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Online Tutorial on Academic Integrity
Plagiarism: Direct "Patchwork" Plagiarism
Definition

Direct "patchwork" plagiarism occurs when a writer copies material from several writers and rearranges that material with no attempt to acknowledge the original sources.

Example Source Text

Colonialism had a destabilizing effect on what had been a number of ethnic groups that is still being felt in African politics. Before European influence, national borders were not much of a concern, with Africans generally following the practice of other areas of the world, such as the Arabian peninsula, where a group's territory was congruent with its military or trade influence.

"Africa : Politics." Wikipedia. 31 Aug. 2005. Retrieved Aug. 31 2005, from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Africa#Politics

In the 1870s European nations were bickering over themselves about the spoils ofAfrica. In order to prevent further conflict between them, they convened at the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 to lay down the rules on how they would partition up Africa between themselves. Between 1870 and World War I alone, the European scramble for Africa resulted in the adding of around one-fifth of the land area of the globe to its overseas colonial possessions.

Shah, Anup. "Introduction." Conflicts in Africa. 27 Feb. 2005. Retrieved Aug. 31 2005, from
http://www.globalissues.org/Geopolitics/Africa/Intro.asp

Draft

Colonialism had a destabilizing effect on what had been a number of ethnic groups that is still being felt in African politics. In the 1870s European nations were bickering over themselves about the spoils of Africa. Between 1870 and World War I alone, the European scramble for Africa resulted in the adding of around one-fifth of the land area of the globe to its overseas colonial possessions. Prior to European influence, national borders were not much of a concern, with Africans generally following the practice of other areas of the world, such as the Arabian peninsula, where a group's territory was congruent with its military or trade influence.

Explanation

Like direct plagiarism, patchwork plagiarism occurs when a writer makes use of material taken almost word-for-word from several sources with no attempt to acknowledge the original sources. What sets patchwork plagiarism apart from direct plagiarism, however, is that, in patchwork plagiarism, the writer creatively weaves the source materials together with his or her own words into a paragraph that is a mixture of plagiarized and original material.

To eliminate this type of plagiarism, you should acknowledge each source that your ideas came from and either enclose the words taken directly from each source in quotation marks or paraphrase the material into your own words.

Corrected Draft

The echoes of colonialism throughout the world can still be felt in today's global political sphere. In the mid-19th and early 20th centuries, several European nations were in conflict over rights to African land and resources, and eventually "around one-fifth of the land area of the globe" (Global Issues "Conflicts in Africa") was colonized by European nations. One major repercussion of colonialism is in the existence of African borders, which were "not much of a concern" (Wikipedia "Africa: Politics") before Europeans colonized the globe, but are now the cause of much conflict throughout the world.

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