What is Plagiarism?
You Quote It, You Note It! is an 10 minute interactive tutorial created by the Acadia University Library that describes the act of plagiarism, and differentiates between paraphrasing and quoting. To play the tutorial either select the below image or the title.
According to the MCC Student Code of Conduct, plagiarism is defined as “intentionally or knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own in any academic exercise. Plagiarism is the misrepresentation of someone else’s research, thought, or writing as one’s own. Plagiarism occurs when a student uses the ideas or phrasing of another individual or group and presents the information as their own without crediting the original source.”
Students found in violation of the MCC Honor Policy outlined in the MCC Student Code of Conduct are subject to academic, and where appropriate, disciplinary sanctions.
What About Images, Videos and Music?
Using an image, video or piece of music in a work you have produced without receiving proper permission or providing appropriate citation is plagiarism. The following activities are very common in today’s society. Despite their popularity, they still count as plagiarism.
The legality of the above situations, and others, is dependent upon the intent and context within which they are produced. The two safest approaches for students to take in regards to these situations is: 1) Avoid them altogether or 2) Confirm the works’ usage permissions and cite them properly.
Examples of Acceptable and Unacceptable Paraphrasing
The examples below will show you how paraphrase correctly. They're adapted from Paraphrasing by University Libraries, University of Arizona with its gracious permission.
Here's the original text, from page 1 of Lizzie Borden: A Case Book of Family and Crime in the 1890s by Joyce Williams et al.:
The rise of industry, the growth of cities, and the expansion of the population were the three great developments of late nineteenth century American history. As new, larger, steam-powered factories became a feature of the American landscape in the East, they transformed farm hands into industrial laborers, and provided jobs for a rising tide of immigrants. With industry came urbanization the growth of large cities (like Fall River, Massachusetts, where the Bordens lived) which became the centers of production as well as of commerce and trade.
Here's an unacceptable paraphrase:
The increase of industry, the growth of cities, and the explosion of the population were three large factors of nineteenth century America. As steam-driven companies became more visible in the eastern part of the country, they changed farm hands into factory workers and provided jobs for the large wave of immigrants. With industry came the growth of large cities like Fall River where the Bordens lived which turned into centers of commerce and trade as well as production.
What makes this passage plagiarism?
This is unacceptable paraphrasing because the writer has:
Here's an acceptable paraphrase:
Fall River, where the Borden family lived, was typical of northeastern industrial cities of the nineteenth century. Steam-powered production had shifted labor from agriculture to manufacturing, and as immigrants arrived in the U.S., they found work in these new factories. As a result, populations grew and large urban areas arose. Fall River was one of these manufacturing and commercial centers (Williams 1).
Why is this passage acceptable?
Here's an another acceptable paraphrase, using a quotation and paraphrase together:
Fall River, where the Borden family lived, was typical of northeastern industrial cities of the nineteenth century. As steam-powered production shifted labor from agriculture to manufacturing, the demand for workers "transformed farm hands into factory workers" and created jobs for immigrants. In turn, growing populations increased the size of urban areas. Fall River was one of these manufacturing hubs that were also "centers of commerce and trade" (Williams 1).
Why is this passage acceptable?
Strategies for avoiding plagiarism
1. Put quotation marks around everything that comes directly from the text, especially when taking notes.
2. When you paraphrase, be sure you're not just rearranging or replacing a few words. Instead, read over what you want to paraphrase carefully; cover up the text with your hand, or close the text so you can't see any of it (and so aren't tempted to use the text as a "guide"). Write out the idea in your own words without peeking.
3. Check your paraphrase against the original text to be sure you haven't accidentally used the same phrases or words, and that the information is accurate.
Common Knowledge: facts that can be found in numerous places and are likely to be known by a lot of people.
Intentional Plagiarism: is the purposeful passing off of someone else's ideas or words as your own. Examples include:
Plagiarism: using others' ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information.
Quotation: using someone’s words. When you quote, place the passage you are using in quotation marks, and document the source according to a standard documentation style.
Unintentional Plagiarism: Is the unintentional passing off of someone else's ideas or words as your own. Examples include: