A question about dissertation plagiarism.

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MRnightcookie
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I'm currently writing the literature review for my dissertation on a new theory in language learning motivation. The theory has links/connections and key differences to theories which came before. My question is, as the author of this new theory has already summarised the theories in which it is similar too (and has mentioned the differences and how this new theory expands and accounts for these differences), am I allowed to follow a similar style and use similar references in my literature review? I want to mention these theories/discuss them etc. and mention how this new theory ties loose ends. However, I want to be careful to avoid plagiarism. Obviously, I'm not going to copy any of the author's summarisations, but I want to use the same references.

Can anybody who has done a dissertation/lit-review and has maybe encountered the same dilemma as I have offer any advice?
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UWS
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(Original post by MRnightcookie)
I'm currently writing the literature review for my dissertation on a new theory in language learning motivation. The theory has links/connections and key differences to theories which came before. My question is, as the author of this new theory has already summarised the theories in which it is similar too (and has mentioned the differences and how this new theory expands and accounts for these differences), am I allowed to follow a similar style and use similar references in my literature review? I want to mention these theories/discuss them etc. and mention how this new theory ties loose ends. However, I want to be careful to avoid plagiarism. Obviously, I'm not going to copy any of the author's summarisations, but I want to use the same references.

Can anybody who has done a dissertation/lit-review and has maybe encountered the same dilemma as I have offer any advice?
You're supposed to explain things in your own words the best you can, so that you show that you understand what you've researched. If you can't summarise something, you can always quote a sentence if it helps, but definitely make sure you cite everything so you don't get pulled up for plagiarism.

It can help if you use multiple sources too, so it doesn't look like you're just rewording everything from one source. Think my literature review was spread across many sources to help with my explanation and research.
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doodle_333
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If possible try and find some other sources
if you're worried always ask your lecturer
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ollienbert
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(Original post by doodle_333)
If possible try and find some other sources
if you're worried always ask your lecturer
It is perhaps a bit late, but I would agree. I have been there at the start of background reading for my Masters dissertation. Your concerns mean that you have not done enough reading. Once you start following up a few of the other references things should start to fall into place and it will become your work.
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MRnightcookie
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(Original post by ollienbert)
It is perhaps a bit late, but I would agree. I have been there at the start of background reading for my Masters dissertation. Your concerns mean that you have not done enough reading. Once you start following up a few of the other references things should start to fall into place and it will become your work.
Hey, thanks for your reply. The thing is, it's a new theory and there just isn't much literature on it (4 journals and one book); the only literature being the theories that have been consulted to support it in the first place. I have used a fair amount of different literature and I have interpreted the literature that has already been used myself - no plagarism.
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ollienbert
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If you have done all of the literature searches you can and you have looked at all of the citations for the articles you are referencing you cannot be plagiarising. It is when you try to take other people's ideas as your own that you are plagiarising. You can even plagiarise yourself if you have published previously without referencing correctly.

Good luck with your writing.
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Petulia
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It's fine to use the same references as them as long as you're adding lots of your own references too and doing reading from other sources. Obviously don't draw the exact same conclusions as them. Even if you come to similar conclusions, you can suggest alternatives based on other literature you've read.
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