The Columbia Spectator writer fired for plagiarizing from The New York Times earlier this month was actually employing a dishonest writing technique that is common on college campuses and among journalists. A study directed by Rebecca Moore Howard, professor of writing and rhetoric at Syracuse University, suggests that much of the writing by college students is intellectually dishonest, but falls short of actual plagiarism. She is preparing to publish her findings in a book. Patchwriting is often a failed attempt at paraphrasing, Howard said.
If the paraphrasing is not done in a proper fashion, but resembles the source text that is, the text on which it is based too much, the risk of patchwriting occurs. Often, patchwriting is unintentional and it typically occurs when a paraphrase is too close to the original text, in structure as well as in style and vocabulary.
Even if there is a reference to the source text, rewritings of source texts in the form of word-by-word substitution for synonyms are not acceptable, since they are not regarded as original text. Or the student understands what she is reading but is new to the discourse.
She merges her voice with that of the source to create a pastiche over which she exercises a new-found control. Learning to write academic texts, writers struggle to acquire a new discipline-specific vocabulary and also a new style of phrasing their writing.
As Howard indicates, if a text is too difficult for a writer who is attempting to paraphrase it, the risk of patchwriting increases. In order to avoid patchwriting, careful handling of sources is, of course, essential, as well as knowledge about how to paraphrase.
If the writer wishes to use some phrasing from the source text, that portion of the text has to be quoted that is, reproduced in an exact manner within quotation marks. A study by Pecorari showed that student writers perceived patchwriting as "an alternative to quoting and paraphrasing which avoided the problems the writers associated with each" p.
The students interviewed were afraid of quoting too much and thought that paraphrasing was difficult as it risked not doing justice to the source text. Advice on how to paraphrase and quote in an efficient and correct manner is provided here: The passages that overlap have been highlighted.
Note how the attempted paraphrase the patchwriting is too close to the source; instead of paraphrasing the source text, there are word-for-word substitutions of synonyms and identical sentence structures.
Source text Example of patchwriting Teens are widely recognized as an influential consumer segment, both for the purchases they make themselves and for purchases over which they exert indirect control. Teens are frequently noted as a source of influence on family purchases.
In addition to the gifts they select for others, they also influence the gifts others select for them by vocalizing their material wants, including using such strategies as "wish lists.
The study includes the perspective of teens as both givers and receivers. Since teens can be expected to have many kinds of relationships with parents, with friends, with boyfriends and girlfriends, with relativesthey were seen as a perfect group for a study on the meaning of gift cards in the exchange of gifts.
Plagiarisms, authorships, and the academic death penalty. National Council of Teachers of English. Plagiarism and patchwriting in academic second-language writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 12, Are we encouraging patchwriting?
English for Specific Purposes, 27, Plagiarism is regarded as a heinous crime within the academic community, but anecdotal evidence suggests that some writers plagiarize without intending to transgress academic conventions.
Patchwriting Writers often refer to other texts through paraphrasing; when a text is paraphrased, it is re-written in the writer's own words and proper references are given.
If the paraphrasing is not done in a proper fashion, but resembles the source text (that is, the text on which it is based) too much, the risk of patchwriting occurs. May 04, · Learn what patchwriting is and how to avoid it. Grammarly: Free Writing Assistant. This website has been developed by Kelly McClanahan and Kenton Harsch to promote greater awareness of the complexities underlying plagiarism and patchwriting, and to provide a variety of resources for teachers or others who are interested in or dealing with .
Plagiarism is taking credit for someone’s intellectual work or ideas in assignments. It is an academically dishonest act. This tutorial defines plagiarism and helps increase skills to recognize and avoid plagiarism.