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Paraphrasing and Citation

You are writing your term paper or thesis introduction, thoroughly citing primary papers as you go. You come across an excellent review article that perfectly sums up what you are trying to say. You paraphrase its conclusion and fail to cite the article in your submission. Did you violate the Code?

Answer

Yes

Why is this an issue?

Failing to cite the review is plagiarism. That author's thoughts and ideas were reworked by the student but are not the student's own thoughts, even if he or she shares that point of view. Although the conclusion was paraphrased, it is an offence not to cite the review article.

An interview with the disciplinary officer will be required. See the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures in the Handbook on Student Rights and Responsibilities for more details.

How can it be avoided?

Familiarize yourself with citation methods and procedures. Your liaison librarian is an excellent resource person. Remember, never fail to cite any material used in your writing, including ideas expressed in reviews.

Quick Fact

My project advisor refuses to sign off on a journal article I have prepared for submission. Can I delete his/her name and submit it?

All contributors should be acknowledged or named as co-authors depending on the extent of their contribution. Seek assistance from your Chair or Associate Dean/Student Affairs Director to resolve this situation.

Related Information

"If I were bogged down and not concentrating and not really looking at where I was pulling quotes from [then I might plagiarize a few phrases]."
- Graduate student interview for: Love, P. G., & Simmons, J. M. (1997, November). The meaning and mediated nature of cheating and plagiarism among graduate students in a college of education. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education. Available from the ERIC database. (ERIC Document No. ED415826).

"Copying a few sentences without footnoting is perhaps the least understood problem among students. Most faculties would consider this plagiarism, but the majority of students consider this only trivial cheating."
- Kidwell, L. A., & Kent, J. (2008). Integrity at a distance: A study of academic misconduct among university students on and off campus. Accounting Education, 17 (supp 1), 3-16. doi:10.1080/09639280802044568