What is Plagiarism?
Forms of Plagiarism
Detection of Plagiarism
The Basics of Handling Source Material
Accidental plagiarism occurs when student do not understand how to use and document sources. When writing, there are three legitimate ways of handling source material: quotations, summaries and paraphrases. Let's take a few minutes to discuss how to use each.
In this section, you will learn to identify plagiarized content within student paraphrasing.
Whether paraphrasing, quoting, or summarizing, always introduce the source material. This will alert readers that you are no longer speaking (writing) in your own voice.
Many students faced with writing from sources for the first time find that they are forced to try and paraphrase. They find putting another's ideas in their own words exceedingly difficult, so they go back to the source material and its wording. They soon discover that paraphrasing well is a difficult task, and problems occur. The end result is a student's paraphrase becomes a quotation of the original, without quotation marks. Paraphrases are close rewordings of sources' sentences. Because they are so close to the original source material, paraphrases are always cited.
Quoting is when the writer uses the exact words of another as supporting material. Examples of quotes may include examples, statistics, or testimonies. Quoting should be used when the writer cannot rephrase the original source.
When using quotes, remember to be brief and selective. Lengthy quotations suggest that the writer does not understand the original or is padding the paper to make it appear longer. Choose quotations that are directly related to the claim you are making in the paragraph. You may even quote part of a sentence as long as you do not distort the meaning of the original by doing so. Whenever you use three or more words that are another person's words, enclose the remarks in quotation marks.
The last way to handle source material is to summarize. Summarizing means to transform the authors words and ideas into your own words, substantially reducing the number of words. Like paraphrasing, summarizing does not require quotation marks. However, like paraphrasing and quoting, you still need to cite the original source.
Sometimes students plagiarize because their paraphrases may include too much of the source's original wording and style. Or, they may not understand how and when to make and in-text citation and how and when to write a bibliography or works cited, whichever is required by the assignment. Studying textbook examples or seeking help from the LRC
are ways to ensure an assignment is properly prepared and not
plagiarized. Now, click on Avoiding Plagiarism to learn how to avoid plagiarizing.
Created by: Marilyn Bauer and Jacie Moriyama for Leeward Community College
November 1, 2004