Mosaic Plagiarism: Example 1

Here is an example of student writing and source material that illustrates mosaic plagiarism, shown in red:

Student Writer's passage:

Only two years later, all these friendly Sioux were suddenly plunged into new conditions, including starvation, martial law on all their reservations, and constant urging by their friends and relations to join in warfare against the treacherous government that had kept faith with neither friend nor foe.

Source passage, from Helen Hunt Jackson, A Century of Dishonor: A Sketch of the United States Government's Dealings with Some of the Indian Tribes New York: Harper, 1881, p. 178:

Contrast the condition into which all these friendly Indians are suddenly plunged now, with their condition only two years previous: martial law now in force on all their reservations; themselves in danger of starvation, and constantly exposed to the influence of emissaries from their friends and relations, urging them to join in fighting this treacherous government that had kept faith with nobody &mdash neither with friend nor foe.

What is the infraction?

The student writer has borrowed, with only slight variations, an uncited phrase from the source. As written, the passage would not constitute a paraphrase (even if the student writer had acknowledged the source correctly!) because it contains key words from the original source that do not appear in quotation marks.

You can't just scramble somebody's eggs a little and sell them as your own omelet. That counts as kidnapping.

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