All quotations, summaries, and paraphrases taken from Barnet, Silvan, et.al. A Short Guide to College Writing.
What is Plagiarism? Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s thoughts, ideas, or words without clearly identifying that they are from an outside source (205). Plagiarism essentially is trying to “pass off someone else’s work as your own” (205). Plagiarism can be both intentional and unintentional, which means that just “forgetting” to cite a source is considered plagiarism.
Consequences ofPlagiarism College policy states that “incidents of cheating and plagiarism may result in any of a variety of sanctions and penalties, which may range from a failing grade on the particular examination, paper, project, or assignment in question to a failing grade in the course” (Reedley College Catalog 46) In English 1A, any assignment which is found to be plagiarized will receive an automatic failing grade. Any portfolio found with plagiarized material will result in automatic failure of the course. Multiple instances of plagiarism will be reported to the college.
What needs to be cited? You should always cite when: You quote directly from a work, or You paraphrase or summarize someone’s words (the words of your paraphrase or summary are your own, but the ideas are not), or You use an idea that isn’t common knowledge, or You use a picture, graph, or image from a source (205).
Quotes and Citing A quote is the use of a source’s direct language and is set apart from the essay by enclosing it in quotation marks. The Rule of Three: A quote can vary in length, but, in general, the use of three consecutive words or more from a source should be considered a quote. A quote should duplicate the source exactly. However, if you do need to make changes due to diction (like verb tense, changing a pronoun to a proper noun, etc.) enclose such changes in brackets [ ].
Summaries and Citing A summary is usually a brief review of a large chunk of outside information in your own words. However, because the ideas are not your own, a summary needs to be cited. Summaries should be cited with the use of a signal phrase as well as with a parenthetical citation placed at the end of the summary. A summary needs to be entirely in your own words. Remember the “Rule of Three.”
Paraphrases and Citing A paraphrase is restating a source’s idea or thought in your own words. Unlike a summary, a paraphrase is usually focused on a single passage. A paraphrase should always be cited with a signal phrase and a parenthetical citation. Again, the words may be yours, but the idea is not. Thus it needs to be cited. Just like a summary, the paraphrase needs to be in your own words, but it also needs to be syntactically different from the original as well. This means that you can’t just substitute words or phrases, you need to completely rewrite the source’s passage.
A Final Thought As a general rule if you are in doubt about whether or not you need to cite something; cite it. It’s better to be safe than sorry. As always you are free to ask me for help with correctly citing sources.