Q: Would this scenario be considered plagiarism?

Detailed Question -

While writing an article about best dog breeds for children, a writer reads one article, called '20 Dog Breeds that are Great with Babies.' She includes just the top three breeds from this list in her article (no others) and rewrites the information from the blurbs associated with each. She does not use other sources, but she does hyperlink to this source. She does not use attribution. Is this plagiarism?

2 Answers to this question

Your question isn’t based in scientific or academic publishing, which is what this site and forum are about. However, it is about plagiarism. So, we’ll take the question. :-)

So, it’s great that you have provided some information about the scenario. However, specifics would have helped. Without those, here’s what we can say.

Firstly, while the writer may not have directly attributed the original author, she has provided the original link. So, that should suffice, especially as this doesn’t seem to be an academic article (but more like a general interest article).

As for plagiarism, without the specifics (that is, without seeing the two pieces), it would be difficult to gauge whether she’s plagiarized (as she has attempted to rewrite the information in her words), and if so, to what extent. So, it might help to run a plagiarism check using a tool such as iThenticate or TurnItIn.

Now, rather than guilty of possibly being plagiarized, the writer’s article would be guilty of inadequate referencing. She has referred to only one article, that too, the blurbs for only three sections, to write her piece. Of course, it could be a short piece, but for a solid, well-founded article, it helps to reference adequately. This typically comes through doing a comprehensive literature search, which you can know more about here: Effective literature searching

Hope that helps


Copying word-for-word from another source without putting the original words within quotation marks and adding a citation referring to the original source. Even if you are putting the ideas from that source into your own words, you still must credit the source.

So we all know that you cannot take the ideas from another text, even when you are putting them completely into your own words, without citing the source. But there is a more insidious kind of plagiarism that can take place when you are paraphrasing someone else's work. If you change the order of words or ideas from the original source, and use some of your own words mixed in with the original words, you are still plagiarizing even when you cite the source. In this first example, even though the student has credited the source with a citation, which is good, s/he has not put the original text completely into her/his own words and has attempted to deceive the reader by making the text appear to be a paraphrase of the original by turning the order back-to-front.


Here you could find some specifics https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/citations/plagiarism