize and Avoid It"
Writing Tutorial Services,