Understanding and Preventing Plagiarism
 

Click here to go to CGU's Institutional Handbook

Click here to download CGU's plagiarism policy

 

External Link

http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/plagiarism/ Bedford/St. Martin's Workshop on Plagiarism

 

 

CGU's Plagiarism Policy

 

The following is the complete text of CGU's policy on Plagiarism taken from CGU's Institutional Handbook:

Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic ethical standards.  For this reason, it is important that you know what it is and how it can be avoided.

What is Plagiarism?

The meaning of plagiarism may be understood best by examining both the definitions given the term by authorities and the forms in which it is manifested.

Definitions

The following examples indicate the range of definitions of plagiarism:

"Plagiarism . . . means trying to pass off someone else’s work as your own."1 

"Plagiarism (derived from a Latin word for kidnapper) means using another person’s language or ideas without acknowledgment."2 

"Plagiarism is defined as the attempt to fob off another’s thought or language as one’s own."3 

"Fundamentally, plagiarism is the offering of the words or ideas of another person as one’s own."4 

"Q.  What constitutes plagiarism?"
"A.  Two or more words taken from a source without quotation marks."5 

"Plagiarism means taking material written by another and offering it as one’s own."6 

"To take an idea, even a suggestion, or the peculiar expression of another without acknowledgment of its source is to give the reader the false impression that the idea is your own.  This is plagiarism . . . "7 

Plagiarism exists when a writer "Leads his reader to believe that what he is reading is the original work of the writer when it is not."8 

Forms

The forms plagiarism may take are illustrated below.  Each claims originality but is based upon the words of Irving Leonard Markovitz in Power and Class in Africa:  An Introduction to Change and Conflict in African Politics (Englewood Cliffs, NJ:  Prentice Hall, 1977), p. 207:

    The ‘style’ of the organizational bourgeoisie, from the brands of cigarettes they smoke to the child-rearing practices they follow, comes from abroad.  Seydou Badian denounced ‘our cadres’ who are "more integrated in the economy of our former metropoles than in those of their own countries.  Their needs, the habits that they acquire, their taste--all these constitute a weight that crushed our states.  To bring all to a certain level might be theoretically easy, but it doesn’t happen by a wave of a magic wand."** But more disturbing than the style of life and ‘foreign’ alignments that separate the organizational bourgeoisie from the mass of the population is the crushing burden of this bourgeoisie upon the nations’ economies, a burden that weighed ever more heavily.

Plagiarism from this passage may take two general forms, one involving an exact copy of the original and the other involving only a partial copy.

Exact-copy plagiarism9

 A word-for-word copy of someone else’s work without citing that person as a source is one form of plagiarism.  An example would be:
 

    The "style" of the organizational bourgeoisie, from the brands of cigarettes they smoke to the child-rearing practices they follow, comes from abroad . . .

An extreme form of exact-copy plagiarism is a paper or "take-home" examination which is entirely the work of someone other than the student whose work it purports to be.

Partial-Copy Plagiarism

Plagiarism which does not involve an exact copy takes the following forms:

Paraphrase Plagiarism10 

The work may be paraphrased, i.e., the ideas may be borrowed though the words are slightly changed.  An example would be:

    The way of life of the dominant group is patterned after the way of life of people abroad.  Maintaining their way of life is very costly to poor countries.  Eliminating this exploitive class is not something which is easy to accomplish.

Even though the words are different, the ideas come from the passage by Markovitz.  Unless credit is given to the source, this is an example of plagiarized material.

Mosaic plagiarism11 

A mosaic of copied and paraphrased materials presented without citing the source is another example of plagiarism.  An example follows:

    The pattern of life of the organizational bourgeoisie, from the brands of cigarettes they smoke to the way they raise their children, comes from outside the country.  More disturbing than the style of life and "foreign" alignments is the terrible burden this way of life puts upon the poor.

Not only do the ideas come from Markovitz, but also many of the words.

Source plagiarism

Material you gather from one author that he has gathered from another is plagiarized if you do not give the author from whom you took the material credit.  An example is the following:

    Seydou Badian condemns those who are "more integrated in the economy of our former metropoles than in those of their own countries.  Their needs, the habits that they acquired, their taste--all these constitute a weight that crushed our states.  To bring all to a certain level might be theoretically easy, but it doesn’t happen by a wave of a magic wand. . ." (Les Dirigeants D’Afrique Noire Face A Leur People.  1965, p. 89).

If you do include such a quote, you should indicate in the footnote where you found it, i.e., in the Markovitz book on page 207.

Incomplete-citation plagiarism

Plagiarism also exists when a source is cited for only part of the material copied.  For example, the following involves plagiarism:

    The "style" of the organizational bourgeoisie, from the brands of cigarettes they smoke to the child-rearing practices they follow, comes from abroad" (Markovitz, Irving Leonard in Power and Class in Africa:  An Introduction to Change and Conflict in African Politics, 1977, p. 207) . . . . But more disturbing than the style of life and "foreign" alignments that separate organizational bourgeoisie from the mass of the population is the crushing burden of this bourgeoisie upon the nations’ economies, a burden that has weighed ever more heavily.

The source quoted or paraphrased should be given for the whole passage, rather than for only a portion of the passage.

Phrase Plagiarism12 

Sometimes phrases are borrowed without giving credit to the source.  Most frequently this is done in paraphrased material.  The result is another form of plagiarism.  An example would be:

    The organizational bourgeoisie live according to customs of people in other countries.  It is not possible to eliminate this group and bring about equality among peoples of a given country by a wave of a magic wand.  The organizational bourgeoisie constitute a crushing burden on the backs of the masses of people in these countries.
How Can Plagiarism Be Avoided?

The key to avoiding plagiarism is documentation.  When you take words, ideas or facts which are not common knowledge13 from someone else, cite your source.  Proper format may be found in any manual of style.  Among such manuals are:  The University of Chicago Press, A Manual of Style, Twelfth Edition Revised (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1969) or Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1955).
 

How Serious is Plagiarism?

The seriousness of plagiarism can be gauged by the words of authorities and experiences of those who have plagiarized.  Writers have declared that:

"Plagiarism is the cardinal crime in the academic world . . . "14 

"As a rather grim analogy, copying a passage from a source without indicating that it is borrowed can be considered a felony."15 

"The academic counterpart of the bank embezzler and of the manufacturer who mislabels his products is the plagiarist . . . "16 

The penalties assessed against those who plagiarize can be very severe.  These may range between failure on a paper to expulsion from a university.  A recent case at CGU in which a Ph.D. was withdrawn from a former student on the grounds that his work was plagiarized is an example of the severity with which the offense is dealt.  Perhaps more important than these penalties is the fact that the dishonesty associated with plagiarism may undermine the reputation of a person for the rest of his or her life.
 

Conclusion

Thus, the crime of plagiarism must be avoided.  Through proper documentation we may enhance the academic integrity of ourselves and Claremont Graduate University.
 

Notes

1 Langdon Elsbree and Frederick Bracher, Heath’s College Handbook of Composition, Eighth Edition.  Lexington, MA:  D.C. Heath, 1972, p. 596. Back to Text

2 William Coyle, Research Papers, Fifth Edition.  Indianapolis:  Bobbs-Merrill, 1980, p. 105.  Back to Text

3 Sidney and Carolyn Moss, The New Composition by Logic, Revised Edition.  Carbondale:  Southern Illinois University Press, 1978, p. 29.  Back to Text

4 James Lester, Writing Research Papers:  A Complete Guide, Third Edition.  Glenview, IL:  Scott Foresman, 1980, p. 49.  Back to Text

5 Helene Hutchison, The Hutchison Guide to Writing Research Papers.  New York:  Glencoe Press, 1973, p. 179.  Back to Text

6 Porter Perrin, Writer’s Guide and Index to English, Third Edition.  Chicago:  Scott Foresman, 1959, p. 653.  Back to Text

7 Florence Hilbish, The Research Paper.  New York:  Bookman Associates, 1952, p. 112.  Back to Text

8 Harold Martin and Richard Ohmann, The Logic and Rhetoric of Expostition, Revised Edition.  New York:  Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963, p. 274.  Back to Text

** Markovitz footnote 29:  Seydou Badian, Les Dirigeants D’Afrique Noire Face a Leur Peuple.  Paris:  Francois Maspero, 1965, p. 89 (Markovitz’s translation).  Back to Text

9 For further examples see Martin and Ohmann, pp. 275-276.  Back to Text

10 For further examples see Martin and Ohmann, pp. 277-278.  Back to Text

11 For futher examples see Martin and Ohmann, p. 276.  Back to Text

12 For further examples see Martin and Ohmann, p. 278.  Back to Text

13 For further discussion of the idea of "common knowledge" see Hilbish, p. 112.  Back to Text

14 Moss, op cit.  Back to Text

15 Coyle, p. 106.  Back to Text

16 Martin and Ohmann, p. 274.  Back to Text

 

WPA Statement on Plagiarism

WPA (Writing Program Administrators) Plagiarism Statement

Links

http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/plagiarism/ Bedford/St. Martin's Workshop on Plagiarism

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