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Designing Away Plagiarism: Creative Assignments

Conversations on ... 9/26/12

Cara Stone

on 15 January 2014

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Transcript of Designing Away Plagiarism: Creative Assignments

Conversations on...
Designing Away Plagiarism: Creative Assignments

Brittany Cottrill
Cara Stone

What is Plagiarism?
"uncredited use (both intentional and unintentional) of somebody else's words or ideas" (Stolley & Brizee, 2010)
"presenting someone else's work as if it were your own, whether you mean to or not" (University of Wellington, Victoria, 2008)
"In an instructional setting, plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately uses someone else's language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source" (Council of Writing Program Administrators, 2003)
"This includes:
material from books, journals or any other printed source
the work of other students or staff
information from the Internet
software programs and other electronic material
designs and ideas
the organisation or structuring of any such material."
(University of Wellington, Victoria, 2008)
"You don't need to give credit when:
Sharing your personal observations and ideas, personal conclusions about something
You are writing about results you gathered through lab or field experiments
When you use your own artwork (visual or performance art)
When you are using common knowledge, common sense, or generally-accepted facts."
(Stolley & Brizee, 2010)
"What's considered common knowledge or general fact?
Common sense observations
Urban legends
Historical events...
Examples of generally-accepted facts...'pollution is bad for the environment'..."
(Stolley & Brizee, 2010)
Why do students plagiarize?
Lack of understanding research
Where to search?
How to paraphrase?
Unfamiliar with the topic, so their language closely resembles the original
Poor note-taking
Don't understand how to cite
Don't understand key concepts
written and anything else that is a fixed medium
don't understand what is & isn't copyrighted
don't understand what is common knowledge & fact
Think if it's online it is public knowledge
Pressure (external)
Parents, scholarships, time limitations/jobs, juggling many different roles
Pressure (internal)
Poor time management, disorganized, must succeed
Cultural differences
"In some cultures, copying someone else's words or ideas is a high form of flattery"
(All from University of Alberta Libraries, 2012)
What counts?
Intentional examples:
Purchasing papers or passing off classmates' or friends' papers as their own
Copying full paragraphs from resources
Unintentional examples:
Leaving off citations from paraphrased material (yes, you reworded it, but it's not your original idea) (Harris, 2011)
Only putting quotes around some of the information copied (Harris, 2011)
Taking information from your textbook, a summary, an encyclopedia or another general source and using it for background information, but not citing the source (College of Idaho, n.d.)
Citing the material, but not paraphrasing it enough and not putting quotes around it (College of Idaho, n.d.)
Copying and pasting article abstracts or summaries into annotated bibliographies
Not only is it important that you report academic dishonesty such as plagiarism, it's your responsibility.
Professor Procedures
Be clear about your expectations, policies, and what is and is not acceptable
Build into your course sequencing of parts of large projects (you can check-in with students as their project develops)--annotated bibliographies, outlines, drafts, peer reviews & edits
Be specific about the types & number of sources students should include & how current the sources should be
Redesign and adjust assignments and tests on a regular basis
Be very course-content specific with your guidelines & topics; not too general (if it is too general it is easier to purchase a paper--also watch out for being too specific, make sure there is enough information out there...)
Have students write an in-class essay when they turn in written work that describes the topic/paper content and their research and writing process
CRAFT: Context, Role, Audience, Format, Topic
Assignment & Course Tips
Consider non-traditional assignment formats:
Creating an educational game
Poster presentations (including interview/explanation)
Interactive class activity
Dissecting a scholarly article together as a class, in small groups dissect another, and then draw conclusions between the sources; students write using a common thesis & sources, but an independent paper
Backwards news article: Professor tracks back sources used in a news article & gives them to students as resources for their paper. Students analyzed and write; then compare their conclusions with those of the journalist
Select an “assignment” slip. Then, in groups, identify the weakness in the assignment (or why such an assignment is more likely to be plagiarized) and then revise it using the strategies discussed.

Remember, you want to:
•Be clear
•Consider building in sequencing
•Be specific about source use
•Be course/content specific (versus general)
•Use non-traditional assignment formats
•Consider CRAFT (Context, Role, Audience, Format, Topic)
Things to Avoid
Vague topics
Types of topics that could be easily purchased online (i.e. Why marijuana should be legalized; abortion debate, etc.)
Vague assignment guidelines
Few restrictions
College of Idaho. (n.d.). Plagiarism: Definitions and examples. Retrieved from https://zeus.collegeofidaho.edu/academics/history/courses/plagiarismexamples.htm
Council of Writing Program Administrators. (2003). Defining and avoiding plagiarism: The WPA statement on best practices. Retrieved from http://wpacouncil.org/files/WPAplagiarism.pdf
Grand View University. (2011). Student Handbook 2011-2012. Des Moines, IA: Grand View University.
Harris, R. (2011). Anti-plagiarism strategies for research papers. Retrieved from http://www.virtualsalt.com/antiplag.htm
Stolley, K., & Brizee, A. (2010). Avoiding plagiarism: Overview and contradictions. Retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/1/
University of Alberta Libraries. (2012). Guide to Plagiarism.
Retrieved from http://guides.library.ualberta.ca/content.php?pid=62200&sid=457755
University Secretariat Dalhousie University. (n.d.). Assignment ideas. Retrieved from http://www.dal.ca/dept/university_secretariat/academic-integrity/faculty-resources/preventing/assignment-ideas.html
University of Wellington, Victoria, University Teaching Development Center. (2008). Academic integrity and plagiarism resources. Retrieved from http://www.utdc.vuw.ac.nz/resources/Plagiarism
(University Secretariat Dalhousie University, n.d.)
If you suspect plagiarism:
Set up a face-to-face meeting with the student
Discuss the situation with the student
Based on your meeting, you have several options:
Provide an opportunity to correct the infraction
Assign a failing grade for the assignment
Assign a failing grade for the class
complete an Academic Dishonesty Report Form and submit it. This form can be found on MyView under the Provost's Page.

Repeat or serious violations may be referred to the Provost and VP of Academic Affairs. These infractions can lead to suspension or dismissal from Grand View.

After the infraction is settled, all parties will receive a copy of the completed form.

If the student or faculty member is dissatisfied with the decision, either may file an appeal.
(Grand View University Student Handbook 2011-2012)
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