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  1. 1. PLAGIARISM Created by Mark Feder #1
  2. 2. Plagiarism #2 What is plagiarism? Wikipedia defines it as: “ the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work” * * http:// Wikipedia then goes on to say: “ In the academic world, plagiarism by students is a very serious offense that can result in punishments such as a failing grade on the particular assignment (typically at the high school level) or for the course (typically at the college or university level). For cases of repeated plagiarism, or for cases in which a student commits severe plagiarism (e.g., submitting a copied article as his or her own work), a student may be suspended or expelled.”*
  3. 3. Plagiarism Some of the forms that plagiarism can take are described in / #3 <ul><li>All of the following are considered plagiarism: </li></ul><ul><li>turning in someone else's work as your own </li></ul><ul><li>copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit </li></ul><ul><li>failing to put a quotation in quotation marks </li></ul><ul><li>giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation </li></ul><ul><li>changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit </li></ul><ul><li>copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on &quot;fair use&quot; rules)* </li></ul>*
  4. 4. Plagiarism A Google search for plagiarism turns up 9,260,000 entries and the Internet is full of sites that attempt to help teachers detect and prevent student plagiarism. Here are a few: http:// / http:// #4 All of us who have taught writing have encountered plagiarism issues and made efforts both to detect and eliminate plagiarism in student writing. Plagiarism is discussed at staff meetings and addressed in Classroom Contributions.
  5. 5. Plagiarism Cases of plagiarism in academia as well as the real world make the front pages of newspapers as these headlines show: Two Students Kicked off Semester at Sea for Plagiarism Herald sports columnist John Sleeper resigns over plagiarism Cartoonist Loses Freelance Job After Plagiarism Allegation McCain faces accusations of Wikipedia plagiarism #5
  6. 6. Plagiarism Virtually every university has a statement or policy on plagiarism, attesting to the prevalence of the problem. #6 Illinois State University Duke University University of Pennsylvania University of Glasgow
  7. 7. Plagiarism #7 Concern about plagiarism sometimes turns teachers into cops, preoccupied with detecting plagiarism and punishing the perpetrators. … and if you think about it, this is a fundamental perversion of the role of the teacher that undermines his or her ability to foster and facilitate learning.
  8. 8. Plagiarism At INTERLINK, our affectively oriented student-centered approach makes it especially important for the teacher to be “on the side” of the student and not to be perceived as someone whose goal is to “catch” the student in wrongdoing. #8 So, how can we preserve the nurturing role of the teacher and yet prevent students from plagiarizing?
  9. 9. Plagiarism A good starting point is to consider why students plagiarize. One answer, of course, is that human beings are inherently dishonest and without oversight will try to get away with whatever they can.. #9 Without embarking on a philosophical exploration of whether people are good or evil by nature, such an answer, of course, suggests that students come to our program not to actually improve their English skills but only to trick us into believing that they have, and runs counter to the humanistic thesis that humans have a natural propensity and desire to learn.
  10. 10. Plagiarism The most sensible approach to combating plagiarism is to first try to understand its possible causes and then eliminate them. In this respect, it is not different from effectively combating other social problems such as drug abuse or teen pregnancy. #10
  11. 11. Plagiarism The attempt to eliminate a behavioral problem like plagiarism by criminalizing it and focusing on apprehending and punishing wrongdoers is almost certainly doomed to failure because attention and resources are squandered on secondary matters instead of on the problem itself. Inevitably, measures taken to apprehend culprits will result in more sophisticated counter-measures to avoid apprehension and an escalating war between student and teacher. #11 And the student’s efforts become centered on avoiding detection rather than on learning.
  12. 12. Plagiarism Let’s consider what factors might cause a student to plagiarize. #12 1. A student may not even recognize that s/he is doing anything wrong or that s/he in fact plagiarizing. 2. A student may not know how to accomplish the task at hand or may feel inadequate to do so and resort to plagiarism. 3. A student may feel pressured about time and uses plagiarism as a shortcut 4. A student may not care about learning or accomplishing anything and just wants an easy way out
  13. 13. Plagiarism Teachers and university statements usually address the first factor by defining plagiarism and giving advice about how to avoid it. #13 But is it enough to clarify what plagiarism is and then warn students to avoid it?
  14. 14. Plagiarism Why do so many students rely on the writing of others in the first place? Maybe the prevalence of plagiarism has something to do with the way we teach writing or the requirements we impose on student writing. For example, how often do writing classes and textbooks start out by providing a model and telling students to follow that model? #14 Use this as a model to write your own essay When we tell students “Your writing should look like this,” are we not pushing them towards plagiarism?
  15. 15. Plagiarism Telling students to follow a model puts pressure on them to produce something that the teacher will consider acceptable even if the student does not clearly understand what makes it acceptable. Imitation rather than creation is encouraged and process is subordinated to product . Imposing topics that students have little knowledge about or interest in only increases the chances that they will look to external sources for help. Students with limited English proficiency cannot easily separate what is said from how it is said and will inevitably borrow phrases to express what they do not realize can be expressed in other ways. And if we are not careful about the kind of #15 feedback we give to students, we might be sending them the message that their own language is inadequate and only language “borrowed” from other sources will meet the test. Feedback that targets errors and ignores the positive reduces students’ confidence in their ability to express things in their own words and makes them more likely to seek the words of others.
  16. 16. Plagiarism Time constraints also add to the pressure to plagiarize. When students feel overwhelmed by the tasks facing them, they will look for ways of getting their assignments out of the way. Once again, delivering a product becomes more important than the process of writing and students may be tempted to resort to plagiarism to just “get the work done.” #16 When students are excited about what they are creating and take pride in their work, they are more likely to be engaged in the process and less likely to think of a writing assignment as something to get out of the way.
  17. 17. Plagiarism One of the most powerful things a teacher can do to prevent plagiarism is to foster students’ confidence in their own writing ability. The best way to do this is to draw out what is in the student rather than impose things from the outside. By starting with a student’s self-expression and then helping the student improve it, the focus is kept on process and the unique expression of the individual. #17 That may seem obvious, but in fact, it is not the typical pattern of writing instruction. Often a topic is imposed from the outside – a topic that the student may not care about at all and have nothing to say about. Then the student is told how to address the topic, to use a particular mode such as descriptive, expository or narrative, to use a framework such as chronological or comparative, to use a specified number of paragraphs, to use topic sentences, to provide certain kinds of support, etc. Such writing does not come from within the student but is imposed from without. It stifles self-expression and impresses on the student what a piece of writing should look like, elevating product over process.
  18. 18. Plagiarism Objections may be flying that students have to be able to write in a certain style and way for college classes and that is true. But we prepare students to do that first and foremost by getting them to be the best possible writers that they can be, by working from the inside out and not the other way around. #18 Another potential objection that should be addressed here as well. It will be noted that students must learn how to use outside sources properly and how to cite those sources. That is obviously true. Students must learn these important academic skills. But these skills must not be confused with writing itself.
  19. 19. Plagiarism If we consider how the instruction of writing is typically approached in textbooks and in the classroom, we can see that to large extent, we teachers are to a large extent responsible for the plague of plagiarism. #19 To combat plagiarism, our focus should be on how students approach the process of writing rather than on perfecting ways of detecting and punishing cheating.
  20. 20. Plagiarism <ul><li>Tips for helping students use their own words and not those of others: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasize process rather than product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage students to tell their own stories and express their own ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help students develop their own unique writing style </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give students practice in summarizing events and information in their own words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide feedback that helps students develop pride in their own writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create strategies for getting students engaged and invested in their writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use in-class time for writing projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t overwhelm students with assignments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for ways to tell students what they can do instead of what not to do </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow as much freedom and autonomy as possible for students to take ownership of their writing </li></ul></ul>#20
  21. 21. Plagiarism The END #21