Plagiarism: awareness-raising strategies to improve writing practices of 'home' and international undergraduate and postgraduate students
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Plagiarism: awareness-raising strategies to improve writing practices of 'home' and international undergraduate and postgraduate students

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paper delivered at CPUT in RSA at the English Academy for Southern Africa Conference, 7-9 Sept 2011

paper delivered at CPUT in RSA at the English Academy for Southern Africa Conference, 7-9 Sept 2011

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    Plagiarism: awareness-raising strategies to improve writing practices of 'home' and international undergraduate and postgraduate students Plagiarism: awareness-raising strategies to improve writing practices of 'home' and international undergraduate and postgraduate students Presentation Transcript

    • CPUT English Academy for Southern Africa Conference 7th – 9th Sept 2011, Cape Town, RSA Plagiarism: awareness-raising strategies to improve writing practices of ‘home’ and international undergraduate and postgraduate students Mark Krzanowski markkski2@gmail.com & m.krzanowski@westminster.ac.uk University of Westminster London & Garnet Education
    • Organisation of the talk 1. 2. 3. Introduction Definition and redefinition of modern concept of plagiarism Brief overview of literature on plagiarism in education, applied lings and ELT 4. Patchwork writing – why a universal pattern for university students 5. Current approaches to handling plagiarism on university courses and suggestions for improvements 6. Samples of plagiarism awareness strategies from commercially produced mats: Garnet Education materials 7. Samples of and role of individually produced teaching mats to raise better awareness of plagiarism among students 8. Conclusions (1-8: c. 10 mins) 9. Questions and Answers Session with Audience (c.10 mins) 10. AOB (incl. informal liaison after talk at break time or later on at conference )
    • 2. Definition and redefinition of modern concept of plagiarism • • • • • • • Typical ‘Western’ definition: “Plagiarize: to use another person's idea or a part of their work and pretend that it is your own. Examples: The book contains numerous plagiarized passages.If you compare the two books side by side, it is clear that the author of the second has plagiarized (from the first).” [Cambridge Online Dictionary] Plagiarism (as understood in Western societies) - conceived differently in Confucian-influenced societies: “In an educational culture where texts and authors are revered and it is a sign of arrogance for a student to question the masters’ work, one finds students practicing a “cut and paste” technique to assemble research papers in order to fulfil the ethical obligations of their cultural heritage. These papers read as a noncritical harmony of the textual sources where minimal paraphrasing and summarizing (if any at all) are evident.” (James, 2005:96-97) plagiarism - less of an issue on non-text based academic courses (e.g. in art and design) Relativity of the concept in a postmodern society and from a poststructuralist academic perspective
    • 3. Brief overview of literature on plagiarism in education, applied lings and ELT • • • Yakovchuk (in Krzanowski, 2008): a comprehensive survey of attitudes towards plagiarism among international pre-sessional students at Warwick University Reasons for plagiarising: content problems; laziness; language problems; lack of awareness; desire for a better product; work management; lack of confidence; task challenge; demotivating task; deliberate choice; lack of resources What needs further research: the role of cultural background in relation to plagiarism; who plagiarises more and for what reasons – NSs or non-NSs? • Angelil-Carter (2000: 113-132) & suggested solutions for combating plagiarism: • • • • • Providing a clear definition of what constitutes plagiarism in student handbooks Formulating clear policy guidelines for markers when plagiarism is suspected Giving models of appropriate referencing practices in departmental handbooks Ensuring that students ‘see and discuss models of good essays and how sources are used within them, as well as poor essays which demonstrate inappropriate referencing strategies or plagiarism’ (ibid: 126) Checking that the concept of an academic essay as a genre is understood by all students.
    • 3. Brief overview of literature on plagiarism in education, applied lings and ELT continued • Whitley Jr and Keith-Spiegel (2002:62): advice on how to combat plagiarism: • *educators should+ ‘require students to turn in rough drafts and revisions of their papers along with the final version; [...] require students to submit photocopies of cited sources; *...+ when an act of plagiarism has occurred, ‘approach the situation as a teaching opportunity rather than as an occasion for punishment’ • Harris (2009: 2004) & anti-plagiarism strategies: • strategies of awareness (e.g. understand why students commit an act of writing malpractice; carry out your own research into plagiarism; train your students in plagiarism awareness); strategies of prevention (for instance, make the metalanguage of the assignment clear; request specific components in the essay; have learners enclose an annotated bibliography); strategies of detection - for example, search for the clues (e.g. mixed referencing styles); search for specific long phrases online; use antiplagiarism software. • Influence of Bakhtin: • ‘the word in language is always half someone else’s’ Buranen and Roy (1999:59-60); • ‘*The word+ becomes ”one’s own” only when the speaker postulates it with his own intention, his own accent, when he appropriates the word, adapting it to his own semantic and expressive intention’ (Bakhtin 293, ibid: 40, cited in Marsh 2007: 40-41) • ‘One’s own discourse and one’s own voice, although born of another and dynamically stimulated by another, will sooner or later begin to liberate themselves from the authority of the other’s discourse’ (Bakhtin, 1981:348, cited in Angelil-Carter)
    • 3. Brief overview of literature on plagiarism in education, applied lings and ELT - continued • Plagiarism: more common among postgraduates than undergraduates (Gilbert, 2008): is it being ignored? • (UK) HEA report (2008): 11.9 cases for every 1,000 PG SS; 6.7 cases for every 1,000 UG SS; plagiarism may be treated more seriously at PG level; PG SS – often do more written work than UG SS; more overseas SS on UK PG courses; easier to detect plagiarism in PG work • *…+ ‘agreed definition of plagiarism difficult to reach by members of staff teaching the same subject; … *it is+ a multilayered phenomenon encompassing a spectrum of human intention’ (Sutherland-Smith, 2005) • Anti-plagiarism software: most common type – Turnitin; it has flaws/possible to ‘bypass’ it: ‘in its current carnation, one can easily create a document that passes the plagiarism check regardless of how much copied material it contains’ (!) (Heather, 2010); tutors can be trained how to ‘improve the system to avoid such attacks’ (ibid)
    • 4. Patchwork writing – why a universal pattern for university students 5. Current approaches to handling plagiarism on university courses and suggestions for improvements Patchwork writing • • • Pecorari (2008) on patchwriting Lack of deceptive intent; Language from one or two sources not only adopted but also woven into student’s text, mixed with parts that have been written autonomously; • Howard (1995, 1999) • *patchwriting+ “copying from a source text and then deleting some words , altering grammatical structures, or plugging in one synonym for another’ (1999, p. xvii); seems inevitable when learning to produce texts in a new discourse community; a beneficial process; • Patchwriting – present when developing one’s academic voice • Current approaches to handling plagiarism on university courses and suggestions for improvements: • Some lecturers presents students with ready made handouts on plagiarism, but no practice • Value of guided discovery or information gap activities
    • 6. Samples of plagiarism awareness strategies from commercially produced mats: Garnet Education materials 7. Samples of and role of individually produced teaching mats to raise better awareness of plagiarism among students
    • 8. Conclusions • Plagiarism: ongoing problem in international HE among both native and non-native students • appropriately designed activities, exercises and materials offered to learners with the aid of specific techniques and methods can produce surprisingly satisfactory results • If students are encouraged to approach plagiarism through discussions, information-gap activities or awareness-raising listening and reading activities, they are more likely to reflect more meaningfully on what plagiarism is, how serious it is, and how it can be effectively avoided • Need for teacher training and staff development training in how to deal with plagiarism (both among language and subject / content teachers and lecturers) • Need for judicious use of commercial and individually design materials • Thank you for your attention – a Q & A session now to follow.
    • PLAGIARISM – BIBLIOGRAPHY Abasi, A. R. & Graves, B. (2008). Academic literacy and plagiarism: Conversations with international graduate students and disciplinary professors. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 7, 221-233. Abasi, A. R., Akbari, N. & Graves, B. (2006). Discourse appropriation ,construction of identities, and the complex issue of plagiarism: ESL students writing in graduate school. Journal of Second Language Writing, 15, 102-117. Angelil-Carter, S. (2000) Stolen Language? Plagiarism in Writing. Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd Bloch, J. (2001). Plagiarism and the ESL student. In D. Belcher & A. Hirvela (Eds.) Linking literacies: Perspectives on L2 reading-writing connections. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Buranen, L. & Roy, A. M. (eds) (1999) Perspectives on Plagiarism and Intellectual Property in a Postmodern World. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press Chandrasegaran, A. (2000). Cultures in contact in academic writing: Students' perceptions of plagiarism. Asian Journal of English Language Teaching, 10, 91-113. Chandrasoma, R,. Thompson, C. & Pennycook, A. (2004). Beyond plagiarism: Transgressive and nontransgressive intertextuality. Journal of Language, Identity and Education, 3, 171-193. Currie, P. (1998). Staying out of trouble: Apparent plagiarism and academic survival. Journal of Second Language Writing, 7, 1-18. Flint, A., Clegg, S. and McDonald, R. Exploring staff perceptions of student plagiarism. Journal of Further and Higher Education, Vol 30, No 2, May 2006, 145-156 Gilbert, N. Copy Editing. The Guardian, Tuesday 24 June 2008 http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/jun/24/students.highereducation Last accessed 29 Aug 2011 Harris, R. (2009 & 2004) Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers http://www.virtualsalt.com/antiplag.htm Last accessed: 16 July 2010 Heather, J. (2010) Turnitoff: identifying and fixing a hole in current plagiarism detection software. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 35:6, 647-660 Howard, R. M. (1995). Plagiarism, authorships, and the academic death penalty. College English, 57, 788-806. Howard, R. M. (1999). Standing in the shadow of giants: Plagiarists, authors, collaborators. Stamford, CT: Ablex. Hyland, F. (2001). Dealing with plagiarism when giving feedback. ELT Journal, 55, 375-381. James R. (2005) Plagiarism. Journal of Religious & Theological Information, 6: 3, 93 — 101 Yakovchuk, N. Towards understanding the root causes of plagiarism among non-native speakers. In Krzanowski, M. (ed) (2008) Current Developments in English for Academic, Specific and Occupational Purposes. Reading: Garnet Education Marsh, B. (2007) Plagiarism. Alchemy and Remedy in Higher Education. Albany, NY: State University of New York Moore Howard, R. M. (1995). Plagiarism, authorships, and the academic death penalty. College English, 57, 788-806Nunan, D. (2003) Research Methods in Language Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Pecorari, D. (2001). Plagiarism and Students in Higher Education: How the English-speaking university responds. In D. Belcher & A. Hirvela (Eds.), Linking literacies: Perspectives on L2 reading-writing connections (pp. 229-245). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Pecorari, D. (2003). Good and original: Plagiarism and patchwriting in academic second-language writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 12, 317–345. Pecorari, D. (2006). Visible and occluded citation features in postgraduate second-language writing. English for Specific Purposes, 25, 4-29. Pecorari, D. (2008). Plagiarism, patchwriting and source use: Best practice in the composition classroom. In P. Friedrich (Ed.), Teaching academic writing (pp. 222-242). London: Continuum. Pennycook, A. (1996) Borrowing Others’ Words: Text, Ownership, Memory and Plagiarism. TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 30, No 2, 201-230 Last accessed: 20 Nov 2010 Pennycoook, A. (1994). Plagiarism: A research report. Hong Kong Papers in Linguistics and Language Teaching, 16, 123-124. Pennycoook, A. (1996). Borrowing others’ words: Text, ownership, memory, and plagiarism. TESOL Quarterly, 30, 201-230. Scollon, R. (1995). Plagiarism and ideology: Identity in intercultural discourse. Language in Society, 24, 1-28. Shi, L. (2004) Textual Borrowing in SecondLanguage Writing. Written Communication 21: 171 Sutherland-Smith, W. Pandora's box: academic perceptions of student plagiarism in writing. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 4 (2005) 83-95 Whitley, B. E. (Jr) & Keith-Spiegel, P. (2002) Academic Dishonesty. An Educator’s Guide. Mahwal, NJ: Lawrence Erblaum Associates Inc. Publishers I would like to thank my colleague Andy Gillett (ex-University of Hertfrodshire, UK) for raising my awareness of most of the above sources (MK)