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Li Ka Shing Library

How do I avoid Plagiarism: DON'Ts

Guide on what to check before you 'copy and paste'

You have been warned!

Copying, citing and paraphrasing

Now let us take closer look at things that we should avoid: wholesale copying, cut and paste, lack of acknowledgement and inappropriate paraphrase.

Original version from How to open a financially successful coffee, espresso & tea shop (Godsmark, Brown & Arduser, 2000) 

To a large extent, the expansion of the retail gourmet coffee industry has also generated a consumer penchant for specialty teas, particularly organic and gourmet herbal teas. Other possible contributory factors that may account for the increasing popularity of specialty teas are increasing health awareness among customers and maybe simply a desire to return to the more leisurely and sociable lifestyle associated with the British tradition of pausing to take tea.



Version 1

To a large extent, the expansion of the retail gourmet coffee industry has also generated a consumer penchant for specialty teas, particularly organic and gourmet herbal teas. Other possible contributory factors that may account for the increasing popularity of specialty teas are increasing health awareness among customers and maybe simply a desire to return to the more leisurely and sociable lifestyle associated with the British tradition of pausing to take tea.

This is wholesale copying, blatant copy and paste. It has neither quotation marks/block quotes nor acknowledgement of the source.



Version 2

Godsmark, Brown and Arduser mention that the expansion of the retail gourmet coffee industry has also generated a consumer penchant for specialty teas, particularly organic and gourmet herbal teas. Other possible contributory factors that may account for the increasing popularity of specialty teas are increasing health awareness among customers and maybe simply a desire to return to the more leisurely and sociable lifestyle associated with the British tradition of pausing to take tea.

This is still copy and paste. The source was mentioned, but the paragraph was copied almost word for word without quotation marks/block quotes that indicate the direct quotations.

Improved version 2

Godsmark, Brown and Arduser (2000) mention that "the expansion of the retail gourmet coffee industry has also generated a consumer penchant for specialty teas, particularly organic and gourmet herbal teas. Other possible contributory factors that may account for the increasing popularity of specialty teas are increasing health awareness among customers and maybe simply a desire to return to the more leisurely and sociable lifestyle associated with the British tradition of pausing to take tea" (p. 113).

Although improved version 2 is basically correct, but try to minimize direct quotes. Don't quote the entire paragraph if a short phrase is sufficient. Too many direct quotes will dampen your writing.



Version 3

There are three factors that may contribute to the increasing popularity of specialty teas, such as organic and gourmet herbal tea. Expansion of the retail gourmet coffee industry is one of the contributing factors. Others are consumer's increasing health awareness and "a desire to return to the more leisurely and sociable lifestyle" which is often associated with the British tradition of tea break.

This is inappropriate paraphrase. Although this version has rephrased the source but it failed to acknowledge the original source.

Improved version 3

According to Godsmark, Brown and Arduser (2000), there are three factors that may contribute to the increasing popularity of specialty teas, such as organic and gourmet herbal tea (p. 113). Expansion of the retail gourmet coffee industry is one of the contributing factors. Others are consumer's increasing health awareness and "a desire to return to the more leisurely and sociable lifestyle" which is often associated with the British tradition of tea break.

This version paraphrased and acknowledged its sources appropriately with minimum usage of direct quotes.



The use of electronic resources must comply with the Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources Policy and Singapore Management University Acceptable Use Policy