Plagiarism is taking someone else’s ideas and passing them off as your own.
Failure to document, or cite, a source is dishonest, and in the academic community, plagiarism has serious consequences. However, much plagiarism is unintentional and can be avoided.
Many writers simply don’t know how to identify borrowed words and ideas correctly. In fact, most plagiarism occurs when a writer paraphrases or summarizes a source but stays too close to the wording or sentence structure of the original.
SAMPLE DOCUMENT Original: “ But Ichabod wasn’t alone in his admiration of Katrina. The lady was also being courted by a burly, broad- shouldered man named Brom Bones. Brom was the hero of the county. Rough but good-natured, he seemed to be at the center of every game and prank. He and his gang of four friends could be heard dashing past the farmhouses at midnight, whooping and hollering at the tops of their lungs. Neighbors looked at Brom with awe and admiration.” -Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Plagiarized Paraphrase: Ichabod wasn’t the only one who liked Katrina. She was also dating a big and strong man named Brom Bones. Brom was the popular guy of the county, rough, but good- natured. He was always the center of attention, of every game and prank. Along with his gang of four, they would be heard causing trouble sometimes around midnight. Neighbors of Sleepy Hollow admired Brom and looked at him with awe and admiration.
Acceptable Paraphrase: Ichabod wasn’t the only one who admired Katrina. Brom Bones, the county hero, who “neighbors looked at with awe and admiration,” was also courting Katrina (Irving, 51). Parenthetical documentation!
How do I cite my sources? “Citing a source” means to give your reader information about who stated the idea and where you found it. » Direct quotes » Paraphrases » Summaries ALL must be cited. We use the MLA (Modern Language Association) format to parenthetically document our research that we use in our research papers, and when we create our WORKS CITED page.
In text citation in MLA includes two parts : 1.The name of the author(s) or editor(s). 2.The page number(s) of the where the information came from. Example: Research is fun for students of all ages (Schmoe, 100). 1. 2.
Paraphrase example: Dr. Joe Schmoe argues that students, who can research well, will learn to become better students (28). One expert suggests that students, who can research well, will learn to become better students (Schmoe, 28).
Summary example: Dr. Joe Schmoe suggests that when students research, they “…become smarter” and, in fact, research they need to do at a later time becomes easier. The students have experienced the research process, and because it is familiar to them, it comes naturally to them (28-9).
Quotation examples: Dr. Joe Schmoe says, “Students who research…become smarter” (28). According to one expert, “Students who research…become smarter” (Schmoe, 28).
What do you do when your source does NOT have an author(s) or editor(s)? Use the title of the book/article in place of the author’s name. Example: Cartwheels are fun because they increase blood flow to one’s brain, which helps with doing research! (“Cartwheels, Me, and Research,” 25).
REMEMBER: Watch where you place your quotation marks and periods when inserting parenthetical documentation. You do not need to include the author in the documentation if you used him/her in your sentence lead-in. If a whole paragraph is from one source, you only need to document it once, at the end of the paragraph. Failure to insert parenthetical documentation in your research paper will have serious consequences.