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OASIS Writing Skills

Introduction to Plagiarism & Intellectual Property

Slide 3

Title: Academic Integrity and Intellectual Property

Speaker: In any academic institution, there are guidelines and standards set in place to guide the behaviors and practices of researchers and ensure ethical and respectful behaviors. Walden is no different. Walden’s code of conduct, found in the student handbook, is a place for students to go to learn about what standards are required of Walden students and their behavior. One of those standards relates to what students and faculty often refer to as Academic Integrity. Academic integrity involves respecting other researchers and their ideas by honestly representing one’s own work and others’.

The code of conduct states: “Walden University considers academic integrity to be essential for each student’s intellectual development. As an institution fundamentally concerned with the free exchange of ideas, the university depends on the academic integrity of each of its members. In the spirit of this free exchange, students and instructors of Walden recognize the necessity and accept the responsibility for academic integrity. A student who enrolls at the university thereby agrees to respect and acknowledge the research and ideas of others in his or her work and to abide by those regulations governing work stipulated by the academic unit or academic program, and, in turn, the instructor.”

This need to respect others’ work and acknowledge it stems from the view of intellectual property that is held by most American academic institutions, which is that ideas belong to their authors. While students may come from backgrounds where it is common to copy or memorize others’ ideas without giving explicit credit, credit must be given at Walden for any idea, image, concept, or literary device, that a student did not originally create himself or herself.

Click the hyperlink to read from the Walden Code of Conduct. When you're ready to move forward, click "Continue."


Slide 4

Title: Plagiarism

Speaker: In respecting other researchers, writers must always acknowledge the source of their information or ideas. In acknowledging these sources, writers avoid plagiarism.

According to Walden’s code of conduct, “Plagiarism is defined as use of intellectual material produced by another person without acknowledging its source. For example: “Wholesale copying of passages from works of others into an assignment, paper, or discussion board posting, or thesis or dissertation without acknowledgment, Using the views, opinions, or insights of another without acknowledgment, Paraphrasing another person’s characteristic or original phraseology, metaphor, or other literary device without acknowledgment”

Thus, plagiarism is taking someone else’s ideas and explicitly or indirectly claiming them as your own. Plagiarism can be an overt action on your part, or it can be passive. Overt plagiarism is similar to saying “this is my idea,” even if it is not. It can often be considered cheating or stealing. This type of plagiarism is rare. Passive plagiarism, however, is much more subtle. In passive plagiarism, the readers assume that the ideas belong to the writer, even if the writer never actually makes that claim.

Any time you give information in a text that your write or a project you create, your audience assumes that the content and ideas in that work originated with you. Thus, if you are using any content that is not your own, you must give credit to the original source of that content. In acknowledging that this source did not come from you, you are clarifying to the reader who it was that originally had this idea or expressed this particular concept. If you do not make this acknowledgement, your readers or audience will assume the information originated with you. Even if you do not expressly claim ownership of that information, your audience assumes it, and that is considered plagiarism. Your audience’s unintended assumptions can be just as much an indication of plagiarism as an overt deception.

Learn more about overt and passive plagiarism—click their definitions to see example scenarios. When you're ready to move forward, click "Continue."


Slide 7

Title: Plagiarism

Speaker: While there are many reasons to cite sources, such as clarity of an idea’s origin and building one’s own credibility, these reasons all contribute to an overarching theme: Avoiding plagiarism. Sometimes citation concerns sneak up on us as writers. Below are a few common examples and reasons for accidental plagiarism.

Click each possible reason plagiarism might occur. When you're ready to move forward, click "Continue."

Introduction to Paraphrasing

Slide 3

Title: Paraphrasing

Speaker: According to the Walden Writing Center, “Paraphrasing in academic writing is an effective way to restate, condense, or clarify another author's ideas while also providing credibility to your own argument or analysis.” Paraphrasing is, in essence, using another source’s ideas or information in the context of your own work, but instead of directly quoting that source, you express those ideas using your own words and sentence structure. Paraphrasing often includes your own interpretation of another person’s ideas and an explanation of how those ideas relate to the topic that you are discussing. For example, when you are writing an academic paper, you may be looking at other sources and literature that discuss the same topic that you are writing about, and you may use those other sources to support your ideas or to counter your ideas. As you discuss those sources, paraphrasing allows you to use your own words and sentence structure to talk about the information you gleaned from those sources.


Slide 4

Title: Paraphrasing gives you responsibility and agency as the writer.

Speaker: Paraphrasing gives you the responsibility to represent information accurately but also the agency as the writer to manipulate the sentence structure and syntax in a way that best fits your paragraph. Unsuccessful paraphrasing, though, can turn into unintentional plagiarism when the words or sentence structure one uses too closely resemble the original source’s words.

Paraphrasing is different from summarizing in that it does not take the whole essay and discuss a broad topic. Instead, a writer usually paraphrases a specific piece of information for a specific context. Remember that writers always paraphrase in context, with a specific purpose in mind.

Throughout this module we will discuss different examples of paraphrasing, APA guidelines, and helpful strategies for using sources to support your ideas. Click continue at the bottom of the page to move to the next part of the module. 


Slide 8

Title: Paraphrasing Example

Speaker: Below is an example of a quote from Hayes and Introna (2005). If you were to paraphrase this quotation, think about which information you would choose to paraphrase and what paraphrasing tips you might use to put that information into your own words and sentence structure.


Slide 9

Title: Strong Paraphrasing Example

Speaker: Remember that a writer always paraphrases in the context of a thesis statement, topic, or claim. Here let’s imagine that the writer begins with the thesis, students may accidentally plagiarize. To support this idea, the writer is looking at outside sources to back up this claim. The writer finds this original work from Hayes and Introna and decides to rearticulate it into his or her own words and sentence structure. Notice that this is part of determining the purpose for the paraphrase.

Notice, too, how the writer used a few other tips we suggested from earlier. To start with, there is a clear citation. The author, year, and even the page number are listed in APA format in this paraphrase. The writer also used his or her own words and sentence structure. Notice how the writer did not use synonyms, or even the same general syntax or structure of the original sentences. Instead, the writer clearly took a step back to fully understand the content from the original work and how it related to the claim, the writer’s thesis, that students may accidentally plagiarize.  Then the writer most likely looked away from the original and tried to explain the concept in his or her own words. Those words created this paraphrase.

Look at the paraphrase and compare it to the original. You will see that there are no repeated phrases or similar sentences. This writer has created a strong paraphrase.

To view an example of a not-so-strong paraphrase, click Continue.


Slide 10

Title: Poor Paraphrasing Example

Speaker: When a writer does not paraphrase with a  purpose, or when a writer uses synonyms and similar sentence structure, the result is often unintentional plagiarism. In this example, you can see what is often called patchwork paraphrasing. This writer attempted to use synonyms to replace words (in blue) and kept the original structure of the sentences (in red). Even though this writer changed some of the words slightly, this example would still be considered plagiarism.

Note another thing: There is not specific thesis or purpose here. Determining a purpose for the information is significant in paraphrasing. If that purpose is missing, the paraphrase has no direction and may result in unintentional plagiarism. Like we’ve mentioned before, a writer should always paraphrase in a specific context and for a specific purpose.

Remember that inserting synonyms does not equal paraphrasing—they are not the same. Paraphrasing, instead, requires one’s own words and sentence structure, and writers always paraphrase in context.

When you are ready to move forward, click Continue.


Slide 16

Title: Citations for Paraphrases
Speaker: When a writer uses a paraphrase, he or she must always include a citation when using APA format. Remember that citations can occur in one of two ways: As part of the grammatical sentence—a narrative citation—or as a parenthetical note, usually at the end of the sentence. Citations for paraphrases should include the author’s surname and year of publication. APA leaves the writer the choice of whether or not to include page numbers in the citations for paraphrases; they are optional.

Look at the examples above. The first paraphrase uses a citation as part of the grammatical sentence. The authors, Hayes and Introna, are part of the introductory phrase to the sentence, and the year of publication is in parentheses. This writer also chose to include a page number in the citation, so the page number would come separate from the year, at the end of the sentence.

In the second example, you can see how one might use a parenthetical citation at the end of a paraphrase. This writer paraphrased the content and then included the citation at the end of the sentence. The parenthetical information, as you can see, includes the authors and the year of publication. Note that this writer chose not to include the page number. If he or she wanted to include the page number, there would be a comma after the year, then a p. and period with the numeral. The parentheses would then include the author, year, and page number.

APA requires citations for paraphrases. This allows you as a writer to give credit where credit is due, even if you are rearticulating the ideas. Because the ideas are not your own originally, you must include a citation to show where they came from, even when you paraphrase.

When you are ready to move forward, click Continue.

Examples of Plagiarism

Slide 3

Title: Direct Plagiarism

Speaker: Direct plagiarism is a particular kind of plagiarism where authors use the exact wording from a source without proper attribution. This attribution includes quotation marks and a citation.

Direct plagiarism can occur when authors use entire paragraphs, sentences, or unique phrases from a source without attribution. Without attribution, the reader is led to believe that these paragraphs, sentences, or unique phrases are the author’s original wording and ideas, when in actuality they are a quote from another source.

When you're ready to move forward, click "Continue."


Slide 4

Visual: A sample paragraph of the student’s writing is at the top, with an excerpt from an original source (journal article) is at the bottom.

Speaker: On the bottom we have an excerpt from a journal article. On the top left we have a paragraph from a student’s writing. This paragraph exhibits direct plagiarism because it includes sentences and unique phrases from the journal article. However, the writer failed to give credit to the original source.

Click the excerpt from the journal article to explore what the student directly plagiarized from it. When you're reading to move forward, click "Continue."


Slide 6

Title: Lack of Citations

Speaker: Lack of citations is another kind of plagiarism that can occur when authors paraphrase a source but don’t include enough or any citations to indicate proper attribution of that source. This attribution does not include quotation marks because the author is using his or her own phrasing and sentence structure to paraphrase the source, but does require a citation.

Plagiarism due to a lack of citations can occur when an author paraphrases a source’s entire paragraph or individual sentences and uses them in his or her own writing without adding citations.

When you're ready to move forward, click "Continue."


Slide 7

Visual: The first student’s sample paragraph is at the top and the second student’s sample paragraph is at the bottom.

Speaker: Here are two students’ paragraphs. Each paragraph exhibits plagiarism due to a lack of citations because each student paraphrased information from a source but failed to attribute the source with a citation.

Click each student’s paragraph to explore how the student plagiarized due to a lack of citations. When you're ready to move forward, click "Continue."


Slide 10

Title: Ineffective Paraphrasing

Speaker: The last type of plagiarism we will talk about in this tutorial is ineffective paraphrasing. Ineffective paraphrasing occurs when authors paraphrase a source but do not use their own sentence structure or vocabulary to effectively reword that source. The issue here is often that the student’s paraphrase simply uses synonyms for the source’s original wording and is not different enough from the original source’s wording.

Ineffective paraphrasing can occur when an author does not use his or her own wording orvoice to paraphrase entire paragraphs or individual sentences.

When you're ready to move forward, click "Continue."


Slide 11

Title: Ineffective Paraphrasing

Speaker: On the bottom we have an excerpt from a journal article. On the top we have a sentence from a student’s writing. This sentence exhibits plagiarism due to ineffective paraphrasing because it uses the same sentence structure as the original source and the student simply used synonyms in place of the source’s original words.

Click the excerpt from the journal article to see the similarity between the original source and the student’s sentence. When you're ready to move forward, click "Continue."

Citing Sources to Avoid Plagiarism

Slide 3

Title: Start at the Beginning

Speaker: When learning how to cite sources, it’s important to start at the beginning: reference entries. Reference entries contain the information needed to cite a source in the body of a paper and tell the writer what information to use to create that citation, so it’s important to understand how they are structured.

Here we have the basic components of a reference entry: the author, publication year, title of the source, and publication information. All reference entries contain these components but will change depending on the type of source you are citing.

The author and year are the components you’ll use to create citations in order to credit your sources.

When you're ready to move forward, click "Continue."


Slide 4

Title: Components of a Citation

Speaker: Each citation in APA can have three components: author, year, and a page or paragraph number. As we mentioned, this information is pulled from your reference entry, and here is what they look like in a parenthetical citation.

Note that in APA, citations belong to individual sentences, so you need to provide this information in each sentence you quote or paraphrase from a source. Each of these citations must include the author and year. The page or paragraph number is a little bit different: This information is required when citing quotes, but optional when citing paraphrases.

When it comes to citations, our suggestion is that if you’re not sure if you should include one of these three components, go ahead and include it.

When you're ready to move forward, click "Continue."


Slide 7

Title: Citations in Sentences

Speaker: You've seen some examples of citations, and here are a few more. These are examples of citations for both quotations and paraphrases. Note how each sentence that has a quote or paraphrase has its own citation and how we include that citation either parenthetically or narratively.

Now take a closer look at each individual sentence and how the writer indicated quotes. In particular, note the use of quotation marks. These quotation marks tell the reader the writer is borrowing another writer's wording in the sentence.

Take your time as you look at these sentences. When you're ready to move forward, click "Continue."


Slide 12

Title: Citations in Frequency

Speaker: Now that you’ve learned how to create proper citations, it is important to recognize when to use them and what their purpose is.

Citations in your text:

  • Help the reader know when you are using which sources
  • Point the reader to your reference list to find information about the original source
  • Show credibility of your research by showing that you have reviewed and understood others’ ideas


Slide 13

Title: When do I cite?

Speaker: A writer should cite after each and every sentence that uses information from another source. Just like when using direct quotes, you must cite anytime you use information that is not originally your own. Your citations should occur throughout the sentence and throughout the paragraph.


Slide 16

Title: Citations in Paragraphs

Speaker: You've now practiced looking at citations in individual sentences. Now let's look at a paragraph that includes a quote and a paraphrase. Here again, note the citations in each sentence that uses information from a source. In particular, note the sentence that includes the quote; it includes a citation, page number, and, finally, quotation marks. When you're ready to move forward, click "Continue."

Paraphrasing Practice

Slide 3

Title: Quotations require…

Speaker: In this tutorial we will delve deeper into citation formatting for paraphrasing and how to appropriately paraphrase a source, giving you many chances to practice identifying poor paraphrasing and citing paraphrases.

Remember that paraphrasing requires

  • Writers to use their own wording and sentence structure to put source information in their own words.
  • A citation with the author’s name and publication year to cite the source.
  • A citation in each sentence that includes information from a source.

When you're ready to move forward, click "Continue."


Slide 8

Title: Paraphrasing Tools: Originality Checkers

Speaker: Originality checkers are computer programs that compare students’ writing with a database of sources. Because of this, originality checkers can be a useful tool in checking for plagiarism: students can use them to double-check paraphrases as one step in the process of ensuring you paraphrase with your own voice. Originality checkers aren’t perfect; they can have false-positives and are limited by the databases they use. However, students can find them a helpful tool to use as one of many strategies for avoiding plagiarism in their writing.

Encouraging Proper Attribution of Sources

Slide 3

Title: Habits and Environments

Speaker: Plagiarism doesn’t happen in isolation. As writers, we are always influenced by the things around us and the writing habits we have formed, and plagiarism is no different. There are certain habits and environmental factors that often contribute to or encourage plagiarism, so it is important that writers reflect on what might be contributing to their tendency to plagiarize.

Below are a few of the habits and environmental factors that can contribute to writers plagiarizing. Click each to see a brief description. When you're ready to move forward, click "Continue."


Slide 5

Title: Habits and Environments

Speaker: You have been introduced to habits and environmental factors that might contribute to a writer plagiarizing, as well as reflected on how those habits and environmental factors might be a concern for you. Based on your reflection, click the habits or environmental factors that may result in plagiarism in your own writing. You will then learn more about strategies for mitigating these habits or environmental factors.

Once you’ve explored all of the habits or environmental factors that apply to you, click “I’m Done.”


Slide 6

Title: Time Management & Writing Schedules

Speaker: We’ve all been there: It’s the beginning of a new week in your class and you’ve just finished last week’s assignments, so you wait to start the new week’s assignments until Wednesday.

You underestimate the amount of time it’ll take researching articles for your paper, so you don’t start writing until Thursday.

You forget about the second assignment due on Sunday and do not start it until Sunday evening.


Slide 7

Title: Time Management & Writing Schedules

Speaker: Whatever the reason, time can get away from us, resulting in:

  • Rushing through our research
  • Failing to note quotes and citations
  • Hastening our writing process

Whatever the reason or situation, a lack of time for researching and writing can contribute to plagiarism in a student’s writing.


Slide 9

Title: Critical Reading

Speaker: Critical reading is an essential skill in academic writing, but it can be difficult when writers:

  • Are not familiar with the academic voice researchers use in scholarly sources.
  • Do not speak English as their first or only language.
  • Are entering a new field and aren’t familiar with the topic.
  • Do not devote time to engaging with their readings.


Slide 10

Title: Critical Reading

Speaker: Critical reading, however, is necessary for properly integrating research into writing. Without strong critical reading skills, writers might inadvertently plagiarize their sources.


Slide 12

Title: Reviewing & Revising

Speaker: Reviewing and revising refers to reviewing our writing to look for errors, as well as revising to correct errors. There are many components of academic writing students need to look out for when writing, and it’s nearly impossible to include all of these components successfully when writing a first draft. Instead, it’s the reviewing and revising that helps writers make sure they include:

  • Citations for quotes
  • Quotation marks
  • Page numbers
  • Citations for paraphrases
  • Narrative citations
  • Parenthetical citations
  • Reference entries

Essentially, good writing results from reviewing and revising.


Slide 14

Title: Researching & Taking Notes

Speaker: How you take notes can greatly affect how effectively you are able to remember, use, and credit sources in your writing. If you are not careful, one of these situations might happen:

You find a great idea from a source and want to remember it, so you copy and paste the paragraph in your notes, but you forget to add quotation marks and a citation. You use this paragraph in your paper thinking it is your own, resulting in plagiarism.

The source you’re reading makes a great point, and you reword or paraphrase it in your notes, but you don’t add a citation. When you use this idea in your paper, you do not include a citation, resulting in plagiarism.