Exercise 8: Distinguish Between Summaries and Paraphrases

Below is a quotation followed by three samples, one of which inadvertantly plagiarizes. See if you can identify what each sample is (a paraphrase or a summary), and see if you can "catch" the one that inadvertently plagiarizes.

Quotation: "Empire State College has a policy describing the conditions under which students may be warned or withdrawn from the College for such unethical academic behavior as plagiarism, forgery, misrepresentation, or other dishonest or deceptive acts which constitute grounds for warning or administrative withdrawal" (CDL Student Handbook 5).

Samples

  1. The Student Handbook states that the College may dismiss students who in any way present others' work as their own (5). [MLA format]
  2. According to policy in the Student Handbook, Empire State College may take punitive action (including dismissal) against students who act fraudulently. Fraudulent action includes using the words or ideas of others without proper attribution, falsifying documents, or depicting the words of others as one's own (1992, p. 5). [APA format]
  3. The Student Handbook states that the College has a policy that describes the different instances under which students may be withdrawn from the College. These instances include plagiarism, forgery, misrepresentation, and other instances that show dishonest or deceptive practice (1992, p. 5). [APA format]

Explanation

Number 1 is the summary; it has condensed the source and articulates the main idea.

Number 2 is an appropriate paraphrase. The writer has used her own words and sentence structure to relate the essence of the source.

Number 3 is a paraphrase that inadvertently plagiarizes because it retains too much of the source's language and sentence structure.

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