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Example 2--Plagiarism from Print Sources

Example passage from “The Times of Our Lives,” by Mortimer B. Zuckerman in Foundations: A Reader for New College Students. Ed. Virginia N. Gordon and Thomas L. Minnick. Thompson, 2003. 159.

Original passage:

We have gotten used to having more for less.  More than a third of Americans began the century working on farms to feed some 76 million people.  Now just over 2 percent grow food to feed 270 million people-and there’s plenty left over.  The number of hours Americans worked annually has dropped from about 2,700 at the beginning of the century to about 1,800 today; average life expectancy has gone up about 45 years to 80.  Children who (one would have) died of whooping cough, scarlet fever, or diphtheria can now expect to grow up as parents of their own families. 

Version A:  Plagiarized

We have gotten used to having more for less.  We now are able to feed our population with only 2% of the work force, while at the beginning of the century 33% of the work force was agricultural.

Why is this plagiarism?

The first sentence is a direct copy from the text.  As such it should be contained in quotation marks and note the author and page number where the direct quote was taken from. The second sentence takes the ideas and figures from the text and revises them.  The second sentence should be credited as well, and the article should be listed in the references.

Version B:  Plagiarized

It is certainly true that Americans have gotten used to getting more for less.  Whether it be agricultural production per worker, reduction of disease, shorter work hours, or longer life expectancy, it is clear that Americans are better off than at the beginning of the century.

Why is this plagiarism?

Again this clearly comes form the Zuckerman article and while it is not a direct quote, the ideas presented are Zuckerman’s and should be cited in the text and in the bibliography.

Version C:  NOT plagiarized

Zuckerman argues that Americans have come to expect more than their parents and grandparents.  He notes that productivity is up, hours of work have been reduced and that life expectancies are higher at the close of the century than at the beginning (2003, p. 159).

Why is this NOT plagiarism?

While using Zuckerman’s arguments, the student writer has taken the ideas and put them in his own words, and has noted that the ideas come from Zuckerman’s article.  The reference page should include a full citation for the article. The citation is in APA style, so the reference page would look like this:

References

Zuckerman, M.B. (2003). “The Times of Our Lives.” In V.N. Gordon and T.L. Minnick (Eds.),
     Foundations: A reader for new college students. (159-163). Thompson.

In addition to APA style, which is used in psychology and other social sciences, other popular citation styles include MLA, which is used in the humanities, 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:

MLA Style

Zuckerman argues that Americans have come to expect more than their parents and grandparents.  He notes that productivity is up, hours of work have been reduced and that life expectancies are higher at the close of the century than at the beginning (159).

Works Cited

Zuckerman, Mortimer B. “The Times of Our Lives.” Foundations: A Reader for New College
     Students. Eds. Virginia N. Gordon and Thomas L. Minnick. Thompson, 2003.  159-163.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zuckerman argues that Americans have come to expect more than their parents and grandparents.  He notes that productivity is up, hours of work have been reduced and that life expectancies are higher at the close of the century than at the beginning.1

At bottom or end of paper:

     1. Motimer Zuckerman, “The Times of Our Lives,” in Foundations: A Reader for New
College Students, V.N. Gordon and T.L. Minnick, (New York: Thompson, 2003), 159.