Posts Tagged ‘Plagiarism’

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Who's Doing the Work?

posted: 6.2.15 by Traci Gardner

At my presentation at the Computers and Writing Conference last week, I shared ten narrative remix assignments and related student work (example shown in the picture on the right). When it came time for the Q&A session, someone asked, “How do you know that students are doing the work?”

When I heard that question, there was a moment when I stopped and panicked. What if they were cheating? What if it wasn’t their work? Who was doing the work? How did I know for sure? [read more]

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Categories: Plagiarism, Traci Gardner
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Graphics, Copyright, and Creative Commons

posted: 8.5.14 by Traci Gardner

Teaching students about how to obtain and document graphics that they include in their work has been an ongoing challenge. I explain how copyright works and urge students to choose works in the public domain or with a creative commons license. The inevitable question persists however: “Can I use it if I link to the original?

My solution has been to create these FAQs, which offer explanations and links to additional resources, including places to find images that can be used freely: [read more]

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Categories: Traci Gardner
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A Digital Dilemma

posted: 12.19.13 by Jack Solomon

While I realize that the problem is not really a brand new one, I have only recently become aware that there is a lot of very good popular cultural analysis available on the Internet in video form.  Well, what’s wrong with that?  After all, the Internet is an absolutely indispensible resource for popular cultural semiotics, a treasure trove of up-to-date primary and secondary source material that I now wonder how I ever did without in my own writing and teaching.  So how could there possibly be a problem here? [read more]

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Categories: Jack Solomon
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Reconsidering Plagiarism Prevention

posted: 4.5.13 by archived

For me, the issue had been decided six or seven years ago, under the influence of the comp bloggers I was reading at the time, who were for the most part solidly opposed to the use of automated plagiarism-detection software.  Their arguments were convincing: such software raised intellectual property concerns when it added student essays to its database and ethical concerns when it profited from those additions; and even more worrisome, it created a police-state climate in the classroom (for an extensive discussion of the potential resulting damage, see the comments here).

But lately around my campus, now that Turnitin has been integrated into our CMS, I keep hearing from colleagues whose judgments I respect about how valuable they find its services. One lauded how much time its grammar checker saves him in grading, and another pointed to its value in teaching students where their semi-digested paraphrases have slid into “patchwriting” (Rebecca Moore Howard’s term). At a presentation last week, when I explained my preference for course and student blogs over the institutional CMS, a science faculty member asked how I dealt with plagiarism (without the aid of Turnitin) and how much time did it take? (My response, of course, was the laugh all writing teachers give to faculty of other disciplines who dare to complain about time spent grading.) [read more]

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Categories: Holly Pappas
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When Professors (and Politicians) Plagiarize

posted: 6.20.11 by archived

A few weeks ago I posted about graduation speeches. Well, the dean of medicine at the University of Alberta (Canada) has just been accused of plagiarizing a speech that he gave at a graduation reception June 10. Dr. Philip Baker has admitted there was a “failure to attribute the source of my inspiration.” Notably, he doesn’t use the word plagiarism. Yet students claim that he lifted the speech word-for-word from a speech given by the doctor, professor, and best-selling author Atul Gawande at Stanford University last year.

This is by no means the first scandal regarding a plagiarized speech, nor is it likely to be the last. You might remember that Vice President Joe Biden was accused of plagiarism in 2008. His defense was that he didn’t know how to cite the original source. “If I had intended to cheat,” he said, “would I have been so stupid?”

Baker’s and Biden’s “mistakes” are things we can talk about in class. They illustrate how serious (and sometimes complicated) plagiarism is and demonstrate that plagiarism isn’t just something that teachers drill into students, but a larger cultural phenomenon. I also think it’s important to examine the excuses, explanations, and repercussions. [read more]

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Categories: Jay Dolmage, Plagiarism
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Plagiarism Workshop

posted: 12.9.08 by Nick Carbone

Presented to the Cuyahoga Community College English Faculty

“Steal This Talk” Part 1 of 8
Losing Voice: The Threat of Plagiarism.

“Steal This Talk” Part 2 of 8: We Were All Freshmen
“Steal This Talk” Part 3 of 8: Plagiarism Statements: Do’s and Don’ts
“Steal This Talk” Part 4 of 8: Problematizing Plagiarism
“Steal This Talk” Part 5 of 8: Helping Students Not Hang Themselves
“Steal This Talk” Part 6 of 8: Research: What Might It Mean
“Steal This Talk” Part 7 of 8: The One True Source
“Steal This Talk” Part 8 of 8: The Benevolent Panopticon

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Categories: Plagiarism, Student Success, Teaching Advice, Teaching with Technology, Working with Sources
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Write for Wikipedia

posted: 2.15.08 by Barclay Barrios

As an exercise in collaborative writing and as a way to have students deepen their understanding of a text, have your class work collaboratively to propose, update, or modify an entry about the current essay or author for Wikipedia. If your handbook has information on collaboration, you might first ask students to read that section. You can also use this as an opportunity to discuss plagiarism—why is it OK to collaborate on this kind of writing but not on a paper? You can broaden the conversation to include the role of Wikipedia in academic research and writing.

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Collaboration, Plagiarism, Popular Culture, Teaching with Technology
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The Wages of Plagiarism

posted: 11.5.07 by Barclay Barrios

To help your students understand the consequences of plagiarism, have them use the Web to research cases of plagiarism in the “real world.” What were the consequences? What role does plagiarism play in the careers of actual people, careers your students might have some day? You might also broaden this conversation to discuss intellectual property more generally.

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Classroom Challenges and Solutions, Plagiarism, Research, Teaching with Technology
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Plagiarism: A Love Affair

posted: 6.5.07 by Barclay Barrios

Never have I seen a teacher more emotional, never have I been more emotional, than when dealing with a case of plagiarism. What’s up with that?

What I find so interesting, you see, is that the emotion (which can be at times almost overwhelming) seems to resonate not from some virtuous commitment to academic honor nor even from some deep sense of crime and punishment but, more often than not, from what I can only describe as love betrayed, as though you’ve not only found out your partner is having an affair but you learned it by catching her or him in flagrante delicto. There’s the same sense of injured trust. There’s the anger. There’s the thirst for revenge. When someone plagiarizes in my classroom–and the classrooms of many teachers I have worked with–it feels like, well, being cheated on.

That’s why there are two basic rules for plagiarism in my program. First, never confront a student before getting a second opinion. Taking the time to find that impartial observer–either me in my capacity as Director of Writing Programs or any other teacher you can find–allows time for the rush of emotions to subside. Plagiarism is serious, yes, but because of that very seriousness it is not something for rash action. In fact there’s been more than one occasion when I’ve taken a look at a suspected case and said “Well, I’m not really sure this is plagiarism, and here’s why.” That’s why getting that second opinion turns out to be so handy, all emotions aside.

The second rule is perhaps more controversial: never cut a deal with a plagiarist … you will only get burned in the end. Invariably, every time I’ve seen a teacher work out some compromise (“I’ll fail you for this assignment, but not the class” or “OK, I can see how you misunderstood our class discussion, but as long as you understand plagiarism fully now”) there’s some second act of academic dishonesty and hence some second act of betrayal, all the more painful. It may not always be a second case of plagiarism but always it comes back in some way to bite them on the a**. If your lover cheats on you, get a new lover ’cause cheaters don’t change. We have a zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism in our program not because the crime is so heinous (though, clearly, it is) but only because nothing else seems to work.

You know there’s this god awful show called Cheaters. Suspicious partners have the show track their lovers and, invariably, they are shown video evidence of the cheating which leads directly into an emotional, sometimes violent, direct on-air confrontation. It’s not the kind of thing I want to see happening in a writing program.

And plagiarism is, I think, inevitable. For me, it’s an irresolvable remainder in the educational system–something that somehow the system itself produces by its very structure. To be sure, we do all we can in our program to prevent plagiarism. We have a detailed FAQ about academic dishonesty that’s discussed in class. After this discussion, students sign a statement acknowledging that they understand what plagiarism is. We avoid using assignments that are in our reader, since they’re being used at schools around the country. We create original standard sequences for new teachers each semester and all teachers are encouraged to write their own assignments. A monoculture, after all, presents the greatest risk.

Plagiarism? A love affair? Attack me, please. Tell me I’m way off base. Tell me I’m Jane Gallop reborn. Tell me I am wrong, wrong, wrong. But also tell me what to do. Tell me how you deal with the emotional charge of plagiarism. Tell me what you do to make sure that emotional trigger isn’t even there. And, if you’ve found the holy grail that diminishes (eliminates?) plagiarism, tell me that too.

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Categories: Citing Sources, Classroom Challenges and Solutions, Plagiarism, Readers, Teaching Advice
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