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Lesson Eight Goals:

This week focuses on ethical use of information. Topics include:
•   Intellectual property and copyright laws
•   Using parenthetical references (to MLA citations in list of works cited) in papers
•   Plagiarism definition
•   How to paraphase without plagiarizing
•   How to quote without plagiarizing

Lesson Eight Assignments and Homework:

  • There is no homework for this week, in order to give you more time to complete your final project
  • Assignment 7: Detecting Bias/Point of View from last week's lesson is due today

  • If you have changed your topic since submitting Assignment 2, please re-do and resubmit this assignment if you haven't already

  • Work on your Course Project (due 3/21)

  • Prepare for final exam on 3/21







Avoiding Plagiarism by Citing Sources Correctly

When a person produces evidence of intellectual property, whether it be a book, article, report, or even programming source code, that intellectual property is owned by the author.

Copyright laws exist to protect the ownership of any original body of work, and assume that the author has the exclusive rights to his or her work.

What are exclusive rights? This means that the author decides who can reproduce and who can re-distribute the work. It is your obligation to make sure that you adhere to the concepts and laws of copyright by using information responsibly.

When you write a research paper, you consult the works of many other writers. You must always credit information gathered from other sources.

What kinds of sources should be credited?

  • Information and ideas
  • Paragraphs, sentences and distinct phrases
  • Statistics, research, lab results, artwork, graphics, etc.
Who should be credited?
  • Published writers of books, articles
  • Internet sources
  • Personal or recorded interviews
  • Information gathered from other students at SRJC or elsewhere
Always give credit to the sources you've consulted by creating parenthetical references to them in your own writing and by creating a list of Works Cited.


Online Tutorials

The plagiarism tutorial at SRJC's Online Writing Center (OWL) offers excellent information about this week's topic. Click on the link below: read through their material, which works in conjunction with our class material.

The SRJC OWL's tutorial about working with sources offers additional in-depth information about quoting and paraphrasing. Click on the link below to read through it.

Finally, the Central Piedmont Community College Library has created an interactive tutorial to help students understand the basics of citations and plagiarism. The tutorial takes a few minutes to complete, and requires the Flash player. Please link to the tutorial by clicking on this web address:

Parenthetical References

Parenthetical references are the writer's way of acknowledging those places in his or her paper where the work of another person was incorporated. Use parenthetical references in the text of your document to point to a specific information source. For example:

Medieval Europe was a place both of "raids, pillages, slavery, and extortion" and of "traveling merchants, monetary exchange, towns if not cities, and active markets in grain" (Townsend 10).

(Townsend 10) tells the reader that the quotes used in that example came from page 10 of an information source by Townsend. In order to be sure that the reader can find the entire source, you must also include the full bibliographic citation in your Works Cited or Bibliography. The bibliographic citation would look like this:

Townsend, Robert M. The Medieval Village Economy. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1993.

The parenthetical references in a paper work in tandem with the List of Works Cited. Having one does not negate or supplant use of the other. MLA takes a very clean approach to using parenthetical references, with the following guidelines for format:

Example 1. Author's name in reference: This point has already been argued (Tannen 178-85).

Example 2. Author's name in text: Tannen has argued this point (178-85).


Examples taken from: Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. 6th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2003.



Plagiarism is the act of taking another person's ideas, writings or inventions and using them without giving proper credit to the originator .When writing a research paper, this translates to using the writings of the author without quoting the words taken and without including bibliographic references to the original work.

Always give the appropriate acknowlegement to the originator for his or her thoughts and ideas.This means giving credit to the author when you use any kind of information from another source. This information could be

  • an opinion from the editiorial page of a newspaper
  • statistics from a government handbook
  • facts from an encyclopedia
  • comments by someone in an interview

Sometimes, plagiarism is not intentional. Develop thorough note taking habits when you are conducting your research so that you do not fall into the trap of using information without crediting its source.



When you paraphrase, you read and digest the ideas of the author, and then explain them in your own language.

Paraphrasing is the process of putting an author's writing into your own words. This is more than simply changing one or two words here and there. Paraphrasing requires you to read the original work, and then to restate a summary of that original work using your own writing style.


Some Tips for Paraphrasing

  • Be careful to use your own words when you paraphrase.
  • Paraphrase accurately - don't distort the author's ideas or insert your own. Your comments and analysis can follow the paraphrase.
  • Credit the author and source when discussing his or her ideas.
  • Wording, sentence structure, and the order of ideas should change. Tweaking a few words is not paraphrasing.


How to Paraphrase

Read the passage several times if you don't understand it at first. It is normal to not immediately grasp every concept presented to you when studying a new topic. Re-reading information helps to fully absorb its meaning.

Identify the important elements of information.Try underlining them or using whatever methodology helps you to pull out the key points of information.

Restate the information to yourself, orally, as if telling a friend what you have just read. Then try writing down your restated information. Remember to change the order of the points presented by the author and change the wording to reflect your own writing style. It is perfectly acceptable to use synonyms, or different words as long as you don't change the meaning of the original passage.


Examples of Paraphrasing

Original Text

If you're coping with an illness or want to exchange views about a medical topic, you'll want to find your way to a newsgroup. Despite the name, these are not collections of news items. They are, in effect, virtual bulletin boards open to anyone who cares to participate. The messages generally consist of plain text.


In a recent Consumer Reports article, the author suggests finding a relevant newsgroup if you have a particular medical problem or if you want to talk with others about a medical subject. Newsgroups are online bulletin boards that are available to anyone; in spite of their name, they are not news reports. Anyone who wishes to may join in a newsgroup discussion (Schwartz 28).

Example taken from: Hult, Christine A., and Thomas N. Huckin. The New Century Handbook. New York: Allyn and Bacon, 1999.


Original Text

How important is our power of nonanalytical thought to the practice of science? It's the most important thing we have, declares the Princeton physicist historian Thomas Kuhn who argues that major breakthroughs occur only after scientists finally concede that certain physical phenomena cannot be explained by extending the logic of old theories. Consider the belief that the sun and the planets move around the earth, which reigned prior to 1500. This idea served nicely for a number of centuries, but then became too cumbersome to describe the motions of heavenly bodies. So the Polish astronomer Copernicus invented a new reality that was based on a totally different 'paradigm' or model — that the earth and planets move around the sun".


In "Zen: Technology and the Split Brain," Hoover suggests that the power of intuition — that suprarational half of our intelligence — is more important to scientific advancement than the function of the left hemisphere of our brain — the rigidly logical and process-oriented portion. He cites the revolution in thinking created by Copernicus's new paradigm of cosmic movement, a leap in understanding made possible only by the creative invention of "a new reality" after rational consideration of the old reality had exhausted itself (Hoover 124).

Example take from: Kies, Daniel. Summarizing and Paraphrasing Successfully Successful and Unsuccessful Examples. 1 Jan. 2003. College of DuPage. 28 Feb 2003. <>.


Using Quotations

Quotations are an exact duplication of a section of a document, with full citation given to the original source.

  • Use quotations to transcribe someone else's wording in an exact fashion.
  • If you need to edit a quote for clarity, use brackets ([ ]) to for letters or words added and elipses(...) for words removed.
  • Use the same punctuation that appears in the quote.
  • Use quotations to augment or expand upon your own original ideas. Don't use them to replace evidence of your own thought.
  • Don't quote from the same source again and again... this is a red flag to your instructor!
  • Frame your quotations with an introduction and explanation of their relevancy to your ideas.

Example of Paraphrasing and Using Direct Quotations

In his famous and influential work On the Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud argues that dreams are the "royal road to the unconscious" (page number), expressing in coded imagery the dreamer's unfulfilled wishes through a process known as the "dream work" (page number). According to Freud, actual but unacceptable desires are censored internally and subjected to coding through layers of condensation and displacement before emerging in a kind of rebus puzzle in the dream itself (page number).

Example taken from: "Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing. " Purdue University Online Writing Lab. Purdue University. 20 Feb. 2003. <>.


Some Additional Tips:

As you read the document, make notes of the main points. Then, try to say what the main topic of the essay is.

Pretend you are being asked to summarize the essential elements of the essay for a friend.

Highlight the supporting elements of the essay by paraphrasing them.

If you must use the exact words of the essay, be sure and represent any passages you use as quotations.


****** This concludes the unit material for the course ******


There is no homework assignment for Lesson 7. This allows you to devote time to working on your course project.


The final exam will be multiple choice. The link will be available on the Lesson 9 page on Friday, March 21st from 12:01 AM through 11:29 PM. You may take the exam at any point in that time period. You will find a link to the final exam on the lecture page for the next lesson next Friday. No make-up exams will be offered.

Your course project is also due on Friday, March 21st. You'll find a submission form and instructions for how to upload your course project on the lecture page for next Friday.