Plagiarism. Plagiarism. Latin plagiarius , “kidnapper”. Definition: “The false assumption of authorship: the wrongful act of taking the product of another person’s mind, and presenting it as one’s own” (Alexander Lindey, Plagiarism and Originality , p. 2). Understanding Plagiarism.
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Latin plagiarius, “kidnapper”
Definition: “The false assumption of authorship: the wrongful act of taking the product of another person’s mind, and presenting it as one’s own”
(Alexander Lindey, Plagiarism and Originality, p. 2)
The following quotation was taken from page 625 of an essay by Wendy Martin in the book Columbia Literary History of the United States:
“Some of Dickinson’s most powerful poems express her firmly held conviction that life cannot be fully comprehended without an understanding of death.”
If you write the following sentence without any documentation, you have committed plagiarism:
“Emily Dickinson strongly believed that we cannot understand life fully unless we also comprehend death.”
Why is this considered plagiarism?
The same thought can be expressed in your paper without committing plagiarism as follows:
“As Wendy Martin has suggested, Emily Dickinson strongly believed that we cannot understand life fully unless we also comprehend death .” 1
1 Wendy Martin, Columbia Literary History of the United States, Billy Bob Jumpback, ed. (New york: Sundown Publishing House, 1985), 625.
When in doubt, footnote!
If you are unsure of the source of a particular idea of thought, but you are relatively certain that you gleaned it from a published source, say so in a footnote.
When writing your rough draft, every time you use a quote or cite a source, put something in the footnote immediately. You can always go back and format it later.
Remember, you must document everythingyou borrow, not just direct quotes.
Keep accurate notes when researching so that you can determine which ideas are yours and which ones you obtained from outside sources.
Remember, whether intentional or not, plagiarism is WRONG.