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

Gilmore, Plagiarism

Gilmore, Barry. Plagiarism: Why It Happens, How to Prevent It. Portsmouth, Heinemann, 2008.

Gilmore, a high school English and social studies teacher writing to other high school and middle school teachers, argues that plagiarism is best prevented by turning to education and prevention: teaching students how to avoid plagiarism and changing school culture to dissuade students from plagiarizing. His book contains many “Top 10” charts for teachers to turn to, such as a top 10 signs a student text is plagiarized, reasons why students plagiarize, and reasons why teachers don’t address plagiarism. Gimore argues that the tools teachers need to teach students in order to prevent plagiarism from happening include teaching them how and why to cite, how to take notes, and how to search on the internet. He does not advocate making every assignment a highly personal “plagiarism-proof assignment,” arguing that those types of assignments don’t always address a teacher’s pedagogical goals. Instead, he suggests spending a large amount of time on the writing process. He also believes that schools should model behavior that prevents plagiarism: having known, followed honor codes, encouraging intellectual risk taking and revision, and expecting good things out fo boys, athletes, and traditionally underachiveing students.

Quotable Quotes

“The culture of learning…is the key to combating plagiarism, whether it happens as a mistake or a crime” (138).

“What you can do to prevent plagiarism is teach the right skills, design the right assignments, and create the right atmosphere. Neglect these areas, and you resign yourself to either ignoring plagiarism or to spending your time angrily rooting out and punishing offenders” (74).

“Once a teacher is reduced to the role of source dectector, he has already lost an educational battle” (5).

Notable Notes

don’t focus on catching students and criminalizing them – but not addressing what’s really the problem with researched assignments – the work involved in using sources

June 1, 2009

DeSana, Preventing Plagiarism

DeSana, Laura Hennessey. Preventing Plagiarism: Tips and Techniques. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 2007.

DeSana, a high school English teacher and part-time writing instructor at NYU, argues that students need to learn how to do original, subjective, interested┬áresearch, not just retell what their sources say. She relies on an literature-based writing assignment sequence that begins with freewriting responses to a primary source, then analyzing and adding secondary sources. Her goal is for students to be the dominant voice in their thesis-driven researched arguments, controlling their source use with effective quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing. She believes that this kind of assignment sequence, coupled with a range of plagiarism-proof topics that dissuade students from relying on online cheat sources and recycled papers, will teach students to respect the research process and not plagiarize. She has a two-part definition of plagiarism: source of language plagiarism and source of information plagiarism, both equally important to address and curtail through the proper use of citation systems and explicit instruction in paraphrase. She gives teachers seven tools and steps for identifying plagiarism in their students’ papers, often positioning the students as savvy, lethargic, potential cheats who try to pull one over on the teacher because of their Internet expertise.

Quotable Quotes

“For those of us who are vigilant, we will enter the library as dectectives on the trail of a more intelligent theif” (97), on the importance of checking print-based sources in libraries (like secondary sources, CliffsNotes) for student plagiarism attempts

“Individuality self-destructs in endless mirroring” (111), doesn’t see much good in imitation

“We must begin to teach them how to exert control over the chaos – how to shape and academic argument” (7).

“We have to require the higher level of thinking that is achieved through the simultaneous processes of analysis and synthesis” (6).

The retelling that happens in a book report “is useless for several reasons – foremost among them is that it is a shabby mimicking of the original. No one can write Poe’s ‘The Fall of the Usher’ as well as Poe, nor should another writer attempt to” (4).

“Reporting is a retelling of ideas found; it is not an analysis of ideas found” (1)

“As educators, we must teach students to realize that they are required to have their own insights into source materials. They must engage in a dialogue with the sources they consult. Without this dialogue their research is meaningless and becomes a mere exercise of collecting and organizing” (1)

Notable Notes

absolute binary between research and retelling

works cited only includes one thing from rhet/comp, a article from Written Communication about text/source use and ESL students

one of her plagiarism prevention techniques she dubs “non sequitor approach” – having students turn in copies of online study guides to provide them for comparison with their essays

prescriptive writing process and sequence = freewriting, notetaking, outlining, writing

retelling (summaries) are not, in DeSana’s opinion, objective pieces of writing, not subjective researched positions

focus is on how to teach students to write thesis-driven, argumentative, taking-a-stand research essays

May 20, 2009

Elder, What Works for Me

Elder, Dana C. “What Works for Me: The Cost of Plagiarism.” Teaching English in the Two-Year College 31.1 (Sept 2003) 83-84.

Preventing plagiarism should be a university-level concern, and Elder explains two ways her institution (Eastern Washington University) is taking on plagiarism. First, students who fail due to academic reasons have a special “XF” on their transcripts that will serve as a signal to other institutions and future employers. Second, all conclusions of academic integrity cases at the university are recorded, and if a student has three violations, they are banned from the campus for life. This guarantees that an instructor’s determinations of academic integrity issues matter and have real consequences to students who repeatedly plagiarize or cheat.

Blum, Academic Integrity and Student Plagiarism

Blum, Susan D. “Academic Integrity and Student Plagiarism: A Question of Education, Not Ethics.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. 20 Feb 2009.

In order to prevent plagiarism, students must be taught the skills necessary to cite and be persuaded of its value, for students often do not pursue academic research and writing for the same purposes as professors and academics do. The other two ways student plagiarism is typically dealt with on campuses – through avenues of morality (honor codes) and criminality – are not effective and do not get at the root of the problem, students’ unawareness of the purposes behind academic citation conventions. Blum advocates for campus-wide discussions and dialogues with students and faculty about issues of intellectual property and plagiarism to bring these complicated, conflicting concepts to the forefront.

Quotable Quotes

Her educational solution: “treats academic integrity, especially the mandate to cite sources, as a set of skills to be learned…Students must be persuaded of the value of citation – which is far from self-evident – and instructed over time in how to do it.”

“Many students don’t especially value the process of classroom learning.”

Notable Notes

focuses on citation, not working with sources

student writing goes in a vacuum, doesn’t have the same citation needs as academics

anthropology prof at Notre Dame

Adler-Kassner, Anson, and Howard, Framing Plagiarism

Adler-Kassner, Linda, Chris Anson, and Rebecca Moore Howard. “Framing Plagiarism.” In Originality, Imitation, and Plagiarism: Teaching Writing in the Digital Age. Eds. Eisner and Vicinus. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2008. 231-246.

The authors, all current and/or former WPAs who wrote the CWPA statement “Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism”, argue that the current frames used to talk about student plagiarism position students as ignorants, cheats, and theives who are undermining the purposes of education and need to be caught and reformed. They argue for compositionists and writing instructors to look beyond the academic cycle of citation for credit and credibility to see how people compose with sources for other purposes. They use the example of direct borrowing from the language of a FDA statement on safe food handling to show that more public texts, like these author-less statements and policies, are used freely like author-less bits of information. Students exist in multiple activity levels and systems, and so it is important that instruction on source use (not technology-based plagiarism prevention) include critical discussions and examples of how different systems use and compose with sources.

Quotable Quotes

“Many cases of so-called plagiarism occur at the borders where one set of (typically academic) values and practices blurs into another (typically public) set of values and practices” (239).

“All writers are always in a developmental trajectory; writing is always intertextual; a variety of rhetorical and pragmatic forces work against attribution of sources; the use of texts is a complex act that is steeped in the conventions (disciplinary, behavioral, and otherwise) of academe; and the sanctioned academic expectations for attribution are often applied unevenly, even by experienced, ethical writers.” (243)

Notable Notes

example of one university borrowing another’s statement on plagiarism

temptation to use Turnitin and the temptation to buy papers online are both grounded in panic (243)

what is implicitly said when you require all students to “submit” their papers to Turnitin? (242)

Lakoff “frames” – these become naturalized, we need to reframe

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