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Citing Sources in Academic Papers
What is plagiarism?
According to the MLA Handbook, plagiarism, from the Latin 'plagiarius' "kidnapper", is a form of cheating which occurs when you use someone else's ideas in your own work without properly acknowledging the source (30).
Plagiarism may be accidental or deliberate : unfortunately, the consequences are the same. You risk expulsion and/or failure.
Example A : Direct Quotation
(NB : All examples taken from McMaster University, Statement on Academic Ethics)
"Thomas Hardy was vitally interested in the social conditions and the trends of the late nineteenth century. As Douglas Brown has written, 'the tragedy of the exodus of the agricultural workers from the villages and the countryside, and what tragedy represents, forms one of Hardy's continual themes' (36-39). Tess of the d'Urvervilles is an obvious example of Hardy's social concern."
A direct quotation is an acceptable way of including another writer's work in your own paper. Later, the reference is included in your bibliography :
Brown, Douglas. Thomas Hardy. London, 1954. 36 - 39
Example B : Indirect Reference or Paraphrasing
"Thomas Hardy was aware of the changes taking place in the England of his day, and his writings reflect his interest in these changes. As a countryman he was particularly concerned about the migration of the agricultural workers from the countryside into the industrial towns, and Douglas Brown has argued that this is one of the most significant themes in Hardy's work (36 - 39). Tess if the d'Urbervilles is obviously relevant in this connection."
This is acceptable as the writer has included a reference to acknowledge that this idea came from Brown's writing.
Example C : Plagiarism
"Thomas Hardy was concerned about the social conditions of his time. The tragedy of the exodus of the agricultural workers from the villages and the countryside, and what that tragedy represents, forms one of Hardy's continual themes. Tess is a good example."
This is plagiarism because the writer is using Douglas Brown's exact words and ideas without referring to him. Even if Brown's book is included in the bibliography, this part of the essay would be considered plagiarism because there is no direct reference to Brown in this passage.
Bibliography Examples (MLA style)
Klein, Naomi. No Logo. Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf Canada
A Newspaper Article
Knowlton, Brian. "North Korea arms pact is now dead, Powell says." International Herald Tribune 21 Oct. 2002: 1.
An Anonymous Article
"French Defence policy: Rearming" The Economist 19 Oct. 2002: 32
Citing a Web Page
For example: S. Burchill. The Open Door Web Site. 21 Oct. 2016. (www.saburchill.com)
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