Harvard University Guide to Using Sources

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.

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Creating Lessons that Discourage Plagiarism

One of the best things a teacher can do is to create a classroom environment that discourages AND DECREASES the temptation to commit plagiarism. Using plagiarism checking software is a must (just like a police officers presence decreases speeding on the road), but anti-plagiarism friendly assignments also are great. They turn your classroom into an anti-plagiarism environment while at the same time promoting creative and original thinking. Win-win!

Here’s a helpful link from MIT’s Comparative Media Studies and Writing department that offers teachers suggestions about how to create assignments that decrease the temptation to cheat: Resources for Teachers: How to Prevent Plagiarism

Good luck on the new school year!

“The Ultimate Guide to Copyright [and Plagiarism] for Students”

This week, one of the creators of WhoIsHostingThis.com reached out to me with their great resource for Plagiarism Education.

WhoIsHostingThis is a free tool that allows anyone to see who hosts a particular website. One of the most common uses of the tool is in the course of investigating plagiarism and/or copyright infringement.

The website is really detailed and offers great info and videos to share with your students. Check it out in the link below.

WhoIsHostingThis Copyright and Plagiarism Guide

Plagiarism Tutorial

source: plagiarism-tutorial.weebly.com

source: plagiarism-tutorial.weebly.com

This week I created an online tutorial that gives nine different scenarios and asks students to identify whether or not the scenario is a incident of academic dishonesty. I got the idea from a required task I had to complete during my first semester of graduate school. Here is the link: http://www.codeavengers.com/c/ebestic/la/plagiarism.html

As you can see, the scenarios cover real life situations the students may encounter over the course of a year. Completing this tutorial at the beginning of the year ensures that the students are aware that some of their actions are seen as cheating/plagiarism/academic dishonesty.

This resource is free to use for all teachers (use it in your classrooms with my blessing 🙂 ). However, the best thing to do with this resource is to use it as a template to construct your own. If you are not adepth at things like computer coding, do what I did and utilize the skills of students in your schools. This makes the plagiarism tutorial an example of students helping students, and that is doubly great! Here are a few other examples that can help: https://plagiarism.duke.edu/; https://www.indiana.edu/~istd/; http://www.lib.utexas.edu/services/instruction/learningmodules/plagiarism/; http://plagiarism-tutorial.weebly.com/

*My great thanks to my student, Evan Bestic, for helping me design the site.