Relying Too Much on Other People's Material

A common forms of plagiarism is relying too much on other people's material; that is, repeated use of long quotations (even with quotation marks and with proper acknowledgement).


Australia's national identity "has always been contested" (Wignam, 1994:38). However, some images of Australianness 'have proliferated more widely than others' (Taylor, 2000:179). The most prominent and "resilient of national types has been the bushman" (Zatakis, 1977:66). After first appearing

in the art and literature of late colonial Australia, consolidated and modified by the ANZAC mythology of C.E.W. Bean, filmed by George Chauvel and Peter Weir, embodied by Bradman and Waugh, beloved of John Howard and Bob Carr, the figure of the bushman still holds centre stage in debates about Australianness despite his irrelevance to most Australians' everyday lives (Strauss, 1999: 1).

Indeed,"'attempts to produce other national imaginaries like, for example, multiculturalism, have in the last decade lost ground to a resurgent Australian legend" (Wetherall, 2003:71).

Why is it unacceptable?

In this example the writer has constructed a paragraph in which every sentence has been taken more or less directly from another source. By using so many different quotations the writer has not really included his or her own voice.

Note: Some students use long quotes to 'pad out' their assignments and reach a set word limit. However, in some schools direct quotations do not count towards the word limit; so, constructing these sorts of paragraphs serves no real purpose. When you use a direct quotation, make it count!