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I am being prosecuted by my school for plagiarism. However, I had no idea I was plagiarizing. They claim I incorrectly cited my source. But I beg to differ.

Generally, how does one cite a source's quote that is cited elsewhere in said source?

The example for which I am subject to prosecution: Talking about the negative effects of pornography, I found the article “7 Negative Effects of Porn”. In this article, I found the following quote:

As men fall deeper into the mental habit of fixating on [pornographic images], the exposure to them creates neural pathways. Like a path is created in the woods with each successive hiker, so do the neural paths set the course for the next time an erotic image is viewed. Over time these neural paths become wider as they are repeatedly traveled with each exposure to pornography. They become the automatic pathway through which interactions with women are routed

In the article above, the author cites this specific quote as (Wired For Intimacy, 85). So, as that does not belong to the author of the article, that is how I cited that quote in my project.

If anyone has insight into this exceedingly peculiar and special case, please share. I am really looking for some clarity.

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    You need legal advice and/or you might want to ask this question on Writing. Did you provide a link to the original (Wired for Intimacy) source and/or fuller details of the book? If not, you should have. Also, note that your direct source has indicated alterations to the original by square brackets and ellipsis; hence you have also quoted the intervening alterations. Personally, I would have been inclined to acknowledge both sources; e.g. (1) "taken from direct source, quoting orig. source"; or (2) from orig. source as quoted by direct source. – TrevorD Aug 23 '13 at 23:45
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    This question probably is on topic at Writing. – MetaEd Aug 24 '13 at 5:03
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    In addition to @TrevorD’s wordings (which are intended to be written as part of the copy), a very common way to cite quotes-in-quotes is using the preposition apud. Depending on your style sheet, your reference may then look something like, “[…] through which interactions with women are routed. (Struthers 2009: 85 apud Stockman 2011)”. Both Struthers’ and Stockman’s works would have to be expanded to full bibliographic detail in your reference list, of course. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 10 '13 at 21:55
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    This question appears belongs on Writers – Rory Alsop Jul 22 '14 at 8:34
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If you find material in document A that quotes document B, you must reference both documents in your cites.

The rationale for this is that selecting what's important and relevant is work and you must give credit for that work.

From the Yale College Writing Centre:

If the source you’re reading quotes another text, and you want to use that quoted material in your own essay, you must give credit to the author who originally selected the quotation.

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Always cite the primary source if the quote in the secondary source is identical; ei, you should have cited the book the web article quoted from, not the web article.

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  • Thanks for the response. That is my point, though. I cited the book and not the web article. Thus, I am extremely confused. – James Graham Aug 23 '13 at 23:34
  • @MouldySquid If you check the links you will find that that is precisely what he did! – TrevorD Aug 23 '13 at 23:59

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