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Academic Integrity & Plagiarism

This guide provides examples of plagiarism, and tips and resources to help students avoid plagiarism.

Original source (text)

My earliest attraction to mythology was based on a fascination with the dramatic action of the narratives and the aura of magic that pervades the world in which the action takes place. But gradually I realized that on another level those marvelous tales were metaphorical expressions of essential aspects of the human condition. Each social group had obviously developed a mythology by which it could understand the basic experiences of its existence, such as creation, nature, and death. Although their mythological stories might not be literally true, they do by analogy capture the essential truth both of the society's world view and of the basic nature of being. Von Franz says that when man attempts to explain the unknown, he is likely to depend on imagery from what he does know or on archetypal images which come out of his own inner experiences.1 Later I realized that these images are also found in primitive art. Mitchell explains that visual representation is "not radically distinct from language,"2 and Elizabeth Abel contends that the underlying concepts of myth and art are similar in that both express a "common inner source whose subject matter changes but whose nature is the same."3 I was challenged to investigate the common denominators of the verbal and visual expressions of these insights and to do a comparative study of their metaphoric forms.

            1Marie-Louise von Franz, Patterns of Creativity Mirrored in Creation Myths (Zurich: Spring Publications, 1978), 5. Von Franz bases her conclusions on the images she has found on maps of antiquity.

            2W. J. T. Mitchell, “Spatial Form in Literature: Toward a General Theory,” The Language of Images, ed. W. J. T. Mitchell (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), 296. Mitchell reinforces his point with a quote from Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations: “A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably.” (271).

            3Elizabeth Abel, “Redefining the Sister Art of Delacroix,” The Language of Images, ed. W. J. T. Mitchell (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), 41.

Patchwork Plagiarism

I was attracted to mythology because of my childhood fascination with the dramatic action of the magic-like stories they contain. Now, in college I realize that there is another level to the marvelous tales; they are metaphorical expressions of essential aspects of the human condition. All cultures seem to have a mythology that helps them understand the basic experiences of their existence. Even though many of these myths could never be scientifically proved, they do seem to parallel the meaning of a society’s belief.  When people attempt to explain the unknown, they use archetypal images which come out of inner experiences.  I realized  too that some of these images can be found in primitive art which is not radically distinct from language, which shows that the underlying concepts of myth and art are similar because they both express the same subject matter which changes but whose nature is the same. My paper will investigate the common denominators of the verbal and visual expressions of these ideas and I will compare their metaphoric forms.

Comment

Changing a single word in a passage otherwise quoted verbatim does not produce a paraphrase. The starred passage (**) would still need to be in quotation marks and footnoted; the changes you make within a quoted passage should go in square brackets, as do all editorial changes and additions; ellipsis marks are used to indicate omissions from the source being quoted. Thus the starred (*) sentence above should be: I realized too that some of these images can be “found in primitive art . . . [which] is not radically distinct from language” according to Mitchell which shows, Elizabeth Abel says “that the underlying concepts of myth and art are similar.” The footnote number would then follow the quotation marks. When whole phrases are lifted out and are put into a framework of your own wording or into a “different” arrangement of the original, the result is also called plagiarism. In the example given, the [red words] are lifted verbatim from the original. Though you would never be expected to put quotation marks merely around such phrases as “I realized,” “when people attempt to explain,” or “inner experiences,” since they are part of our common idiom, you could not write such a sentence as the one marked ** and call it your own. This “rearrangement” is not really a paraphrasing. The sentence preceding it might be called a paraphrase but would still need a footnote; it is very awkwardly stated because the implications of the idea expressed were obviously not very clear to the writer. If all the underlined phrases were in quotation marks, the paragraph would resemble an old-fashioned patchwork quilt. It would also be quite unreadable and certainly not original. Not only is Markman not given credit for her work in the plagiarized version, but the sources she carefully documented have also been plagiarized.”


Markman, Robert H, et al. 10 Steps in Writing the Research Paper. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc, 2001.