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Example 1--Plagiarism from Print Sources

Example passage from “Two Essential Goals” by Ernest Boyer, in Foundations: A Reader for New College Students. Ed. Virginia N. Gordon and Thomas L. Minnick. Thompson, 2003. 31.

Original passage:

The focus on individuality, on the personal benefits and the utility of education, has a right tradition in American higher education. Throughout the years, students have come to college to pursue their own goals, to follow their own aptitudes, to become productive, self-reliant human beings, and, with a new knowledge, to continue learning after college days are over.

Version A:  Plagiarized

A focus on individuality, on the personal benefits of education, has a strong tradition in American colleges. Throughout time, students have attended college to pursue their own goals, to become productive human beings, and to continue to learn after college.

Why is this plagiarism?

The student writer uses phrases directly from the source, changing only a few words, and never cites the source. Rather than changing a word here and there, the writer should have quoted the source directly and cited the quote, or paraphrased the source and cited it. Even if the source is listed in the bibliography, this is plagiarism.

Version B:  Plagiarized

I think that a focus on the individual is a significant tradition in colleges in America. Students have always attended colleges to “pursue their own goals, to follow their own aptitudes, to become productive, self-reliant human beings, and, with a new knowledge, to continue learning after college days are over.”

Why is this plagiarism?

The student writer does quote the source directly, but to acknowledge fully the source and avoid plagiarism, the writer needs to cite the appropriate source after the quote, even if it is listed in the bibliography. 

Version C:  NOT plagiarized

I agree with Boyer’s argument that the focus on individuality is an important tradition in U.S. colleges. Boyer feels that students come to college to “pursue their own goals, to follow their own aptitudes, to become productive, self-reliant human beings, and, with a new knowledge, to continue learning after college days are over” (31).  I am a perfect example of what Boyer is arguing, because I came to college to find a career that matches my abilities and to gain new knowledge I couldn’t get anywhere else.

Why is this NOT plagiarism?

In this example the student writer has avoided plagiarism. The writer acknowledges that she is responding to Boyer’s argument, and cites a direct quote with an acknowledgment of Boyer and the page number from the source text. Any source cited in the text should also be listed in the Works Cited page. In MLA style, here’s how the source would appear in the Works Cited page: 

Works Cited 

Boyer, Ernest. “Two Essential Goals.” Foundations: A Reader for New College Students. Eds.
     Virginia N. Gordon and Thomas L. Minnick. Thompson, 2003. 30-32.

In addition to MLA style, which is used in the humanities, other popular citation styles include APA, which is used in psychology and other social sciences, and Chicago/Turabian, which is used in history and social science.  Here’s how the citation would look in APA style and Chicago/Turabian style: 

APA Style

I agree with Boyer’s argument that the focus on individuality is an important tradition in U.S. colleges. Boyer feels that students come to college to “pursue their own goals, to follow their own aptitudes, to become productive, self-reliant human beings, and, with a new knowledge, to continue learning after college days are over” (2003, p. 31).  I am a perfect example of what Boyer is arguing, because I came to college to find a career that matches my abilities and to gain new knowledge I couldn’t get anywhere else. 

References 

Boyer, E. (2003). “Two essential goals.” In V.N. Gordon and T.L. Minnick (Eds.), Foundations:
     A reader for new college students. (30-32). Thompson.

Turabian/Chicago Style

I agree with Boyer’s argument that the focus on individuality is an important tradition in U.S. colleges. Boyer feels that students come to college to “pursue their own goals, to follow their own aptitudes, to become productive, self-reliant human beings, and, with a new knowledge, to continue learning after college days are over.”1  I am a perfect example of what Boyer is arguing, because I came to college to find a career that matches my abilities and to gain new knowledge I couldn’t get anywhere else.

 At bottom or end of paper…

     1. Ernest Boyer, “Two Essential Goals,” in Foundations: A Reader for New College Students, V.N. Gordon and T.L.  Minnick, (New York: Thompson, 2003), 31.