“This is why dreams of finding the perfect plagiarism detection system are doomed to failure. The ‘other side,” if you will, will come up with better disguises. We have to find other ways of teaching and enforcing good academic practice” (Debora Weber-Wulff, quoted in retractionwatch.com).
A new internet based tool has become the norm for students scrambling to complete their essays–Paraphrasing generators. Here’s an example of one.
This article (Evading Plagiarism Detection Software) by retractionwatch.com discusses this new problem.
The article discuses the rising issue with various experts offering their opinions including what to do in response. The best advice for teachers is to LOOKOUT FOR STRANGE OR ODD WRITING WHERE THE SENTENCES DON’T MAKE SENSE.
This is excellent advice. Remember, there is no perfect plagiarism detection software out there. Students can get around it. You can’t just submit a paper to a plagiarism detection tool. You must read the paper and use your common sense.
In the article, university professor Ann Rogerson, tells teachers to “openly discuss their existence in class demonstrating how poor the tools actually are along with my encouraging student questions about originality, citations and acknowledgements when preparing for assignments. Confronting the issue is important therefore I work with students on how to learn and develop paraphrasing skills without using an online tool. Just because some online tools can easily and correctly convert temperature, distance and currency does not mean that Internet based text tools can be relied upon the same way. The only way of bringing it to light is to talk and write about it.”
In the final part of the article, Rogerson describes her steps to detect whether or not a paraphrasing tool has been used by a student. Extremely valuable.
Teachers everywhere must make themselves aware.
One of the best ways to help students understand plagiarism is to put the question to them. This week, there were two interesting plagiarism accusations. The first was made against a photo entered into the Sony World Photo Awards. The second was made against the heavy metal band Metallica for their recent song “Moth Into Flame.” Check out the cases and have your students consider whether or not the plagiarism accusation was warranted. I think you will have a really great discussion.
This past month, I got an email from Anastasia at Unplag.com. Her company has a free plagiarism checker that I used this month. It works really well. This is Anastasia’s email which describes her company and its purpose. Check out unplag for a great free tool.
“Here, at Unplag, we strive to develop students’ creative thinking. That is why we regularly create interesting materials and resources on plagiarism topic both for teachers and students.
Recently we launched a free plagiarism checker for academic writers: https://unplag.com/free-plagiarism-checker
. It can find plagiarism in texts written in English, German, Spanish, French and a few other languages.
[This] is not a comprehensive list of things we create, we also like to run different activities to make students aware of plagiarism threats and simplify the teachers’ job . . .
we want to build a good relationship with educators and bloggers who share our values on plagiarism topic.”
This week, my students began working on a larger film project. They wanted to bring in images, video, and music from outside sources. I told them that they cold do that, but they would need to get permission or find open sources. Very few knew how to do this. If you face, this problem. Here’s a couple of sources.
- Creative Commons (https://search.creativecommons.org): CC is a great site that allows a searches on a number of search engines including (among others) Youtube (video), Flickr (images), Google Images, Wikipedia Commons, and many more. You can find images, video, and music which can be reused and even modified.
- Advanced Search Option on Google: On google.com, go to the settings tab (in the bottom right corner of the screen). Click on the advanced search option. This option allows you to find material on google that can be reused responsibly.
A huge majority of student plagiarism cases deal with images (and they don’t even know it’s plagiarism). Check out several posts on this site dealing with this issue. To avoid these cases, use these websites to help students find sources they can use and not violate copyrights.
Teachers (and other academic integrity enthusiasts!),
Here’s a helpful source : hosting facts.
It’s another great site with lots of plagiarism education and detection tools. Of special note is the way the site helps to distinguish between plagiarism and copyright infringement, involves an infographic with a timeline of U.S. copyright history, and covers some of the major free online tools for detecting plagiarism.
Check it out!
Here is an interesting article about combatting plagiarism through handwritten assignments. The article gives an interesting perspective on the value of handwriting for promoting originality and “deeper cognition” as students complete their work.
I utilize handwritten assignments in my class often, and have found that it does force students to think through their writing. It is more work on the teacher, however. But, as the article seems to suggest, the pros outweigh the cons.
Many of the teachers that come to this site teach in an International Baccalaureate (or IB) school. The IB has rigorous academic honesty policies for their classes. For example, all IB teachers must sign off on the originality of each of their students work. For this post, I have collected a couple of IB resources that discuss effective practices and principles to utilize in your classrooms to encourage academic honesty. By no means are these documents limited to IB teachers, all teachers should find them useful.