• PLAGIARISM

    (reproduced here with permission from Mr. Stephen Finkelstein).

    PLAGIARISM - It's an ugly word, and ever since the development of the Internet, it has become a huge problem in education at all levels. It's very easy to do - and very easy to get caught doing. Moreover, your teachers will  look for it on major writing assignments and projects. It is important to think about this topic in Language Arts class as well as every other class.

    WHAT IS IT?- The general definition of plagiarism is usually 'taking someone else's ideas and using them as your own'. (The root of the word 'plagiarism' actually comes from Latin for kidnapping!)

    WHY DO IT? - Some students (and it's not just limited to students) plagiarize because they have waited to the last minute for an assignment or project, or they don't understand and assignment, or they are just plain lazy. However, many cases of plagiarism are done unintentionally - and that's what we hope to stop in our class.

    WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?- Let's look at a sample passage from THE ORIGINS OF TOTALITARIANISM by Hannah Arendt (examples from Georgetown University's Gervase Program's Honor Council, http://gervaseprograms.georgetown.edu/honor/system)
     
    THE ORIGINAL PASSAGE

    This book has been written against a background of both reckless optimism and reckless despair. It holds that Progress and Doom are two sides of the same medal; that both are articles of superstition, not of faith. It was written out of the conviction that it should be possible to discover the hidden mechanics by which all traditional elements of our political and spiritual world were dissolved into a conglomeration where everything seems to have lost specific value, and has become unrecognizable for human comprehension, unusable for human purpose. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1973 ed.), p.vii, Preface to the First Edition.

    If you were assigned a report or project on the topic, and you wanted to use this information, you would need to paraphrase it or put it in your own words - and cite the source.  Even if the author’s exact language is not used, a footnote is required for material that is paraphrased. 
     
    If you wanted to include a direct quote from the resource, you would need to use quotation marks and cite the source in your writing.
     
    Here's what plagiarism looks like:
     
    EXAMPLE I:  word-for-word plagiarism

    This book has been written against a background of both reckless optimism and reckless despair. It holds that Progress and Doom are two sides of the same medal; that both are articles of superstition, not of faith. Interestingly enough, Arendt avoids much of the debates found in some of the less philosophical literature about totalitarianism.
     
    Example 2:  the paraphrase(author's ideas, put into your own words)

    Hannah Arendt’s book, The Origins of Totalitarianism, was written in the light of both excessive hope and excessive pessimism. Her thesis is that both Advancement and Ruin are merely different sides of the same coin. Her book was produced out of a belief that one can understand the method in which the more conventional aspects of politics and philosophy were mixed together so that they lose their distinctiveness and become worthless for human uses.

    Example 3: The mosaic (some original material, selected phrases of the original are woven throughout the passage­ ­)
     
    The first edition of The Origins of Totalitarianism was written in 1950. Soon after the Second World War, this was a time of both reckless optimism and reckless despair. During this time, Dr. Arendt argues, the traditional elements of the political and spiritual world were dissolved into a conglomeration where everything seems to have lost specific value. In particular, the separation between the State and Society seems to have been destroyed. In this book, she seeks to disclose the hidden mechanics by which this transformation occurred.

    In any case above, if you did not cite the resource, it's plagiarism.
     
    School Policy on Plagiarism:
    Zero on assignment + Phone call home = Not worth the risk!  When in doubt, cite the source!