Revolution Lullabye

July 6, 2009

Harris, The Plagiarism Handbook

Harris, Robert A. The Plagiarism Handbook: Strategies for Preventing, Dectecting, and Dealing with Plagiarism. Los Angeles: Pyrczak Publishing, 2001.

Harris, whose book focuses on undergraduate plagiarism, argues that plagiarism is on the rise due to Internet resources and a lack of attention to the proper use and attribution of sources. He believes that plagiarism should be attacked at many angles, including writing plagiarism-resistant research assignments, using Internet tools to detect plagiarism, following plagiarism cases through the system to make it a serious offense for students, and giving students quizzes about source use and plagiarism and handouts to teach them how to cite sources. Harris argues that prevention is key to preventing both intentional and unintentional plagiarism. His book contains cartoons (that the teacher is allowed to copy and use in class) to start discussions with students about plagiarism.

Quotable Quotes

“each kind of theft” (1)

“how committed you are to fighting it” (1)

“simple rule” – charts, decision charts students use to decide to cite or quote, trying to simplify the citation decision

Notable Notes

gives 16 reasons for plagiarism – none to do with the difficulty of understanding sources: students are lazy, indifferent, careless, have no motivation, poor choices, procrastination, liars

teaching students about plagiarism:

  • give explicit definition
  • keep it positive – don’t assume all are potential cheats
  • show examples of proper use and plagiarism
  • discuss note-taking
  • dispel attribution myths
  • discuss why plagiarism is wrong
  • discuss benefits for students for citations
  • show them paper mill sites
  • tell them the consequences
  • signed integrity statement
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May 12, 2009

Whiteman and Gordon, The Price of an ‘A’

Whiteman, Sherri A. and Jay L. Gordon. “The Price of an ‘A’: An Educator’s Responsibility to Academic Honesty.” The English Journal. 91.2 (November 2001), 25-30.

This article begins with a short piece by Whiteman, a high school English teacher, where she laments students as unethical, plagiarizing cheaters and calls on teachers to rally against them and those who allow rampant Internet cheating to happenĀ and profit. She is countered by Gordon, a college professor who argues that if students were given more specific assignments that were difficult to plagiarize, a lot of the cheating would, by necessity, disappear. Whiteman answers Gordon by saying the kinds of assignments teachers give are to prepare them for future work in the academy and, good assignment or not, students should behave ethically and not plagiarize.

Quotable Quotes

“The invaluable benefits of abundant access to the information superhighway have been outweighed by its ability to create non-thinking, non-reading patrons of plagiarism” (26).

“How do we as educators reconcile our ability to teach effectively with our students’ ability to cheat and steal without our knowledge?” (26)

“Students do not plagiarize in a vacuum” (27)

Notable Notes

Whiteman gives up, says she should only focus on the “potential of my more ambitious and honest students” (26)

high school v. college perceptions on the issue

still demonizing, infantilizing students

investigate the problem – what can teachers do to prevent plagiarism? Is changing the assignment enough? What about schools’ overreliance on papers, essays, to evaluate students? Are their too many grades? (mine) connection to what plagiarism is – is it all about students being unethical?

it’s not about baffling, bewildering, upsetting, disheartening teachers. it’s bigger than that (me)

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