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Examples of Plagiarism & How to Avoid It March 24, 2010 Russell Sweet Boston University Pappas Law Library.

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Presentation on theme: "Examples of Plagiarism & How to Avoid It March 24, 2010 Russell Sweet Boston University Pappas Law Library."— Presentation transcript:

1 Examples of Plagiarism & How to Avoid It March 24, 2010 Russell Sweet Boston University Pappas Law Library

2 Overview Examples of plagiarism By no means an exhaustive list, but we’ll see many of its common forms Along the way, I’ll point out ways of avoiding plagiarism

3 Example #1 Direct copying of another’s work without attribution

4 Example #1 (cont’d) This copying can include borrowing without attribution any of the following: –an entire work –significant sections thereof –organizational structure (headings/subheadings) –a sentence This direct copying has significantly increased in the digital age

5 But you should know…. Direct copying of another’s words, without attribution, can easily be detected Detection programs compare students’ text against millions of online documents, including numerous commercial databases containing books and articles


7 Demonstration of Turnitin Please use Firefox to view this demonstration

8 You should also know… Direct copying of text can be detected apart from software. Changes in style or sophistication can immediately raise red flags—and can be noticed much more easily than students realize When this occurs, faculty can turn to detection software and/or an independent search in the literature

9 An Insufficient Defense… When confronted with the charge of having directly copied from another source, students often say that they did not intentionally do it. It was a mistake. But remember, even if you’re sloppy and forget to maintain the attribution in the cutting and pasting, it’s still your responsibility. It still constitutes plagiarism.

10 A Few Suggestions… Use “copy with cite/reference” tools wherever available Quarantine quotes, paraphrases, etc. before incorporating them into your own text Then, and only then, finalize your text, keeping all attributions in place so that you do not confuse your words/ideas with that of others

11 The RULE About Directly Quoting: Whenever employing the exact text of another in your paper, always use “quotation marks” (or block quotes) AND cite the source.

12 Example #2 Using Someone Else’s Footnote(s) Without Attribution

13 Example #2 (cont’d) Original Source: Robert D. Richards and Clay Calvert, Columbine Fallout: The Long-Term Effects On Free Expression Take Hold In Public Schools, 83 B.U.L. R EV. 1089, 1095-96 (2003)

14 Example #2 (cont’d) Student paper: Original Source:

15 Example #2 (cont’d) Corrected Student Paper:

16 Example #3* Improper Paraphrasing

17 Example #3 (cont’d) Original Source: Whiteside v. Griffis & Griffis, P.C., 902 S.W.2d 739, 744 (Tex. App. 1995).

18 Example #3 (cont’d) Student Memo:

19 Example #3 (cont’d) Student Memo with correct attribution:

20 Example #4 Proper Paraphrasing (but without proper attribution)

21 Example #4 (cont’d) Original Source: Kirstan Penasack, Student Author, Abandoning the Per Se Rule Against Law Firm Agreements Anticipating Competition: Comment on Haight, Brown & Bonesteel v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, 5 Geo. J. Leg. Ethics 889, 892 (1992).

22 Example #4 (cont’d) Student Memo:

23 Example #4 (cont’d) Student Memo with correct attribution:

24 Example #5 Taking the Ideas of Another Without Proper Attribution

25 Example #5 (cont’d) Original Source: Glen S. Draper, Student Author, Enforcing Lawyers Covenants Not to Compete, 69 Wash. L. Rev. 161, 174-75 (1994)

26 Example #5 (cont’d) Student Research Paper:

27 Example #5 (cont’d) One way to properly attribute use of Draper’s ideas in a research paper:

28 Example #6 Not continually citing a source when you have used it more than once in a paper (Citing only the first use of a source is not acceptable. If you fail to use “Id.” or “Supra” [or the equivalent] each time you quote, paraphrase, or employ the ideas of another, it’s plagiarism)

29 Example # 6 (cont’d) Twenty Pages Later

30 Example #6 (cont’d) Student research paper with correct attribution:

31 A few parting words…. Always make the proper attribution whenever using another’s ideas/words Allocate enough time in the writing process to make all necessary attributions When in doubt, make the attribution (ideally, consult with your professor if you have questions) Do everything possible to avoid even the suspicion of plagiarism. You’ll save yourself a lot of grief and wasted time

32 * The following four examples of plagiarism are adapted from Legal Writing Institute, Plagiarism Exercise, LAW SCHOOL PLAGIARISM V. PROPER ATTRIBUTION (2003)(a plagiarism policy brochure circulated to law schools for use and modification in specialized instruction regarding plagiarism).

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