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Comm205: Research Methods in Communication 2021: Annotations


In an annotation of an article, you may be asked to:

  • summarize
  • assess
  • reflect


Your Annotation Assignment

You must identify:

  • Research questions asked (or hypotheses stated)
  • The method used to research the questions/hypotheses
  • The key concepts/theories used to explain the research
  • The conclusions reached

Paraphrase Versus Plagiarism: Examples

Original Source:

‘[A totalitarian] society … can never permit either the truthful recording of facts, or the emotional sincerity, that literary creation demands. … Totalitarianism demands … the continuous alteration of the past, and in the long run … a disbelief in the very existence of objective truth.’ 3


3. Bowker p. 337, quoting Orwell, G., “The Prevention of Literature,” Polemic, No. 2, January 1946

Student Version A -- Plagiarism

A totalitarian society can never permit the truthful recording of facts; it demands the continuous alteration of the past, and a disbelief in the
very existence of objective truth.

This is plagiarism; the student has combined copied pieces of the author’s language, without quotation marks or citations.

Student Version B -- Improper paraphrase, also plagiarism

A totalitarian society can’t be open-minded or allow the truthful recording of facts, but instead demands the constant changing of the
past and a distrust of the very existence of objective truth. (Orwell)

This is plagiarism because the student has woven together sentences and switched a few words (“open-minded” for “tolerant,” “allow” for “permit”) has left out some words, and has given an incomplete and inaccurate citation: the text is attributed to Orwell rather than to Bowker, and there's no page number.

Student Version C -- Appropriate paraphrase, not plagiarism

Orwell believed that totalitarian societies must suppress literature and free expression because they cannot survive the truth, and thus they claim it does not exist. (Bowker) pp. 336-337

This student has paraphrased using her own words, accurately reflecting and citing the author’s ideas.

Student Version D -- Quotation with cite, not plagiarism

In his biography of George Orwell, Gordon Bowker discusses the themes of 1984, quoting a 1946 essay by Orwell: “’Totalitarianism demands … the continuous alteration of the past, and in the long run … a disbelief in the very existence of objective truth.’” (Bowker p. 337, quoting Orwell, 1946)

By introducing his source, the student signals that the following material is from that source. Verbatim words are in quotation marks, omitted words are marked by ellipses (…), and both the book used and the original source of the quote are cited.

**This text is used with permission from UC Davis Div. of Student Affairs, Office of Student Judicial Affairs: "Avoiding Plagiarism: mastering the art of scholarship" (

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