Skip to main content SC4 Library Logo

Plagiarism: How to spot it and how to help stop it: What it looks like

Not sure what to look for?

Not Sure what to look for?

  • Has a student started writing uncharacteristically above their current academic level? 
  • Has the students "voice" changed drastically, be it for an entire paper or just a paragraph?
  • Does a paragraph sound suspiciously similar to another students?
  • Are they telling you information that doesn't count as common knowledge but are not citing?
  • Is the formatting suddenly different mid paper?

All of these are warning flags that they may have sought "help" elsewhere and decided to claim it as their own.

 

Hanacek, Viktor. Writing with a Graphic Pen.

 

Contact SC4 Library

SC4 Library's picture
SC4 Library
Contact:
St. Clair County Community College Library
323 Erie St., P.O. Box 5015
Port Huron, MI 48061-5015
Library main (810) 989-5640
Library fax (810) 989-5773
SMS (810) 515-7343
library@sc4.edu

Types of Plagiarism

Everyone knows what Complete plagiarism looks like, but what about the other three types?

Near- Complete

"Original

It is Eros, not Agape, that loves in proportion to the value of its object. By the pursuit of value in its object, Platonic love is let up and awayfrom the world, on wings of aspiration, beyond all transient things and persons to the realm of the Ideas. Agape, as described in the Gospels and Epistles, is "spontaneous and ‘uncaused’," "indifferent to human merit," and "creates" value in those upon whom it is bestowed out of pure generosity. It flows down from God into this transient, sinful world; those whom it touches become conscious of their own utter unworthiness; they are impelled to forgive and love their enemies....because the God of grace imparts worth to them by the act of loving them.* [footnote* is to Anders Nygren, Agape and Eros. (New York, 1932), pp. 52-56]

Plagiarized Version

As Nygren set out to contrast these two Greek words he finds that Eros loves in proportion to the value of the object. By the pursuit of value in its objects. Platonic love is let up and away from the world, on wings of aspiration, beyond all transient things and persons to the realm of the Ideas. Agape as described in the Gospels and Epistles, is "spontaneous and uncaused," "indifferent to human merit," and creates value in those upon whom it is bestowed out of pure generosity. It flows down from God into the transient, sinful world; those whom it touches become conscious of their own utter unworthiness; they are impelled to forgive and love their enemies, because the God of Grace imparts worth to them by the act of loving them.*
[Footnote* is to Nygren, Agape and Eros, pp. 52-56]"

Patchwork

"Originals

Source 1:

"Despite the strong public opposition, the Reagan administration continued to install so many North American men, supplies, and facilities in Honduras that one expert called it "the USS Honduras, a [stationary] aircraft carrier or sorts." (Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions (New York, 1989), 309.)

 

Source 2:

"By December 1981, American agents--some CIA, some U.S. Special Forces--were working through Argentine intermediaries to set up contra safe houses, training centres, and base camps along the Nicaraguan-Honduran border." (Peter Kornbluh, "Nicaragua," in Michael Klare (ed), Low Intensity Warfare (New York, 1983), 139.)

 

Plagiarized Version

Despite strong public opposition, by December 1981 the Reagan Administration was working through Argentine intermediaries to install contra safe houses, training centres, and base camps in Honduras. One expert called Honduras "the USS Honduras, a stationary aircraft carrier or sorts.""

Lazy

Originals

Source 1:

"Despite the strong public opposition, the Reagan administration continued to install so many North American men, supplies, and facilities in Honduras that one expert called it "the USS Honduras, a [stationary aircraft carrier of sorts." (Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions (New York, 1989), 309.)

 

Source 2:

"By December 1981, American agents--some CIA, some U.S. Special Forces--were working through Argentine intermediaries to set up contra safe houses, training centres, and base camps along the Nicaraguan-Honduran border." (Peter Kornbluh, "Nicaragua," in Michael Klare (ed), Low Intensity Warfare (New York, 1983), 139.)

 

Plagiarized Version

Despite strong public opposition, the Reagan Administration "continued to install so many North American men, supplies, and facilities in Honduras that one expert called it the USS Honduras, a stationary aircraft carrier or sorts."3

In December 1981, American agents--some CIA Special Forces--were working through Argentine intermediaries to set up "contra safe houses, training centres, and base camps along the Nicaraguan-Honduran border."4

 

3. Walter Lafeber, Inevitable Revolutions (New York, 1989), p. 309

4. Michael Klare (ed), Low Intensity Warfare (New York, 1983).

 

 

Gordon, Colin H., Peter Simmons, and Wynn Graeme. "Plagiarism-What it is and how to avoid it." Penn Libraries. July 18 2013.Web. 2014 <http://gethelp.library.upenn.edu/guides/engineering/ee/plagiarize.html>.

Copy & Paste

When looking at content that is not written in the students "voice" or at something that looks to be written above their level Google is your best-friend.

A simple copy and paste of a sentence or two with quotation marks around the content should bring up instant results if they took it from the web.

Google Web Search

Always try Scholar.google.com too...

Google Scholar Search

And lastly, try searching through our databases and ebooks...