Types of plagiarism

Submitting someone else’s work as your own.
1.   turning in a paper acquired online regardless of whether is
free or purchased.
2.    downloading an article or portion of an article and submitting it as your own.
3.    submitting another student’s work as your own.

Copy and paste.
This form of plagiarism is very popular because students seem to feel that if they use several different sources for their copying, they are less likely to be caught.

Not citing a source.
Any ideas or material you use from another source must be documented or cited. This includes summaries written in your own words. If the ideas are not yours, you must cite the source(s).

Neglecting required quotation marks.
Any time you use the exact wording from a source, you must include quotation marks around the phrase, sentence, or paragraph.  For longer quotations [called block quotes], special spacing is used in place of the quotation marks.

Borrowed or not?
Sometimes in the note taking process, a writer will forget to indicate what the origin of an idea is.  Perhaps this is because the idea from the source is close to the writer’s own ideas. You must give credit for ideas borrowed from your sources.

     Inaccurate paraphrasing of source material can be a major problem especially for inexperienced researchers.  Be certain that your paraphrase accurately reflects what the original source means.  Another error is the misapplication of quotations. This error may be caused by the researcher not understanding the material in the source, or by “forcing” a quotation in a paper where is does not fit.

Taking material out of context
     People in the political arena are particularly bad about using this “technique.”  When you take an idea, phrase, or quotation out of its original context [the surrounding words that give meaning to the idea] and place it into you work, you may change the meaning of the original.

Overuse of sources.
1.    Stringing together quotations and / or ideas from your sources produces very poor papers. In fact you will usually fail a paper put together this way because you really haven’t written much yourself.
2.    When you rely on too few sources or depend on a single source for the bulk of the information in your paper, you really haven’t done much in the way of research.

“Plunking”* source material.
Dropping source material [especially quotations] into your paper without comment or without preparing your reader produces choppy, sloppy writing.  It also increases the chances that you will plagiarize inadvertently.
* The term plunking comes from the following source:
VanderMey, Randall et. al. The College Writer. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 2004

Broad citations.
Citations should appear as near to the cited material as possible. In other words, don’t place a citation at the end of a paragraph [or string of sentences] unless the reference is only for that last sentence.

Understanding Primary/Secondary Sources

When conducting research for your writing, a “primary source” is the preferred source and the best place to get first-hand information.  For example, a person who can provide or write about a first-hand experience of an event is a primary source of information. Other kinds of primary sources are maps, photographs, drawings, videotapes, diaries, letters, manuscripts and other similar items.

See Yale University’s web site for a good understanding of the differences between primary and secondary sources: http://www.library.yale.edu/instruction/primsource.html

This is also a permanent link under the English Resources page.

Primary and Secondary Sources

8th Graders: Questions to keep in mind as you read the “Foreward” by Chaim Potok and as you work on the Butterfly Project.

1. Is Anne Frank Remembered a primary or secondary source? How do you know?
2. Is “Foreword” by Chaim Potok a primary source or secondary source? How do you know?
3. Are the poems and drawings in I Never Saw Another Butterfly primary or secondary sources? How do you know?