What is it, and how can you prevent it By Cody Deibel
Merriam-Webster Definition There are Four main ideas that encompass Plagiarism To present a pre-existing idea as your own, new idea To use someone else’s work as your own To commit literary theft To pass off ideas or words of another as your own (includes paraphrasing).
Example #1Alex has a paper he needs to finish for his History class covering the main causes of World War II. He asks his friend James if he could help him, because James took the same class. James lets Alex use his paper he created and used on the assignment three semesters ago. Alex turns in James paper with his own name on it.
Example #2Jessica is looking for information for her paper regarding outsourcing. She looks online and finds an article outlining the pro’s and con’s of outsourcing. In her paper she lists the same pro’s and con’s, but in a different order. Jessica also does not use footnotes, citations, or quotations of any kind to indicate the original source.
How to Spot Plagiarism Here are four ways a teacher can spot plagiarism according to UCLA.edu Change of Voice within work Change of Topic Professional-sounding writing Student absence
Change of Voice within work“Marked shifts in vocabulary, tone, or sentence structure within a given piece of writing can indicate purloined passages. Usually students will insert more sophisticated prose into their own work.”http://write.oid.ucla.edu/plagiarism/spot
Change of Topic“Assigning pre-writing work has the benefit of your becoming familiar with a student’s approach to the assignment. A red flag should go up when the student turns in a radically different slant on the assignment.”http://write.oid.ucla.edu/plagiarism/spot
Professional-sounding writing“A piece of writing that is “too good” or professional-sounding may be plagiarized. And it probably doesn’t correspond to the student’s writing you’ve read previously.”http://write.oid.ucla.edu/plagiarism/spot
Student absence“Be suspicious when a student has not attended section meetings, lecture, or office hours, yet turns in high-quality work drawing on those discussions.”http://write.oid.ucla.edu/plagiarism/spot
Prevention MethodsWriteshop.com gives excellent advice for how to avoid plagiarism in your classroom. Establish a Policy against plagiarism Reinforcing the Ruleshttp://www.writeshop.com/blog/2010/09/10 /plagiarism-committing-literary-theft/
Uses of Establishing a PolicyEstablishing a Policy against plagiarism is the first step to help prevent it in your classroom. Students know that plagiarism is not taken lightly in your classroom. Students know the consequences of plagiarizing in your classroom.
Policy ExampleThis is an example of a policy taken from writeshop.com “Plagiarism is the illegitimate use of another person’s words and/or ideas without giving appropriate credit to the original source. Such attempts to copy someone else’s work and call it your own is a very serious offense that will not be tolerated and will have significant consequences. All work done for this class must be your own original composition. When writing, you are required to properly cite any source you use—published or unpublished, from a book or from the Internet. Failure to do so will result in a zero grade for the assignment.” http://www.writeshop.com/blog/2010/09/10/plagiarism-committing- literary-theft/
Question #1Which of the following could not considered plagiarizing?A. Using someone else’s words as your ownB. To express another person’s writing in your own wordsC. Turning in someone else’s original work as your own.D. To use a specific pre-existing idea as your own
Question #2True / False:Paraphrasing without proper citation is considered plagiarism.
Question #3The following are ways to help spot plagiarism in a student’s assignment:A. Change of voice within workB. Abrupt change in topicC. Professional sounding writingD. Ask the student if he/she plagiarized on the assignment