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#5 - Oscar: I have been accused of plagiarizing the work of

mcdonom4
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Hello!

I'm having trouble distinguishing the difference between answer choices (A) and (D) of question 5. I've gone over and over the two, but they both seem to say the same thing?

A little help would be great! :)
Charlie Melman
PowerScore Staff
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Hi M,

In the stimulus, Oscar says that his using words without attribution is not plagiarism because he had permission from the original author to use her words. Millie says that Oscar's analysis addresses only one part of plagiarism: it does not address the fact that Oscar is lying to his readers about where the words came from, since the readers don't know about the original source.

We want to support Oscar's position. Answer choice (A) says that authors can't quote other authors without permission. But that's not the issue here: we know that Oscar did have permission, and Millie says that having permission isn't enough. So supporting Oscar would mean showing that having permission is enough.

Answer choice (D) does that. By saying that an author is "entitled" to quote another author freely if the other author has given permission, (D) establishes that doing what Oscar did—quoting with permission—is sufficient to avoid plagiarism. Since Oscar satisfied this sufficient condition, it doesn't matter that he didn't cite.

Hope this helps!
mcdonom4
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Thank you so much, that definitely makes things more clear!
Hazel03
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Hi, While reading option (D) it seemed that it brought in additional information - that no where does an author having to give up their claim to the material means the same as giving permission in private. Am i missing crucial links? :(
Jay Donnell
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Hi Hazel03!

The key to answer choice D here is the particularity of the language within the principle, especially in regards to the word exclusive.

Your paraphrasing of 'give up the claim to their material' was I believe here a dangerous shifting of the exact language in the answer.

We know that through Myers gave permission to Oscar for the use of some of her written material in his recent article. We also know what this permission was given through private correspondence, but that detail didn't end up being particularly poignant.
But what we do know is that she allowed him to use her work, which means she no longer claims the work can only be used by her, so she no longer claims exclusive right to the material.

That fact allows us to activate the principle used in D, since her allowing access to Oscar is consistent with giving up her exclusive rights to the material. The rest of the principle then claims that in such a case "an author is entitled to quote freely without attribution the work of a writer," which serves to strengthen Oscar's claims that his accusations of plagiarism are unwarranted.

I hope that helps!