Four types of plagiarism

  • Intentional Lifting: When you copy/paste words from another author into your paper without citation.
  • Deliberate File Sharing: Turning in a paper you didn’t write.
  • Missing Citations: Paraphrases, Summaries of ideas, and quotes all need citations.
  • Unintentional Lifting: When you “shuffle” another author’s words and use them as your own.

Pop Quiz: Is the following passage an example of plagiarism?

Sample:

Stories engage their readers in many ways. With many stories, it is the plot we remember. Our need to know the end of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet keeps us up at night well past our bed time because we want to know (Hipple, 2000, p. 3).

Original:

Literature captivates its readers in various ways. With many novels, it is the story we remember. Our need to know what will happen next in the events Dickens weaves together in his A Tale of Two Cities keeps us turning over the pages long after we should have been turning off the bed lamp.

~ from Ted Hipple’s 2000 essay, “The Universality of the Young Adult Novel,” in Reading Their World: The Young Adult Novel in the Classroom

So…what do you think? What’s your answer?

Answer:

This passage could constitute plagiarism. It is an example of the fourth type of plagiarism, Unintentional Lifting.

Are you surprised?

I know: you’re thinking, “But the writer cites the source.” However, the paraphrase (when a writer rewords an original passage of text) is structured too closely to the original passage. Thus, if a student’s work — even cited — looks like 80% of the original passage, you need to work on rephrasing to avoid plagiarism.

In conclusion, we all know that you have to cite your sources both in-text and in a reference page. However, that’s not enough. We need to help students maintain their academic integrity, to use a term we professors like to throw about, and avoid what I like to call lazy writing. If a student asks you about plagiarism, don’t just say, “You need to cite your sources.” Talk about structure and ask them to see the original document. That will help you discuss how to paraphrase effectively. Remember the 80% Rule.

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Contact Information

Campus Address
Writing Studio, Kemp Library
Title of Department Leader
Director, Writing Studio
Name
Sandra Eckard
Phone:
(570) 422-3593