Recently in Plagiarism Resources & Prevention Category
From an article in the February 10, 2010 New York Times..."It usually takes an author decades to win fawning reviews, march up the best-seller list and become a finalist for a major book prize. Helene Hegemann, just 17, did it with her first book, all in the space of a few weeks, and despite a savaging from critics over plagiarism." Ms. Heggemann states that, “There’s no such thing as originality anyway, just authenticity,” For more read on....
This phenomenon has been explored by University of Notre Dame anthropology professor Susan D. Blum in her book, My Word! In her book, Prof. Blum attributes this more to a culture in which students are increasingly asked to collaborate socially as well as academically than to a desire to overtly plagiarize. A review of her book explains it as "Those who want to understand the ideas in the book may want to note the title; it's no coincidence that Blum wrote about college "culture," and not "ethics" or "morality." And while she did use "plagiarism" in the title, she faults colleges and professors for failing to distinguish between buying a paper to submit as your own, submitting a paper containing passages from many authors without appropriate credit, and simply failing to learn how to cite materials. Treating these violations of academic norms the same way is part of the problem, she writes."
A recent NY Times article on digital natives also suggests that the problem is cultural. "But these cases — typical ones, according to writing tutors and officials responsible for discipline at the three schools who described the plagiarism — suggest that many students simply do not grasp that using words they did not write is a serious misdeed. It is a disconnect that is growing in the Internet age as concepts of intellectual property, copyright and originality are under assault in the unbridled exchange of online information, say educators who study plagiarism."
Each year since 1998 Beloit College has released the mindset list to help their professors understand why some students do not relate to their stories or examples. This year's mind set reminds us that most students starting college were born in 1992....too young to know about Dirty Harry, Czechoslovakia or J.R. Ewing. For the complete list....click here.
When I was in college, we spent many hours analyzing Bloom's Taxonomy and designed hypothetical lessons that used the advanced skills. What struck me about Sowash's blog post is that he also said, "The skill of the 21st century that will set people apart is what they can do with the information that is available to them. What new products, services, or procedures can be improved, created or derived from the information that we have? Knowing is not as important as using."
This view was reflected recently when Jon Schroeder visited MPA and asked Spanish teacher Kari Kunze how language instruction has evolved over the last twenty years. She answered by saying, "Language instruction used to be more concerned with being "perfect" or "right" but now it is more important to be able to communicate effectively. Language instruction has changed to reflect this need." Students must be able to use what they know in order to accomplish what they want.
Here is the proposed new Bloom's Taxonomy that illustrates the differences.
The Technology and Learning blog, TL Advisor, suggested that, "The Google it! mode of education today should force all educators to let go of the notion that we hold the keys to knowledge. Instead we are facilitators of knowledge. If a question can be answered by Googling it, then that question should not be the first question we ask."
Technology and Learning provides a template to help teachers google-proof their questions...but as one teacher pointed out, it still a matter of trust. Maybe that's where our discussions as educators really begin?
Here are a few free resources available that you might use in order to help your students learn about plagiarism through evaluating their work.
Grammarly gave me a detailed report with details for extra money...so I knew there was a problem but not what it was.
Plagiarism Detect gave me several Google sources with the phrases highlighted but it’s kind of difficult to use.
Duplichecker was very easy to use and found sources the others didn’t.
Article Checker found evidence of plagiarism but did not give me sources.
University of Maryland site was easy to use and found my plagiarized source.
and in the slightly altered words of Same Cooke...
Don't know much about history
Don't know much trigonometry
Don't know much about a science book
Don't know much about the French I took....
Preventing plagiarism is becoming increasingly difficult in the age of look it up, cut and paste. We tell students what it is, but how can you prevent what you don't know? While we probably already incorporate these things, it might help to include additional practice in recognizing plagiarism when it occurs. Here are some ideas culled from several websites:
Technology & Learning April 2002: Preventing Digital Plagiarsim
- Practice paraphrasing by asking students to read a paragraph/website (or several) and then close the book/site and summarize it.
- Practice note-taking by assigning a reading and asking students to take notes on the reading. Have them critique another student's notes.
- Design activities that help students gather information and form opinions about it, writing out their thoughts.
- Make it easy for students to give credit and reinforce that giving credit is an important part of the assignment.
- Surround students with examples of correct citation methods. Make the MLA available to them.
- Schedule several points at which students turn in drafts of their work.
- Tell students that MPA faculty have used sites like TurnItIn.com and Google searches to detect cases of plagiarism.
- Have students compile and turn in working bibliographies well in advance of term paper dates. This will require students to begin research at an early date, avoiding the temptation for last minute information downloads.
- Have students maintain a research log. This will note the databases and indexes searched, search dates, keywords and subjects used, and a summary of search results.
- Discourage simple fact finding and encourage questioning and original thought so that students become producers of insight and ideas rather than mere consumers.
- Use essential questions and ask students to create their own answers.
- Focus on systematic storage and expect them to be able to retrieve notes at a later date.
UC Davis: Avoiding Plagiarism
Plagiarism Theme Page
Hamilton College: Nesbitt-Johnson Writing Center
University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry: Plagiarism
or SPAM! Think you get SPAM? Imagine being Bill Gates....hey they could make a movie..."Being Bill Gates"......but I digress. According to his aide Steve Ballmer, Gates gets millions of e-mails every day. The Associated Press quoted him as saying that Gates "literally receives 4 million pieces of e-mail per day, most of it SPAM." But unlike the average person, Gates enjoys special technology developed by his software colossus geared to catch spam aimed at him. What a deal...he gets his SPAM cooked ahead of time. What I want to know is WHY ???? If the answer is "because I can", then the SPAMMERS should take a lesson from Dr. Malcolm. "just because you can, doesn't mean you should." This is from a person who has received just one too many announcements about my need for ViAgRa.