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Plagiarism Examples

The following examples show correct and incorrect ways of

 

Citing Sources

Following are examples of correct and incorrect ways to cite sources in research papers.

Research Topic: Truth in Advertising

Original Text

Corporate mud-slinging tends to be concentrated in a handful of highly competitive sectors: utilities, telecoms (especially the broadband market), and airlines. These sectors are united by being highly price-competitive and inclined toward ads that rely heavily on 'knocking copy' - content that brags about the brand's superiority over a rival on the basis of specific criteria.

Source: Murphy, Claire. "The Art of Complaining." Marketing 27 Sept. 2006: 18.

Research Topic: Truth in Advertising
Incorrect Use Correct Use
One way corporations try to get ahead of the competition is by complaining about their rivals’ advertisements. Highly competitive sectors, such as utilities, telecoms, and airlines, have the highest incidence of this kind of corporate mud-slinging. One way corporations try to get ahead of the competition is by complaining about their rivals’ advertisements. Highly competitive sectors, such as utilities, telecoms, and airlines, have the highest incidence of this kind of "corporate mud-slinging" (Murphy 18).

Murphy, Claire. “The Art of Complaining." Marketing 27 Sept. 2006: 18. Web. 24 Oct. 2012.

Explanation: The author of this paragraph did not cite the original source. Although the words in this paragraph are not copied directly from the original, the source still needs to be cited because the information being discussed came from the original source.

Explanation: In this paragraph the author cites the original source in the text, and includes the complete reference in MLA style at the end of the paper. "Corporate mud-slinging" is in quotation marks because it is an exact phrase taken from the original text.
 

Using Quotation Marks

Following are examples of correct and incorrect ways to use quotation marks in research papers.

Research Topic: Domestic Violence against Affluent Women

Original Text

Cases where the alleged abusers are affluent create specific obstacles for their victims, experts say. The batterer — typically a man, though not always — is often someone well-known in the community. He has the financial means to hire pricey attorneys and private investigators. And his lawyers are well-versed in the intricacies of the judicial system and can easily win continuances and drag cases on for years. 

Source: Treadway, Joan. “Violence Hits Rich Women Hard Too.” Times-Picayune 19 Aug. 2002: 1.

Research Topic: Domestic Violence against Affluent Women
Incorrect Use Correct Use
Affluent women who are victims of domestic violence face particular difficulties when seeking legal recourse against their attackers. The batterer can afford to hire expensive lawyers who are well-versed in the intricacies of the judicial system. Affluent women who are victims of domestic violence face particular difficulties when seeking legal recourse against their attackers. As Treadway (2002) points out, the batterer can afford to hire expensive lawyers who are “well-versed in the intricacies of the judicial system.”

Treadway, J. (2002, August 19). Violence hits rich women hard too. Times-Picayune, p. 1. 

Explanation: The author of this paragraph used an exact phrase from the original text, “well-versed in the intricacies of the judicial system,” but didn’t put the phrase in quotation marks, and didn’t cite the original source.

Explanation: The phrase that is an exact quotation from the original text is in quotation marks, and the author has cited the original source in the text and at the end of the paper in APA style.
 

Paraphrasing

Following are examples of correct and incorrect ways to paraphrase in research papers.

Research Topic: Influence of Genetics on Career Choice

Original Text

Increasingly, researchers have been turning to identical and fraternal twins for answers, with dramatic results. They are finding that genetics, in addition to familial interests, educational, social and other environmental pressures, have a considerable impact on how we choose what we do--and how happy we are with that choice.

Source: Segal, Nancy L. “New Twins Studies Show: The Career of Your Dreams May Be the Career of Your Genes.” Psychology Today. Sept./Oct. 2006: 54-60.

 

Research Topic: Influence of Genetics on Career Choice
Incorrect Use Correct Use
To answer the question of how genetics influence career choices, researchers have turned to identical and fraternal twins, with impressive results. They have found that genetics, in additional to familial interests, educational, social and other environmental pressures, have a major impact on how people choose what they do—and how satisfied they are with that choice. 
Recent research on identical and fraternal twins indicates that while external influences such as social pressure have some impact on career choice, genetics also plays a major role in how people decide what to do for a living (Segal 54).

Segal, Nancy L. “New Twins Studies Show: The Career of Your Dreams May Be the Career of Your Genes.” Psychology Today Sept./Oct. 2006: 54-60. Web. 24 Oct. 2012.

Explanation: The author copied most of the original text and changed or added a few words, and did not cite the original source. Copying from a text and replacing a few words with synonyms constitutes plagiarism

Explanation: Here the author paraphrased the original text by restating the ideas in the author’s own words, and cited the original source in MLA style. 

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