browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Plagiarism

Note that plagiarism as we use it applies only to words. Why not to images and sounds?

Let’s say I asked you to sing a song instead of write an essay. Would you insert someone else’s voice into the middle of yours and expect me to think that you sang the whole thing? We have a highly developed sense organ for such an occasion, our ears. No one with normal hearing would believe that you suddenly sounded like Beyonce for eight seconds in the middle of the song you’re claiming to have sung yourself.

Why do it with words? You may not “hear” the shift in voice, but the reader almost always does.

quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing
Purdue OWL, September 10th 2006

Quotations must be identical to the original, using a narrow segment of the source. They must match the source document word for word and must be attributed to the original author.

Paraphrasing involves putting a passage from source material into your own words. A paraphrase must also be attributed to the original source. Paraphrased material is usually shorter than the original passage, taking a somewhat broader segment of the source and condensing it slightly.

Summarizing involves putting the main idea(s) into your own words, including only the main point(s). Once again, it is necessary to attribute summarized ideas to the original source. Summaries are significantly shorter than the original and take a broad overview of the source material.

Examples

Wikipedia – Crime

A normative definition views crime as deviant behavior that violates prevailing norms – cultural standards prescribing how humans ought to behave normally. This approach considers the complex realities surrounding the concept of crime and seeks to understand how changing social, political, psychological, and economic conditions may affect changing definitions of crime and the form of the legal, law-enforcement, and penal responses made by society.

Look at all the web pages that repeat that phrase, usually without attribution. Which one is the original?