Paraphrasing means formulating someone else’s ideas in your own words. In order to do so correctly, you must entirely rewrite the passage you are referencing without changing the meaning of the original text.
Every time you paraphrase, it’s important to cite the original source, and avoid wording that is too similar to the original. Otherwise, you could be at risk of committing plagiarism.
Paraphrasing does not mean just switching out a few words from a copied-and-pasted text. In order to paraphrase correctly, you should rewrite the author’s point to show that you completely understand it. Don’t forget to include a citation!
Quoting means copying a brief passage of someone else’s words, enclosed in quotation marks. Be sure to correctly cite the original source, and make sure that the text within quotation marks is identical to the original.
In academic writing, it’s usually best to quote sparingly. Consider paraphrasing instead, to better show that you have understood the source and make your work more original.
The text you are quoting must be introduced in your own words, enclosed in quotation marks, and correctly attributed to the original author. In general, quotations should be used sparingly.
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Patchwork plagiarism, also called mosaic plagiarism, entails copying elements of different sources and combining them to create a new text. It can include both directly copying and paraphrasing content without citation.
It can be challenging to incorporate several sources into your work at once, so be sure to double-check that you are citing each one correctly.
Be careful to distinguish your own words and ideas from those of your sources. If you quote multiple sources in one sentence, make sure to cite them separately so that it’s clear which material came from which source.
Failure to cite ideas and information
Even if you’re not directly copying a passage of text, you still need to cite the source of information and ideas that you use in your writing.
Just like common sense, common knowledge is not always so common. You may be tempted to mention a fact, concept, or equation that you assume everyone knows, but proceed with caution.
In order to be considered common knowledge, your statement should be widely known, undisputed, and easily verified. It also generally cannot be attributed to a specific person or paper. When in doubt, add a citation.
Real-life examples of plagiarism
There are many relevant examples of plagiarism in different industries, from pop culture to academia and public speaking.
Plagiarism means presenting someone else’s work as your own without giving proper credit to the original author. In academic writing, plagiarism involves using words, ideas, or information from a source without including a citation.
Plagiarism can have serious consequences, even when it’s done accidentally. To avoid plagiarism, it’s important to keep track of your sources and cite them correctly.
Yes, reusing your own work without citation is considered self-plagiarism. This can range from re-submitting an entire assignment to reusing passages or data from something you’ve turned in previously.
Self-plagiarism often has the same consequences as other types of plagiarism. If you want to reuse content you wrote in the past, make sure to check your university’s policy or consult your professor.
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Tegan is an American based in Amsterdam, with master's degrees in political science and education administration. While she is definitely a political scientist at heart, her experience working at universities led to a passion for making social science topics more approachable and exciting to students. A well-designed natural experiment is her favorite type of research, but she also loves qualitative methods of all varieties.