The background of the problem is similar to this question but the question is different. Is this plagiarism or something similar in a master's project?

As my work is of expository nature and 2 of the 5 papers which I have studied give background and motivation and even comparison of the methods used by them in other papers in beginning of the paper ( it is given as section 1 of the paper called "Introduction"). Example -> Imageenter image description here

So, in my rough draft of thesis I wrote about 65-70% of the lines written in this picture in not necessarily same grammatical language because the authors have given really nice explanation and background which I thought to be worth adding. Obviously, mathematical terms can't be different from that of authors in any line which I wrote.

Keeping in mind that I am doing expository work as my thesis doesn't prove any new result (I am giving detailed proofs of all the results which have only been outlined, in fact there were a lot of such proofs) and will cite the original papers in preface and others in reference, am I committing plagiarism by writing part of this "introduction" in my masters thesis where I will explain the proofs of lemma and theorem in the papers?

Any help will be deeply appreciated!!

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    Can you better explain? I'm struggling to follow – user2768 May 19 at 10:53
  • @user2768 question has been edited. Kindly have a look. If you have still problem in following, kindly be a bit more specific on where you are unable to follow? It will help me a lot in explaining further . – user795826 May 19 at 11:09
  • This sounds like a question for your supervisor. – nabla May 19 at 11:14
  • It is common in math that reusing definitions are not falling under plagiarism; it's like an API in computer libraries, it does not make sense to force readers through variations of definitions without added insight. However, this looks like a historical background and there must be more than one way to present the development of the field. If in doubt, ask the supervisor. – Captain Emacs May 19 at 11:17
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    In your thesis, is it clear to the reader that this particular section follows those two references very closely? – ff524 May 19 at 13:50

If you're copying 70% of a paper word-for-word into your thesis without citing the original authors, that is plagiarism.

If you're copying 70% of a paper word-for-word into your thesis but you do cite the original authors, the line is a bit more blurry. However, no matter whether your thesis is presenting original research or not, whoever marks it needs to know that you've understood what you're doing. Just copying most of a paper does not tell them that. My advice would be to read the papers first and then write your own summary of what they are saying, to convey your understanding.

Maybe I have misunderstood your question, but it sounds like you want to copy the wording in the original papers because you like how they have phrased their explanation. In my opinion, copying this without changing it is also plagiarism. The author worked hard on their explanation, and they likely have a different writing style to you.

Bottom line: it's your thesis. You need to explain things in your own words to reflect your own understanding. Add the correct references for the concepts but don't copy the original author's writing word-for-word.

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    It doesn't require word for word copying to be plagiarism. Plagiarism is about ideas, not about the specific words. But pure copying without citation makes plagiarism clear as it can be, of course. – Buffy May 19 at 14:46
  • Can copy the text as long as it is clearly marked as a quote and properly attributed. For short stretches (e.g. a definition, statement of a theorem, ...) you can get away with stating "The following is from A. N. Author, Bla and Bla" – vonbrand May 19 at 17:06

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