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Citation and Style Guides: Avoiding Plagiarism

Academic Integrity Policy: Union College

Union College takes violations of academic integrity seriously. Be sure to review your Student Handbook regarding academic integrity.  The College's complete statement on Academic Integrity is contained in the Student Handbook

The following is extracted from it:

There is the expectation that students will present as their own work only that which they have done themselves. The College does not tolerate academic dishonesty, including plagiarizing (the act of representing someone else’s ideas as your own) and cheating by any means during a test, an examination or in any work intended to be done independently.

Types of Plagiarism

There are four types of plagiarism: Direct, Self, Mosaic, and Accidental.  It's important to know the type of writing and citing mistakes that lead to these types of plagiarism in order to avoid it better.

  • Direct Plagiarism
    • A word-for-word transcription of a a section - or a source in its entirety - of someone else's intellectual property, with no attribution (in-text or narrative citations) and without quotation marks.  Whether intentional or not, this is still a serious academic offense.
  • Self Plagiarism
    • Submitting work you did for a previous class/assignment, or mixing parts of previous works into a new assignment, without the permission from all professors involved.  You must get permission from your past professor and your current professor to use the previous work for the new assignment.
  • Mosaic Plagiarism
    • Sometimes called "patch writing", this is when you take direct phrases from a source without giving credit or using quotation marks.  Using direct phrases from a source and changing some words to synonyms is not enough to have your writing considered original.  Evening if you are quoting just "two or more words verbatim, or even one word if it is used in a way that is unique to the source" (Yale Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning, n.d.), you must use quotation marks and give an in-text or narrative citation.  
  • Accidental Plagiarism
    • Exactly as it sounds.  Neglecting to cite a source, misquoting, and unintentional paraphrasing are just as serious as if you intended to plagiarize: lack of intent is not grounds for exoneration.  Though taken just as seriously as other types of plagiarism, professors generally have their own rules about accidental plagiarism.  Check your syllabus in the beginning of each semester to see what their policy is.

Resources to Help Avoid Plagiarism

Avoiding Plagiarism

Avoid Plagiarism by Citing Your Sources!  Ideas in words, pictures, interviews, conversations, audio/video, etc. that were created by someone else and are presented by you in any format (written assignments, multimedia projects, PowerPoint presentations, etc.) need to be credited in your writing and on your references/works cited page.  An exception would be “common knowledge,” meaning something that is known by most people.

Here are the three most common ways to properly and safely credit someone else's work:

  • Quoting
    • A quotation must use the exact words of the source. If the quotation is relatively short (usually fewer than 3 lines or 40 words), those words must be enclosed in quotation marks, with the creator’s information in parentheses, usually at the end of the statement. Longer passages need block quotations.  Different citation styles require different formats for in-text citations, though they will always be contained in parentheses.
  • Paraphrasing
    • A paraphrase can be created by using different wording, but still presenting the same idea. Usually paraphrasing is used to make the idea more succinct, using fewer words, or to clarify the original concept.  Just changing a couple of words or using synonyms is not acceptable paraphrasing - this is a form of plagiarism called "Mosaic Plagiarism" or "Patch Writing."
  • Summarizing
    • Summarizing is when you give the major points of a concept, or the essence.  It is more brief than a paraphrase. Many of the details are left out, but the main ideas remain.  Try to convey the essence of the original.

Both Summarizing and Paraphrasing are techniques in which you are "saying the same thing" as the original text, but in your own words.  Make sure you do not unintentionally copy the original author's style of writing; the writing should sound like you.  Don't deviate from your usual vocabulary and sentence structure - sometimes this can subconsciously happen when you are rewriting someone else's words/ideas.  Check between your writing and your source before finalizing a summary or paraphrase, to make sure you didn't unintentionally copy exact phrases (which would need to be put in quotes).

In-Text and Narrative Citations

A narrative citation gives credit to your source within the body of your writing.  You can use this type of citation if it is consistent with the flow of your sentence and makes sense to mention the author's name in the sentence you are writing.

  • Example in APA format:

Architect Peggy Deamer (2018) explains in her article, "(Un)Free Work", that Karl Marx believed that labor which is subjectively offered, also known as "concrete labor" corresponds to the concept of use value, whereas labor that is quantified and divided, or "abstract labor" corresponds to exchange value.

*If it makes sense within the sentence, you can credit the source's date narratively as well ("Architect Peggy Deamer explains in her 2018 article...").  In this instance, you do not have to include a the date in parenthesis.

  • Example in MLA format:

Architect Peggy Deamer explains in her article, "(Un)Free Work", that Karl Marx believed that labor which is subjectively offered, also known as "concrete labor" corresponds to the concept of use value, whereas labor that is quantified and divided, or "abstract labor" corresponds to  exchange value (19).

A parenthetical citation gives credit to your source in parenthesis, after the summary, paraphrase, or quotation from that source.

  • Example in APA format:

Karl Marx believed that the differences between concrete labor and abstract labor are that concrete labor corresponds to the concept of use value, while abstract labor corresponds to exchange value (Deamer, 2018).

  • Example in MLA Format:

Karl Marx believed that the differences between concrete labor and abstract labor are that concrete labor corresponds to the concept of use value, while abstract labor corresponds to exchange value (Deamer 19).

  • Quotation Example (APA):

Peggy Deamer explains in her article, "(Un)Free Work", that "Karl Marx has made the point that ‘concrete labour’ (labour that is subjectively offered) is associated with use value while ‘abstract labour’ (that which is divided and quantified) is associated with exchange value" (Deamer, 2018, p. 19).

*when using a direct quote, page numbers are required in the in-text citation in APA format.

  • Quotation Example (MLA):

Peggy Deamer explains in her article, "(Un)Free Work", that "Karl Marx has made the point that ‘concrete labour’ (labour that is subjectively offered) is associated with use value while ‘abstract labour’ (that which is divided and quantified) is associated with exchange value" (Deamer 19).

Patterson (2009) is an example of a narrative citation. Whereas, (Patternson, 2009) is an example of a parenthetical citation.

Image from Walden University Writing Center, https://waldenwritingcenter.blogspot.com

Purdue Owl: "Should I Cite This?"

 

Citations:

Atherton, R. (2020). Should I cite this [Poster]. Purdue Online Writing Lab. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/using_research/ documents/20200617ShouldICiteChart.jpg

Deamer, P. (2018). (Un)Free Work: Architecture, Labour and Self‚ÄźDetermination. Architectural Design88(3), 16–23. https://doi.org/10.1002/ad.2296

Frick, T., Dagli, C., & Kwon, K. (2023, January 27). "Decision Table: Repeat until all parts of the student version are evaluated." Indiana University. https://plagiarism.iu.edu/hints.html

Yale Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning. (n.d.). Warning: When you must cite. Yale.edu. https://poorvucenter.yale.edu/undergraduates/using-sources/understanding-and-avoiding-plagiarism/warning-when-you-must-cite#:~:text=ALWAYS%20CITE%2C%20in%20the%20following,is%20unique%20to%20the%20source

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