Be careful when you use research that others have done. Only information that is widely available from a variety of sources-such
as historic facts and geographic data-can be used without giving credit.
For example, if you were writing a research
paper on earthquakes and you wanted to do some comparing of California earthquakes to others throughout history, you could
find and use the dates and locations of other major earthquakes without referencing a specific source because similar information
is available from any number of sources. If, however, you wanted to use a person's story about an earthquake, an analysis
of the cause of an earthquake, or even a description of an earthquake, you would have to give credit to your source.
To serve as an example, this is an original paragraph from Joan Delfattore's book.
In the Dick and Jane readers
some of us remember from our childhoods, a family consisted of a married couple, two or three well-behaved children, and a
dog and a cat. Father wore suits and went out to work; mother wore aprons and baked cupcakes. Little girls sat demurely
watching little boys climb trees. Home meant a single-family house in a middle-class suburban neighborhood. Color the lawn
green. Color the people white. Family life in the textbook world was idyllic; parents did not quarrel, children did not
disobey, and babies did not throw up on the dog.
................................Joan Delfattore, _What Johnny Shouldn't
Textbook Censorship in America_
These three paragraphs illustrate common ways Delfattore's paragraph
In the Dick and Jane readers some of us remember from our childhoods, a family consisted of a married
couple, two or three well-behaved children, and a dog and a cat. Father wore suits and went out to work; mother wore aprons
and baked cupcakes. Little girls sat demurely watching little boys climb trees.
Plagiarized. Problem: This has been
directly copied without quotation marks or credit to the author.
According to Delfattore, the Dick and Jane readers
of several years ago pictured an unrealistic family life. Stories always seemed to take place in middle-class suburban neighborhoods
where life was idyllic; parents never quarreled and children always obeyed.
Plagiarized. Problem: Although portions
have been paraphrased and credit has been given to the author, quotation marks are still needed around the copied portion.
In the past, elementary school reading books told stories of an unrealistic life style. Families always lived
in suburbia where homes and life were picture-perfect.
Plagiarized. Problem: Although this has been paraphrased, credit
has not been given to the author.