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Insufficient Acknowledgment

The plagiarist pieces together a mix of ideas, quotations, or paraphrase, but provides only partial citation and acknowledgment, even while continuing to use the author’s words or ideas without giving additional attribution.

Example 1*

Original version: Peter Laven, Renaissance Italy: 1464-1534 (New York: Capricorn, 1964), pp. 130f.

The tenacious particularism of the Italian state gave rise to a wide variety of constitutional solutions and class structures throughout Italy. Even conquered territories and those swallowed up by bigger neighboring powers often managed to retain much of their internal organization as it had been. If power changed hands, the instruments and forms of power usually remained the same. Since the economic needs of such territories did not suddenly alter with a change of government or master, those classes which had been important before the change tended to continue to be important afterwards as well. Only when the nature of the change was economic and social might there have been a reversal in the relationships of classes; but even in this there was no sudden revolution in the structure of classes.

Plagiarized version:
In his comprehensive study, Renaissance Italy, Peter Laven discusses the peculiar organization of Renaissance city-states:

The tenacious particularism of the Italian states gave rise to a wide variety of constitutional solutions and class structures throughout Italy. Even conquered territories and those swallowed up by bigger neighboring powers often managed to retain much of their internal organization as it had been.¹

This means that if power changed hands, the instruments and forms of power usually remained the same. Since the economic needs of such territories did not suddenly alter with a change of government or master, those classes which had been important before the change tended to continue to be important afterwards as well. Only when the nature of the change was economic and social might there have been a reversal in the relationships of classes; but even in this there was no sudden revolution in the structure of classes.

¹ Peter Laven, Renaissance Italy, p. 130-31.

Why this is plagiarism: This form of plagiarism involves an incomplete and misleading citation of a source. The general rule is to cite after rather than before resource material. The plagiarist credits historian Peter Laven with two sentences but then continues using the author without giving acknowledgment. The student writer disguises the direct plagiarism as a paraphrase by using the phrase “This means that …” in the third sentence. This example of plagiarism looks intentional, because the plagiarist demonstrates knowledge of the rules regarding citation, but then misrepresents the ideas after the direct quote as her or his own, instead of acknowledging Laven.

Example 2: **

Original version: Tieger, Paul D. & Barron-Tieger, B. (2001). Do what you are. Boston, MA: Little, Brown, and Company.

There is a new term on the horizon: ‘mobile entrepreneurs’. For the most part, mobile entrepreneurs are professionals who start their own businesses, using the skills, knowledge, and contacts they accumulated in previous jobs. Many establish themselves as independent consultants, while others continue to work for the same company but perform their jobs from their homes.

Plagiarized version:

Some professionals, after years of working as employees in corporations, decide to embark on entrepreneurship, mostly as private consultants (Tieger & Barron-Tieger, 2001). That is to say, that these professionals have enough skills, knowledge, and contacts acquired in previous positions to make them decide to start their own business.

Reference: Tieger, Paul D. & Barron-Tieger, B. (2001). Do what you are. Boston, MA: Little, Brown, and Company.

Why this is plagiarism:
Although the plagiarist cites the source in the text and provides a a full citation in the references page (APA style) , the writer only acknowledges using the authors’ ideas in the first sentence. Continuing to use the authors’ ideas without proper citation is plagiarism.

Insufficient Acknowledgment, Northwestern University
** Plagiarism for Insufficient Acknowledgment, Florida International University

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