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Case Study 3: The Canadian Family

The Original Material:

Canada

  • The proportion of "traditional" families continues to decline
  • Same-sex common-law couples: Male couples outnumber female couples
  • Common-law relationships in Quebec: Proportion reaches similar level as in Sweden
  • Canadian household size declining and living alone on the rise
  • More seniors living with a spouse, more living alone and fewer living in health care institutions
  • More children living with common-law parents
  • More young adults living with their parents

Source: Canada. Statistics Canada. "Profile of Canadian families and households: Diversification continues." 2001 Census Analysis Series. 22 October 2002. Accessed 22 October 2002. <http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products/analytic/companion/fam/contents.cfm>


Writing Sample 1:

Canadian families are becoming more diverse and the number of "traditional" families is decreasing. Households today are smaller and those in them are increasingly people living by themselves, seniors living with their partners, children living with common-law couples, and parents living with young adults.

Does this writing sample display academic integrity?

banned circle No. This passage contains both direct borrowings and information lifted from the original source. Although the information appears to be "factual" (not, for instance, an opinion or theory), it cannot be taken as "common knowledge" because it represents findings of specific research, namely the Canadian Census. Claims such as "the proportion of 'traditional' families continues to decline" must be supported by a specific source.

Although the second sentence compresses the Census findings from the Statistics Canada report, it appears as if the information is the writer's own material.


Writing Sample 2:

A recent report from the 2001 Census Analysis Series observes that Canadian families are becoming more diverse. The report shows that households today are smaller and those in them are increasingly people living by themselves, seniors living with their partners, children living with common-law couples, and parents living with young adults. At the same time, "the proportion of 'traditional' families continues to decline" (Canada 2002).

Does this writing sample display academic integrity?

check mark Yes. This passage is similar to Sample 1 except that writer has acknowledged that the information presented comes from a Census report. This is achieved by using the signal phrase "a recent report from..." at the beginning of the text and a citation in parentheses at the end. In addition, a direct quotation is used in the final sentence.

A recent report from the 2001 Census Analysis Series observes that Canadian families are becoming more diverse. The report shows that households today are smaller and those in them are increasingly people living by themselves, seniors living with their partners, children living with common-law couples, and parents living with young adults. At the same time, "the proportion of 'traditional' families continues to decline" (Canada 2002).
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