Skip navigation

Direct Plagiarism

Definition

Copying another writer's work with no attempt to acknowledge that the material was found in an external source is considered direct plagiarism.

Example Source Text

Normal science, the activity in which most scientists inevitably spend almost all their time, is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like. Much of the success of the enterprise derives from the community's willingness to defend that assumption, if necessary at considerable cost. Normal science, for example, often suppresses fundamental novelties because they are necessarily subversive of its basic commitments (5).

Kuhn, Thomas. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Draft

Normal science, the activity in which most scientists inevitably spend almost all their time, is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like. Some scientists say that the success of the enterprise comes from the community’s willingness to defend that assumption, if necessary at considerable cost. Normal science often suppresses fundamental novelties because they are necessarily subversive of its basic commitments.

Explanation

In instances of direct plagiarism, the writer takes most of his or her draft almost word-for-word from another source. Even though the writer eliminates some sentences from the original, she or he still uses another person's words and ideas and tries to pass them off as his or her own. The writer uses no quotation marks to distinguish his or her own words from those that are from the source, and she or he provides no citations to acknowledge that the material comes from another source.

To avoid this type of plagiarism, you must acknowledge that your ideas and/or words came from a source and either enclose the words taken directly from the source in quotation marks or paraphrase the material into your own words. (Note: Paraphrasing is expressing the information from a source with your own words without changing the meaning of the original source.)

Corrected Draft

Thomas Kuhn asserts that scientific research "is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like" (5). Because this assumption is the foundation of most scientific knowledge, scientists are willing to go to great lengths to defend it, even to the point of suppressing substantial new information that would undermine the basic proposition (Kuhn 5).

Kuhn, Thomas. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.