University of Guelph The Learning Commons
University of Guelph The Learning Commons
Understanding Plagiarism

Academic Integrity at the University of Guelph


Types of Plagiarism

Types of Plagiarism

  1. Not Crediting a Source:

    Copying word-for-word from another source (example a) without putting the original words within quotation marks and adding a citation referring to the original source. Even if you are putting the ideas from that source into your own words (example b), you still must credit the source. Here is an illustration of how both these situations work in an excerpt from an imaginary student paper. The words plagiarized from the original author are highlighted. (The following examples use the American Psychological Association referencing style (APA), which is common in the social sciences):

    Original text:
    "It is not a fragment society, but exhibits the ideological diversity of European societies, although it has a more liberal cast."

    (a)Quoting directly:
    (Plagiarism). . . . Canada, unlike the United States, did not stop importing ideological developments from Europe when it was founded. It is not a fragment society, but exhibits the ideological diversity of European societies, although it has a more liberal cast
    (Correct). . . . Canada, unlike the United States, did not stop importing ideological developments from Europe when it was founded. As Christian and Campbell state, "[i]t is not a fragment society, but exhibits the ideological diversity of European societies, although it has a more liberal cast"(1990, 283) . . . .

    (b)Paraphrasing:
    (Plagiarism). . . . Unlike the United States, Canada is influenced by the on-going development of a variety of political ideologies in Europe, although these ideologies have never been as extreme in their Canadian versions.
    (Correct). . . . Christian and Campbell have noted that, unlike the United States, Canada is influenced by the on-going development of a variety of political ideologies in Europe, although these ideologies have never been as extreme in their Canadian versions (1990, 283).



  2. Paraphrasing too closely, even if you do credit the source.

    So we all know that you cannot take the ideas from another text, even when you are putting them completely into your own words, without citing the source. But there is a more insidious kind of plagiarism that can take place when you are paraphrasing someone else's work. If you change the order of words or ideas from the original source, and use some of your own words mixed in with the original words, you are still plagiarizing even when you cite the source. In this first example, even though the student has credited the source with a citation, which is good, s/he has not put the original text completely into her/his own words and has attempted to deceive the reader by making the text appear to be a paraphrase of the original by turning the order back-to-front. The words that appeared in the original text are highlighted.

    Original Text:
    "It is not a fragment society, but exhibits the ideological diversity of European societies, although it has a more liberal cast."

    (Plagiarism). . . . Christian and Campbell have noted that, unlike the United States, Canada is not a society that has broken away from ideological developments in Europe, but, even if it has a more liberal cast, it demonstrates the ideological diversity of European societies (1990, 283).
    (Correct) . . . . Christian and Campbell have noted that, unlike the United States, Canada is influenced by the on-going development of a variety of political ideologies in Europe, although these ideologies have never been as extreme in their Canadian versions (1990, 283).

    Probably in this case, one would choose either to paraphrase completely or to quote the original words.

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