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Avoid Plagiarism 7-step form
This exercise teaches students the differences between plagiarism and proper paraphrasing.
Before you begin, read the “Intellectual Honesty” section of the Trinity College Student Handbook (
, usually starting around page 13.) Compare the examples of improper paraphrasing (which follows the structure of the original source too closely, regardless of a citation) versus proper paraphrasing (which restates the original source in one’s own diction and style, with a citation).
Next, read the original text, then answer the questions below. Your responses may be as short as one sentence each. When required, use ONE of these academic citation styles consistently in this exercise:
- MLA in-line parenthetical citations (Author page), plus a bibliography
- APA in-line parenthetical citations (Author year), plus a bibliography
- Chicago-style endnotes (for this exercise, insert a number in brackets, like this  ), with full reference at the end
Learn about different citation styles in my Zotero tutorial:
Amid these teacher wars, many extraordinary men and women worked in public school classrooms and offered powerful, grassroots ideas for how to improve American education. Henry David Thoreau, Susan B. Anthony, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Lyndon B. Johnson are just a few of the famous Americans who taught. They resisted the fantasy of educators as saints or saviors, and understood teaching as a job in which the potential for children’s intellectual transcendence and social mobility, though always present, is limited by real-word concerns such as poor training, low pay, inadequate supplies, inept administration, and impoverished students and families. These teachers’ stories, and those of less well-known teachers, propel this history forward and help us to understand why American teaching has evolved into such a peculiar profession, one attacked and admired in equal proportion.
Source: Dana Goldstein, The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession (New York: Anchor, 2015), p. 5.
1) Plagiarize word-for-word
Plagiarize any portion of the original text by copying portions of it word-for-word.
2) Plagiarize by paraphrasing too closely
Plagiarize any portion of the original text by paraphrasing its structure too closely, without copying it word-for-word.
3) Plagiarize by paraphrasing too closely with citation
Plagiarize any portion of the original text by paraphrasing its structure too closely, and add a citation (in MLA or APA format). Remember, even if you include a citation, paraphrasing too closely is still a form of plagiarism.
4) Properly paraphrase by restating with citation
Properly paraphrase any portion of the original text by restating the author’s ideas in your own diction and style, and include a citation (in MLA or APA format).
5) Properly paraphrase by restating and quoting, with citation
Properly paraphrase any portion of the original text by restating the author’s ideas in your own diction and style, AND supplement this with a direct quotation from any portion of the original. Include a citation (in MLA, APA, or Chicago-style format).
6) Bibliography or Endnote
Insert a full reference for the source used in the activity above, either as a bibliography (if you used MLA or APA) or as a numbered endnote (if you used Chicago-style). Do not worry about proper use of italics in this exercise, since they do not paste correctly in this on-line form.
7) Which citation style did you use for this exercise?
Modern Language Association (MLA) in-line citations
American Psychological Association (APA) in-line citations
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