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Essays On How To Avoid Plagiarism

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Plagiarism - What it is and how to avoid it

The following document has been reproduced with the permission of the Zoology Department of the University of British Columbia.

 

 

  • inadvertent use of another’s language, usually when the student fails to distinguish between direct quotes and general observations when taking notes. In such cases, the presence of a footnote does not excuse the use of another’s language without quotation marks.
  • use of footnotes or material quoted in other sources as if they were the results of your research.
  • sloppy or inadequate footnoting which leaves out sources or page references.

Research
Writing
Footnoting
Editing

Example #4

It is Eros, not Agape, that loves in proportion to the value of its object. By the pursuit of value in its object, Platonic love is let up and away from the world, on wings of aspiration, beyond all transient things and persons to the realm of the Ideas. Agape, as described in the Gospels and Epistles, is "spontaneous and ‘uncaused’," "indifferent to human merit," and "creates" value in those upon whom it is bestowed out of pure generosity. It flows down from God into this transient, sinful world; those whom it touches become conscious of their own utter unworthiness; they are impelled to forgive and love their enemies....because the God of grace imparts worth to them by the act of loving them.* [footnote* is to Anders Nygren, Agape and Eros. (New York, 1932), pp. 52-56]

Plagiarized Version

As Nygren set out to contrast these two Greek words he finds that Eros loves in proportion to the value of the object. By the pursuit of value in its objects. Platonic love is let up and away from the world, on wings of aspiration, beyond all transient things and persons to the realm of the Ideas. Agape as described in the Gospels and Epistles, is "spontaneous and uncaused," "indifferent to human merit," and creates value in those upon whom it is bestowed out of pure generosity. It flows down from God into the transient, sinful world; those whom it touches become conscious of their own utter unworthiness; they are impelled to forgive and love their enemies, because the God of Grace imparts worth to them by the act of loving them.*
[Footnote* is to Nygren, Agape and Eros, pp. 52-56]

Original

The strike officially began on May 29, and on June 1 the manufacturers met publicly to plan their resistance. Their strategies were carried out on two fronts. They pressured the proprietors into holding out indefinitely by refusing to send new collars and cuffs to any laundry. Also the manufacturers attempted to undermine directly the union’s efforts to weather the strike. They tried to create a negative image of the union through the press, which they virtually controlled. They prevented a few collar manufacturers in other cities from patronizing the unions’ cooperative laundry even though it claimed it could provide the same services for 25 percent less. Under these circumstances, the collar ironers’ tactics were much less useful.

Plagiarized Version

The strike began on May 29, and on June 1 the manufacturers met publicly to plan their response. They had two strategies. They pressured the proprietors into holding out indefinitely by refusing to send new collars and cuffs to any laundry, and they attempted to undermine directly the union’s efforts to weather the strike. They also tried to create a negative image of the union through the newspapers, which they virtually controlled. They prevented a few collar manufacturers in other cities from using the unions’ cooperative laundry even though it could provide the same services for 25 percent less. Under these circumstances, the collar ironers’ tactics were much less useful.1

Originals

Source 1:

"Despite the strong public opposition, the Reagan administration continued to install so many North American men, supplies, and facilities in Honduras that one expert called it "the USS Honduras, a [stationary] aircraft carrier or sorts." (Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions (New York, 1989), 309.)

"By December 1981, American agents--some CIA, some U.S. Special Forces--were working through Argentine intermediaries to set up contra safe houses, training centres, and base camps along the Nicaraguan-Honduran border." (Peter Kornbluh, "Nicaragua," in Michael Klare (ed), Low Intensity Warfare (New York, 1983), 139.)

Despite strong public opposition, by December 1981 the Reagan Administration was working through Argentine intermediaries to install contra safe houses, training centres, and base camps in Honduras. One expert called Honduras "the USS Honduras, a stationary aircraft carrier or sorts."

In the early 1980s, the Reagan Administration made increasing use of Honduras as a base for the contra war. The Administration set up a number of military and training facilities--some American, some contra, and some housing Argentine mercenaries--along the border between Nicaragua and Honduras. The country, as one observer noted, was little more than "a [stationary] aircraft carrier," which he described as "the USS Honduras."2

Originals

Source 1:

"Despite the strong public opposition, the Reagan administration continued to install so many North American men, supplies, and facilities in Honduras that one expert called it "the USS Honduras, a [stationary aircraft carrier of sorts." (Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions (New York, 1989), 309.)

"By December 1981, American agents--some CIA, some U.S. Special Forces--were working through Argentine intermediaries to set up contra safe houses, training centres, and base camps along the Nicaraguan-Honduran border." (Peter Kornbluh, "Nicaragua," in Michael Klare (ed), Low Intensity Warfare (New York, 1983), 139.)

Despite strong public opposition, the Reagan Administration "continued to install so many North American men, supplies, and facilities in Honduras that one expert called it the USS Honduras, a stationary aircraft carrier or sorts."3

In December 1981, American agents--some CIA Special Forces--were working through Argentine intermediaries to set up "contra safe houses, training centres, and base camps along the Nicaraguan-Honduran border."4

Original

Shortly after the two rogues, who pass themselves off as a duke and a king, invade the raft of Huck and Jim, they decide to raise funds by performing scenes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Richard III. That the presentation of Shakespeare in small Mississippi towns could be conceived of as potentially lucrative tells us much about the position of Shakespeare in the nineteenth century. (Lawrence Levine, Highbrow, Lowbrow: The Emergence of a Cultural Hierarchy in America (Cambridge, 1986), p. 10)

Soon after the two thieves, who pretend they are a king and a duke, capture Huck and Jim’s raft, they try to make money by putting on two Shakespeare plays (Romeo and Juliet and Richard III). Because the production of Shakespeare in tiny Southern towns is seen as possibly profitable, we learn a lot about the status of Shakespeare before the twentieth century.

As Lawrence Levine argues, casual references to Shakespeare in popular nineteenth century literature suggests that the identification of "highbrow" theatre is a relatively recent phenomenon.5

With the election of Ronald Regan, covert operations in Latin America escalated rapidly.6 "The influx of American funds," notes Peter Kornbluh, determined "the frequency and destructiveness of contra attachs."7 In the early 1980s, the Regan Administration increasingly used Honduras as a base for the contra war. The Administration set up a number of military and training facilities--some American, some contra, and some housing Argengine mercenaries--along the border between Nicaragua and Honduras. "[T]he USS Honduras," as one observer noted, was little more than "a [stationary] aircraft carrier."8 These strategies seemed to represent both a conscious acceleration of American involvement in the region, and the inertia of past involvements and failures.9

6. The following paragraph is drawn from Walter Lafeber, Inevitable Revolutions (New York, 1989), p. 307-310; and Peter Kornbluh, "Nicaragua," in Michael Klare (ed), Low Intensity Warfare (New York, 1983), pp. 139-149.

7. Peter Kornbluh, "Nicaragua," in Michael Klare (ed), Low Intensity Warfare (New York, 1983), p. 139.

8. Observer quoted in Walter Lafeber, Inevitable Revolutions (New York, 1989), p. 309.

9. Peter Kornbluh, "Nicaragua," in Michael Klare (ed), Low Intensity Warfare (New York, 1983), stresses the renewal of counterinsurgency under Reagan; Walter Lafeber, Inevitable Revolutions, stresses the ongoing interventionism of the U.S. (New York, 1989), p. 307-310.

How to avoid plagiarism

When using sources in your papers, you can avoid plagiarism by knowing what must be documented.

Specific words and phrases

If you use an author's specific word or words, you must place those words within quotation marks and you must credit the source.

Information and Ideas

Even if you use your own words, if you obtained the information or ideas you are presenting from a source, you must document the source.

Information: If a piece of information isn't common knowledge (see below), you need to provide a source.

Ideas: An author's ideas may include not only points made and conclusions drawn, but, for instance, a specific method or theory, the arrangement of material, or a list of steps in a process or characteristics of a medical condition. If a source provided any of these, you need to acknowledge the source.

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Common Knowledge?

You do not need to cite a source for material considered common knowledge:

General common knowledge is factual information considered to be in the public domain, such as birth and death dates of well-known figures, and generally accepted dates of military, political, literary, and other historical events. In general, factual information contained in multiple standard reference works can usually be considered to be in the public domain.

Field-specific common knowledge is "common" only within a particular field or specialty. It may include facts, theories, or methods that are familiar to readers within that discipline. For instance, you may not need to cite a reference to Piaget's developmental stages in a paper for an education class or give a source for your description of a commonly used method in a biology report—but you must be sure that this information is so widely known within that field that it will be shared by your readers.

If in doubt, be cautious and cite the source. And in the case of both general and field-specific common knowledge, if you use the exact words of the reference source, you must use quotation marks and credit the source.

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