Check out this post on Plagiarism Today. The post takes a look at a new tool coming for TurnItIn that goes after students purchasing papers from essay mills–quite a plague in academia today. According to the article, “Turnitin has announced that it is working with seven universities to create a new tool . . . Entitled Authorship Investigation [which] aims to detect when a student’s writing changes drastically and help spot potential cases of contract cheating” (Plagiarism Today). This could make an extremely useful tool that much stronger.
Harvard has had its fair share of plagiarism cases (see Harvard Student Commits Plagiarism Loses Book Deal). In the last few years, the Harvard College Writing Program has focused on decreasing student plagiarism through student education. The Harvard Guide to Using Sources is the fruit of that effort. It is a one-stop website for tips on avoiding plagiarism, proper citation methods, using and evaluating sources, and many other helpful tips to use to avoid plagiarism.
Along with this great resource, they have developed two online quizzes that help students consider plagiarism scenarios. Quiz 1, Using Sources, Five Scenarios, helps students “work through examples based, in part, on real academic honesty cases. Upon [completion] of the tutorial, [the student] will be acquainted with the most common misunderstandings about academic integrity, and will know more about how to integrate sources responsibly into your writing” (Guide Website). Quiz 2, Using Sources, Five Examples, is “based on passages from real student essays, and illustrates problems with summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting sources. By taking the tutorial, [the student] will gain a deeper understanding of the most common forms of plagiarism and a solid sense of how to use sources effectively” (Guide Website).
At the beginning of each quiz, the student can enter an email address and have the results sent to that address. So, a teacher can request students email their results directly or require a screen shot of their results to ensure student completion.
This resources is a great resource for teachers who wish to introduce plagiarism issues to their students and then check understanding through the online quizzes.
Check out this insightful article by an educator who deals with student plagiarism: Plagiarism: To Steal or Not To Steal. Of particular note is the author’s recognition of student’s not setting out to plagiarize (see “Accidental Plagiarism”) as well as the importance of teacher’s modelling good reading skills (which she terms “curiosity”) in the classroom to dissuade student’s from plagiarizing and become original writers who think critically.
“Not only do we hold students accountable for monitoring their own behavior, but we also teach them to demonstrate courage in re- porting the unethical behavior of their peers. As professionals and adult models, we must expect as much of ourselves.”
How do we teach students about plagiarism and how to avoid it. One simple way–we model anti-plagiarism behavior in our own personal and professional lives. Check out this article: Plagiarism Isn’t Just an Issue for Students. In the article, the author makes an argument that teachers should model anti-plagiarism behavior. This is an important step in teaching students about plagiarism issues. The article is a sober reminder that we, as teachers, should always practice what we preach.
(Credit to Allen Chase for passing on the article to me. To other subscribers, please send any interesting plagiarism info you find for possible publication on the website.)
Check out this article: Plagiarism Prize. The article summarises a Northern China writers’ association award for the best plagiarism of the year. Of course, it’s an ironic award, but it once again highlights the rampant problem of plagiarism in the world today. A good (and funny) article to stimulate class discussions.
Stopping plagiarism and creating a plagiarism temptation free school is a collaborative effort. One school position that can have a powerful affect upon your school’s work to decrease student plagiarism is the teacher-librarian. Check out this article by teacher-librarian Allen Chase of the International School of Shenzhen Nanshan for some great ways librarians can lead the charge: 2017-UF-summer-5-10-38.
It’s the start of another school year, and the fourth year of stopplagiarism.org! My classes are up and going as I am sure many of yours are. At the start of the year, when things are getting crazy, it is easy to overlook the importance of establishing anti-plagiarism classrooms where academic integrity is a foundational principle. Take the time to do so! It will benefit you in the long run. Here’s a great website with a quick summary of some great practices you can implement in your classrooms:
My favorite tips (some of which I have seen for the first time) are these: Education World: Put an End to Plagiarism in Your Classrooms
- Don’t simply assign a paper and wait for the final version. Set deadlines for research notes and bibliographies, for outlines, and for rough drafts. Check the work in progress
- Explain to students that you will check any questionable sources or uncited material. Tell them to keep their notes and printed Web pages until they’ve received their final grades.
- Require that students submit a signed “letter of transmittal” with their reports. In the letter, have them reflect on the research and writing process and explain what they learned.
- Avoid assigning general topics for research papers. Papers geared toward narrow topics specific to your own curriculum are less likely to be available online. Make your assigned topics as interesting as possible, so students will be more likely to want to do the work themselves.
Check out the other tips on the website, and, good luck this year in establishing plagiarism-free classes!