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Plagiarism Detection & Revision Skills: Types of Plagiarism: Passive Plagiarism

Last updated 5/6/2020

 

Visual: Screen opens to a background image with a person typing on a laptop and a notebook and pencil, along with the Walden University Writing Center logo. The title Walden University Writing Center and tagline “Your writing, grammar, and APA experts” appears on the screen. The screen changes to show the series title “Plagiarism Detection & Revision Skills” and the video title “Types of Plagiarism: Passive Plagiarism.”

Audio: Guitar music

 

Visual: The screen changes to show a slide with the following title and content: Types of Plagiarism

  • Overt Plagiarism [scissors icon]
  • Passive Plagiarism [book icon]
  • Self-Plagiarism [pencil icon]

Audio: We have organized plagiarism into three categories or ways plagiarism can manifest in writing: overt plagiarism, passive plagiarism, and self-plagiarism. In this video, we are focusing on passive plagiarism.

 

Visual: The screen changes to show a slide with the following title and content: Passive Plagiarism

Using a source’s ideas without attribution (insufficient paraphrases OR paraphrases without citations)

Original Source

  • “Lack of insurance coverage and education explained some of the racial/ethnic disparities observed in diabetes quality of care” (Canedo et al., 2018, p. 12).

Plagiarism in a student’s writing

  • Canedo et al. (2018) reported that missing insurance and education illuminated some of the racial and ethnic differences in diabetes kinds of care.
    • Insufficient paraphrasing

Audio: Passive plagiarism occurs when writers use a source or author’s ideas in their writing without attribution. This can take the form of insufficient paraphrases where the ideas aren’t fully in the writer’s own voice or paraphrases without citations. Addressing both is important to avoiding passive plagiarism: When we paraphrase others’ ideas, we need to fully represent those ideas in our own voice, meaning using our own sentence structure and word choice. Similarly, when we paraphrase, we need to cite the source.

Here is an example of passive plagiarism. On the left we have the original quote. On the right, we have an example of a student’s paraphrase. The student has changed some of the phrasing of the original source but has retained the same sentence structure and simply replaced some words with synonyms. This is passive plagiarism through poor paraphrasing: The original source’s ideas aren’t fully rephrased in the student’s own, different voice. Thus, even though the student included a citation, they are borrowing the original structure and phrasing of the original source, resulting in passive plagiarism.

 

Visual: The screen changes to show a slide with the following title and content: Passive Plagiarism

Insufficient Paraphrasing Correction:

  • Canedo et al. (2018) reported that differences in diabetes care between minority patients and White patients can be traced to differences in insurance and education.

 

  1. Citation with author and year
  2. Unique sentence structure
  3. Unique word choice

Audio: Let’s revise the student’s insufficient paraphrasing to remove the passive plagiarism. Here, we’ve done the following: (1) retained the citation with the authors and year; (2) used a unique or new sentence structure—a different way of organizing these ideas; and (3) used a unique or new word choice. Applying the last two elements means we’ve used a different voice from the original source in this paraphrase.

 

Visual: The screen changes to show a slide with the following title and content: Passive Plagiarism

Using a source’s ideas without attribution (insufficient paraphrases OR paraphrases without citations)

Original Source

  • “Lack of insurance coverage and education explained some of the racial/ethnic disparities observed in diabetes quality of care” (Canedo et al., 2018, p. 12).

Plagiarism in a student’s writing

  • Differences in diabetes care between minority patients and White patients can be traced to differences in insurance and education.
    • Missing Citation

Audio: Here is a second example of passive plagiarism. On the left we have the original quote, and on the right we have an example of passive plagiarism but due to a missing citation. In this case, the student fully paraphrased the source, but the citation is missing. Without this citation, the reader won’t know where the original ideas in this sentence came from.

 

Visual: The screen changes to show a slide with the following title and content: Passive Plagiarism

Missing Citation Correction:

Differences in diabetes care between minority patients and White patients can be traced to differences in insurance and education (Canedoa et al., 2018).

  1. Citation with author and year
  2. Unique sentence structure and unique word choice

Audio: Let’s revise the student’s passive plagiarism to add the missing citation. Here, we’ve done the following: (1) Added the correct citation with the authors and year (note that a page or paragraph number can be included for a citation of a paraphrase, but it’s optional). (2) Retained the student’s unique or new sentence structure and word choice.

Visual: The screen changes to show a slide with the following title and content: Avoiding Self-Plagiarism

  • APA Citation Rules
  • Precise Proofing & Editing
  • Careful Note Taking
  • Comprehensive Writing Schedule

Ask for our support!

Audio: Now you know what passive plagiarism is, what passive plagiarism looks like, and how to revise your writing to remove passive plagiarism, let’s think about strategies to help you avoid passive plagiarism.

First, be sure you’re familiar with APA citation rules. As we’ve seen, citing sources is essential to giving credit to the original author for their ideas that we paraphrase.

Second, practice precise proofing and editing of your writing. You may not include perfect citations and paraphrases while writing your first draft, so it’s essential you incorporate proofing and editing steps into your writing process to look for and correct these omissions.

Third, use careful note taking techniques. When we’re in a rush, it’s easy to take notes on source information without including which source it came from. This is a recipe for passive plagiarism, so when you’re taking notes, be sure to add citations as you go along; additionally, we recommend paraphrasing as you take notes. Paraphrasing immediately after you read about ideas will help you fully put those ideas in your own words, reducing the likelihood for passive plagiarism.

Finally, a comprehensive writing schedule will help you avoid plagiarism, too. Building in time to fully write and incorporate the other strategies is essential to avoiding passive plagiarism; if we’re too rushed to complete assignments by the deadline, we may inadvertently take shortcuts or shortchange these other strategies.

And of course, reach out to us in the Writing Center for our support. Send us an email or visit us at our Live Chat hours to talk through your plagiarism questions; we’re here to support you throughout your Walden program.

 

Visual: The screen changes to an ending slide with slide a background image with a person typing on a laptop and a notebook and pencil, along with the Walden University Writing Center logo. The email address writingsupport@waldenu.edu appears on the screen.