Unreferenced quotes and passages
code | scenario | smart strategies | consequences
Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters
1. It shall be an offence for a student knowingly:
(d) to represent as one’s own an idea or expression of an idea or work of another in any academic examination or term test or in connection with any other form of academic work, i.e. to commit plagiarism;
Wherever in the Code an offence is described as depending on “knowing”, the offence shall likewise be deemed to have been committed if the person ought reasonably to have known.
Scenario – Unreferenced quotes and passages
You are a first-year MA student, preparing a final paper worth 30% of the grade for your course. You are asked to write on contemporary media theory and would like to include Marshall McLuhan. As you are reading McLuhan, you struggle to understand and put his work into your own words. You also struggle with the idea that you are to try and put McLuhan’s words into your own, because it seems insulting to suggest you could express this legendary scholar’s ideas better than he has. You decide to include passages from McLuhan but do not correctly quote all instances. You believe that because you have mentioned that you are talking about his work, then this is an appropriate way of attributing aspects of your paper to McLuhan.
You have committed plagiarism by including direct passages without appropriate quotes or references. As a graduate student, you are still expected to meet referencing requirements and to seek assistance with preparing your paper as needed.
- Citations, quoting and paraphrasing; Taking notes; Information literacy and academic integrity;
- If a student is having difficulty understanding material, or theorists from class or for assignments, the student could speak with their instructors or fellow class mates for further clarification.
- Students should consider that it is always better to attempt to paraphrase work, then to simply rely on only direct quotations from sources. However, when student do use direct passages, proper quotation and citations are always required.
- Graduate students have access to a number of resources to assist with paper writing and language skills such as the The Graduate Centre for Academic Communication, and workshops offered by the U of T Library.
- Consult the helpful document ‘How not to Plagiarize’ for more detail on avoiding plagiarism.
Range of Consequences
For a discussion of consequences see Key Consequences.