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Case Study 1: Modern Retail Trends

In this case, we will look at developing a paraphrase from an original source.

The Original Material:

During the 1990s, Canada began a major transformation from a predominantly young to a predominantly middle-aged society. For that reason, retailing in Canada entered a new era of quality and service. In the years to come, stores that compete on the basis of quality and service will have a much better chance of success than stores that compete solely on the basis of price.

Source: Foot, David K., with Daniel Stoffman. Boom, Bust & Echo 2000: Profiting from the Demographic Shift in the New Millennium. Toronto: MacFarlane Walter & Ross, 1998. 109-110.


Writing Sample 1:

Over the past decade, Canada has started to change dramatically from a mainly young society to one that's middle-aged. As a result, Canadian retail has entered a new age of quality and service. In the years to come, stores that compete on the basis of quality and service will fare better than those based on lower prices.

Does this writing sample display academic integrity?

banned circle No. This example is a poor attempt at using Professor Foot's original passage without acknowledgement. In it, several words and phrases are substituted by others—however, much of the original phrasing and organization remains the same, as shown below. As it stands, the text appears to represent the writer's ideas rather than those of Professor Foot's and therefore is plagiarism.

Substitutions are shown in {red text with curly brackets}. Original phrases are shown in [blue text with square brackets]. Note that there is no citation at the end.

{Over the past decade}, Canada {has started to change dramatically} [from a] {mainly} young society to one that's middle-aged. {As a result,} Canadian retail has [entered a new] {age} [of quality and service. In the years to come, stores that compete on the basis of quality and service will] {fare better than} those based on lower prices (no citation!).

 

Writing Sample 2:

In his book, Boom, Bust & Echo 2000 (1998), David Foot observes that Canadian society is changing dramatically from a mainly young society to one that's middle-aged. He predicts that this shift will alter the nature of retail as consumers are becoming more interested in dealing with stores that offer quality products and service rather than those offering lower prices (109-110).

Does this writing sample display academic integrity?

check mark Yes. In this example it is clear that the main idea and line of reasoning came from Professor Foot's research, and not the writer's. The passage begins with a signal phrase to indicate that someone else's idea is being used, and ends with a citation so that the reader can easily locate the original source of the information. In addition, the full reference of the source will be included in the bibliography.

The signal phrase is shown in {green text with curly brackets}. The citation is shown in (blue text with parentheses).

{In his book, Boom, Bust & Echo 2000 (1998), David Foot observes} that Canadian society is changing dramatically from a mainly young society to one that's middle-aged. He predicts that this shift will alter the nature of retail as consumers are becoming more interested in dealing with stores that offer quality products and service rather than those offering lower prices (109-110).


Writing Sample 3:

Experts have been forecasting shifts in the Canadian retail market for some time now. David K. Foot, for example, predicted in 1998 that at the beginning of the new millennium bargain basement retailers are going to have a tougher time competing for their market share than those that offer quality products. In his book, Boom, Bust and Echo, Professor Foot attributes this shift to the fact that Canada is changing to a "predominantly middle-aged society" where the majority of consumers will favour quality and service over price (109-110).

check mark Yes. In this example, Professor Foot's ideas are used to illustrate a larger theme. The author and the source of the information are provided as a context for the idea being discussed, and the reader can easily locate the original material. Quotation marks are used around "predominantly middle-aged society," a phrase drawn directly from the original text. In this example, as in the one above, the full citation will be included in the reference page at the end of the paper.

References to the author are shown here in {green text with curly brackets}. The source of the information is shown in [blue text with square brackets], and in the citation in parentheses at the end. Note the direct quotation shown in red inside quotation marks.

Experts have been forecasting shifts in the Canadian retail market for some time now. {David K. Foot, for example, predicted in 1998} that at the beginning of the new millennium bargain basement retailers are going to have a tougher time competing for their market share than those that offer quality products. {In his book,} [Boom, Bust and Echo,] {Professor Foot} attributes this shift to the fact that Canada is changing to a "predominantly middle-aged society" where the majority of consumers will favour quality and service over price (109-110).

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