Plagiarism

 

Here is a passage from a text book:


After the economic and religious unrest of the middle Tudor period, followed the golden age of England. Golden ages are not all of gold, and they never last long. But Shakespeare chanced upon the best time and country in which to live, in order to exercise with least distraction and most encouragement the highest faculties of man. The forest, the field and the city were there in perfection, and all three are needed to perfect the poet.


Now look at these four extracts from students' papers. Which one(s), in your opinion, can be accepted as being truly the student's own work?

1. After the economic and religious unrest of the middle Tudor period, came the golden age of England. Golden ages are not all of gold, and they never last long. But Shakespeare chanced on the best time and country in which to live, in order to exercise with least distraction and most encouragement the highest faculties of man. The forest, the field and the city were there in perfection, and all three are needed to perfect the poet.
 
2. The golden age of England followed, after the economic and religious unrest of the middle Tudor period. Golden ages never last long, and they are not all made of gold. But by chance Shakespeare lived in the best time and the best country, in order to exercise the highest faculties of man with most encouragement and least distraction. The three things needed to perfect the poet - the forest, the field and the city - were there in perfection (Hibbert, The English: A Social History 217).

3. In England, the economic and religious disturbances of the middle Tudor period were followed by the golden age. Golden ages are not completely golden, and they are always short. However, Shakespeare was lucky enough to live in the best country at the best time for perfecting the human faculties with the greatest encouragement and the least distraction. The forest, the open country and the city were all there in their highest form, and all three are needed to produce the highest poetry (Trevelyan, English Social History 139).


4. England became more stable during the last part of the Tudor age. This period, which we think of as a 'golden age', was the age of Shakespeare. Life was still not perfect in many respects, but the conditions - both in town and country - were right for producing a poetic genius (Trevelyan, English Social History 139.)

Well? Which one(s) do you think I would accept? To find the answer, click HERE.)

There are TWO OTHER THINGS which are also a form of plagiarism. One is translating from a Japanese source. This is, of course, just as much a form of copying as copying from an English source; you are not writing your own paper in your own words, which is the basic object. See the section on translation HERE.


The other big mistake is to SUMMARISE your paper from other sources. A paper which gets all of the information for one paragraph from the same chapter of one book is basically presenting someone else's ideas in a shortened form. Again, this is a form of plagiarism. Remember, you have to give a reference to show where all the information came from (see HERE for details). If it all comes from the same chapter of a book, or the same website, it is obvious that you have just summarised someone else's work, and you haven't really researched the topic for yourself. For more details on the subject of summarising, click HERE.

 

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