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Plagiarism for Students: Understanding and Avoiding: Patchwriting

Patchwriting Definition

“Copying from a source text and then deleting some words, altering grammatical structures, or plugging in one-for-one synonym-substitutes.”
 

Howard, Rebecca Moore. “A Plagiarism Pentimento.” Journal of Teaching Writing  vol. 11, no. 2, Jan.1992, pp. 233–45. http://www.citationproject.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Howard-Plagiarism-Pentimento.pdf

 

Patchwriting is an attempt to put a source into your own words, but still fails to be a synthesis of the original. While it appears to put things in your own words, it’s still too close to the original.

For example:

•Patching over the original source with substitutions or deletions.
•Reflecting the original structure or organization by not producing a fully independent claim.
•Incomplete citations.

Why is patchwriting a problem?

Why is patchwriting a problem?

Patchwriting doesn’t demonstrate synthesis or a full understanding of the original source. Substituting synonyms or rewording the structure of the statements is patchwriting and is not synthesis of information.

While it appears to put things in your own words, it’s still too close to the original. It appears to give credit to the source, but doesn’t acknowledge just how much is still mimicking the original source’s language and sentence structure.

Example of Patchwriting

Source Text                                                                                      Student Paraphrase

undefined                                                          undefined

undefined                        undefined

 

 

From Sharkey-Smith, Matt. “Patchwork Paraphrasing.” Walden University Writing Center. 27 May 2014.     http://waldenwritingcenter.blogspot.com/2014/05/patchwork-paraphrasing.html