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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.

Lifting Out The Perfect Phrases

The aura of magic that pervades mythology and my early fascination with the dramatic action of the stories stimulated my interest in myths. That they were metaphorical expressions explaining creation, nature, and death was clear to me as I became more sophisticated. As metaphors they could by analogy capture the essential truth that was close to each social group so that it could understand the basic experiences of its existence. The imagery, when people attempt to explain the unknown comes from their own worldly experiences or from archetypal images that are part of their inner psyches as we find from illustrations found on maps of antiquity. Since art is not radically distinct from language,1 I would like to investigate the common denominators of the insights of primitive people as they expressed them verbally in their myths and visually in their art to see if the nature is the same and to study the metaphoric forms of each of them.

Underline: phrases lifted out of the original text

Yellow: paraphrases without footnotes

Comment

“Though more subtle and clever, this kind of plagiarism is similar to the preceding patchwork illustration. The “perfect phrases” irresistible to the writer here are underlined so you may spot them easily. However, the order in which they appear is often altered. The words that are [highlighted in yellow] might be called paraphrases but could not be used without footnotes. The phrasing “the insights of primitive people as they expressed them verbally in their myths and visually in their art” certainly reflects Markman’s idea and, though paraphrased, must be documented as having been quoted from Markman.”

Two other serious errors were made in this paragraph:

  1. Mitchell was cited in a footnote as if his article were a source used by the writer. (If you did not read the article, you may not cite it.)
  2. Not content with "lifting" material from the Preface, the writer has copied the words "found on maps of antiquity" from Marie-Louise von Franz so carefully quoted in Markman's footnotes.

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