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Example 3--Plagiarism from the Internet

Example passage from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, “National AMBER Alert Coordination.”  Retrieved November 25, 2003 from <http://www.missingkids.com/. >

Original passage:

On April 30, 2003, President George W. Bush signed the Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today (PROTECT) Act of 2003 into law.

Building on the steps already taken by the Bush Administration to support AMBER Alert programs, this Act codified the national coordination of state and local AMBER Alert programs, including the development of guidance for issuance and dissemination of AMBER Alerts and the appointment of a national AMBER Alert Coordinator.

In anticipation of the passage of this national legislation, on October 2, 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft appointed Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Deborah J. Daniels to serve as national AMBER Alert coordinator.

Version A: Plagiarized

On April 30, 2003, President George W. Bush signed the Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today (PROTECT) Act of 2003 into law.  This Act codified the national coordination of state and local AMBER Alert programs, including the development of guidance for issuance and dissemination of AMBER Alerts and the appointment of a national AMBER Alert Coordinator.  Attorney General John Ashcroft appointed Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Deborah J. Daniels to serve as national AMBER Alert coordinator.

Why is this plagiarism?

This is no more than simple “cut and paste” plagiarism.  The student-writer copied, word-for-word, from the internet source, choosing the passages he thought most relevant to make the points he wanted to make.  Each sentence in Version A should be bracketed in quotation marks and a citation should be included at the end of each sentence (in this example).

Version B: Plagiarized

President Bush recently signed the Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today (PROTECT) Act of 2003 into law.  This act builds on previous ones taken by the Bush Administration to develop and issue AMBER Alerts.  He also appointed a national AMBER Alert coordinator.  Anticipating passage of this law, Attorney General John Ashcroft appointed Assistant Attorney General Deborah Daniels to serve as the new AMBER Alert coordinator.

Why is this plagiarism?

This is clearly plagiarism.  While not word-for-word copying, the student-writer merely drops a few words from the original, and inserts a few of his own.  There should be a parenthetical citation to the internet source of this material.

Version C: Not Plagiarized

Recently, President Bush signed the Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today (PROTECT) Act of 2003 into law. This act casts into law federal coordination and guidance for broadcasting AMBER Alerts across the country.  Assistant Attorney General Deborah Daniels had previously been named National Coordinator for this program.1

At bottom or end of paper…

     1. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, “National AMBER Alert Coordination,” <http://www.missingkids.com/> (25 November 2003).

Why is this NOT Plagiarism?

Although the student has paraphrased information from the website, the student has acknowledged the source by citing it in a footnote in Chicago/Turabian style. 

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

APA Style

Recently, President Bush signed the Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today (PROTECT) Act of 2003 into law. This act casts into law federal coordination and guidance for broadcasting AMBER Alerts across the country.  Assistant Attorney General Deborah Daniels had previously been named National Coordinator for this program (National Centerfor Missing and Exploited Children, 2003).

References

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “National AMBER alert coordination.”
     Retrieved November 25, 2003, from <http://www.missingkids.com/ >

MLA Style

Recently, President Bush signed the Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today (PROTECT) Act of 2003 into law. This act casts into law federal coordination and guidance for broadcasting AMBER Alerts across the country.  Assistant Attorney General Deborah Daniels had previously been named National Coordinator for this program (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children).

Works Cited

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “National AMBER Alert Coordination.”
     25 November 2003.< http://www.missingkids.com/ >