Academic Integrity

Student Tutorial

Menu | Previous | Next

"Ethical issues that are difficult to unravel within a Western perspective are further blurred when viewed from multiple cultural lenses. As online domains cross national, cultural, and social borders, irreconcilable legal and ethical differences emerge on issues such as the dominance of English, what is public and what is private, ownership of online identities and text, and individual versus community rights. It is easy for a wide variety of voices and views to be posted on the Internet."

Source: Agger-Gupta, D. (2010). Uncertain frontiers: Exploring ethical dimensions of online learning. In K. E. Rudestam & J. Schoenholtz-Read (Eds.). Handbook of online learning (2nd ed.). (pp. 226-250). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

The Perfect Paragraph!

Text with punctuation editing c. Aresauburn (http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1395/873709180_82b06208fd.jpg)You are writing an essay about online learning. You find the paragraph above in a book. The paragraph perfectly supports your argument that the Internet is a democratizing force! This is the best paragraph you have read on the topic and you definitely want to incorporate it into your essay.

How will you incorporate the paragraph and maintain academic integrity?

Click the options below and consider the feedback.

Option 1: Paraphrasing and quoting

You write: Viewing from multiple cultural lenses further blurs ethical issues that are already difficult to unravel within a Western perspective. As online domains cross national, cultural, and social borders, irreconcilable legal and ethical differences emerge on issues such as the dominance of English, what is public and what is private, ownership of online identities and text, and individual versus community rights.

Is it plagiarism? Yes. The opening sentence is closely paraphrased from the original and has no citation. The remaining sentences are quoted directly from the original, are not in quotes, and lack citation. Minor adjustments to the original do not remove your responsibility to attribute credit to the original source of information and use quotes.

Option 2: Paraphrasing and summarizing

You write: When online interactions span national, cultural, and social borders, legal and ethical differences emerge on issues such as the dominance of English, what is public and what is private, ownership of online identities and text, and individual versus community rights that are not reconcilable.

Is it Plagiarism? Yes. The content and structure of the information is almost identical to the original. Although you have altered the introductory and closing parts of the sentence, the majority of the sentence is still a quote of the original. Each time you include three or more unaltered words from a source, it is best to place those words in quotations and cite the source.

Option 3: Summarizing by rewording

You write: A variety of voices and views can be posted on the Internet with ease. Some ethical issues related to online communication are complex within the Western worldview. Such issues are further complicated if looked at through the norms of other cultures. Currently, online interactions take place without regards to social, cultural, or national boundaries.

Is it plagiarism? Yes. Although you made an effort to reword the information from the source into original language, the information and ideas conveyed are almost identical to the original and there is no citation. This paragraph does not provide your original thought or analysis. You have only reiterated the source material and did not offering anything original except wording. Summaries require citations too!

Menu | Previous | Next

Creative Commons 3.9: Attribution, Share Alike, Non-Commercial
Colorado Community Colleges Online
Created in collaboration with WCET