Jane found statistics online that she used in her speech. She was not aware that she needed to quote the source of the information therefore it appeared that it was her original work.  Because she...

Jane found statistics online that she used in her speech. She was not aware that she needed to quote the source of the information therefore it appeared that it was her original work.  Because she was not aware of the fact that she needed to quote the source, is it still plagiarism? Why?

Adam utilized quotes, statistics and a great deal of information throughout his presentation. He submitted an outline to his instructor that included a Works Cited page. He did not quote his sources in the speech. Is this plagiarism? Why?

Ryan read an article on child abuse and rephrased the author’s words into his own words, but did not cite the article in the speech. Is this plagiarism?  Why?

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

All three students are plagiarizing , even though none of them intends to, because they did not include the sources they were quoting in their speeches.  Ignorance of the fact that you are plagiarizing does not excuse doing it.

Jane needs to credit where she got the statistics from in her speech.  When she is talking, she needs to say, “according to” or something like that to let the audience know where the statistics came from.  When she turns in the speech, it needs to include a Works Cited or sources list.  Jane should also be aware that she needs to be careful which web site she uses since she got the statistic online.  She needs to make sure that the source she is citing cited the source itself.  In other words, if the web site was not the original source of the information, she should not use it unless the web site provided the original source.  If possible, she should cite the original source.

Adam also platinized because he quoted sources and statistics in his presentation without giving credit.  Just because he told the instructor is not sufficient.  He needs to include the source directly on the presentation.   In addition, he should include the Works Cited list that he gave the instructor at the end of the presentation.  To use an author’s words or numbers without giving credit to the author is like stealing them.  You are stealing someone else’s ideas.  This is a serious offense.  Just telling the instructor what sources were used in the presentation is not enough, because it is not clear which sources were used where, and the audience does not know.  Like Jane, Adam needs to include attribution within the speech.

Paraphrasing is definitively plagiarism.  Even if you do not quote an author, when you paraphrase the author’s words it amounts to the same thing and requires an in-text citation in an essay, and an attribution in a speech.  So you would say “according to” or “so and so said” and instead of using the persons own words, you would use yours.  Whenever you use someone else’s idea, you need to give credit where credit is due.

The consequences of not giving credit can be serious, even if you do it by mistake.  Unfortunately, just saying you did not realize you should have cited a source is not going to get you out of trouble if you are caught plagiarizing.  In the case of giving credit, it is always better to err on the side of caution, and give credit where credit is due.  You will never get in trouble for accidentally giving credit to an author.  However, you can get into a lot of trouble for accidentally not giving credit when you should have.

chrisyhsun | Student

Yes, all three of them are committing plagiarism - 

  1. Jane unintentionally used the intellectual property of another without giving proper credit. Quotes always require proper citation.
  2. Adam should have quoted the information he got from the source in question in order to properly recognize the work of another person and to differentiate which ideas were his versus those of the author.
  3. Ryan paraphrased another's work, and paraphrasing requires proper citations.
summerdayz | Student

All three are plagiarizing, because they used works that were not theirs without the proper credits. Whether you know what you are doing or not doesnt change the action. If you did not know you were helping someone get away with a crime, it does not change the fact that you still did. 

rachellopez | Student

Jane is plagiarizing, even if she is not aware she is. If something is not your idea you MUST cite your source to show who you got it from. Not knowing about needing to quote the sources does not mean it is not plagiarism. The idea was not her own therefore she needs to cite her sources for it to not be considered plagiarism.

Adam is also plagiarizing. Even if he created a works cited page, he only made his instructor aware of his sources. To other people listening to his speech, they do not know his ideas were from someone else and will think they are his own.

Ryan also committed plagiarism. Just changing someone's words around does not make it your own idea. You must always cite your sources if you have any. Even if you add your own ideas you have to give credit to the ideas you got from others.

Ada Sison | Student

Yes, all three people have committed plagiarism because they did not cite, quote, or acknowledge the sources of their information.

parama9000 | Student

They have plagiarized irregardless of the circumstances.

parama9000 | Student

All three are plagiarizing as they did not acknowledge the source.

CaitlynnReeves | Student

1) Yes. Accidental plaigarism is still plagiarism. 

2) At the very least Adam should have had a works cited slide in his presentation, even if he did not quote the sources in his speech. This particular situation seems subject to instructor preference. 

3) Paraphrasing is still using someone else's ideas. Ryan should absolutely have cited sources.