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How to plagiarise (by mistake)
Inger Mewburnon 29 August 2013
Transcript of How to plagiarise (by mistake)
Plagiarism - the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited.Examples of plagiarism include:* Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation;* Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;* Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;* Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;* Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;* Copying a whole or any part of another student’s work; and* Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
Step Three Don't learn how to use quotes
It's like a game...
Scholarship is built from ideas in many different 'voices'
Always make it clear who is 'speaking' (even if you don't use the same words)
Definition of plagiarism
From the RMIT policy and procedures pages
Images can be stolen too. Their use is also covered by copyright law.
(This image is copyright free from www.morguefile.com - all images in this presentation are, unless noted otherwise)
Plagiarism is stealing
(Adapted from the Oxford University good scholarship guide: http://tinyurl.com/3g69hk3)
Quotation takes many forms - it can take awhile to learn how to do it properly
Here are some rules of thumb:
Only use a direct quote if you can't say it better yourself
Only use a quote if it adds value to your writing
For quotes of more than three lines, use a block quote.
Think of yourself as a DJ - the quote will always have a 'lead in' and a 'lead out'
For instance, it's hard to improve on this sentence: "Writing is a grim business, much like repairing a sewer or running a mortuary" (Silvia, 2007, pg 11) because the 'word imagery' is strong
But you could turn: "Be forewarned that other people will not respect your commitment to your writing time" (Silvia, 2001, pg 15) into "Silvia (2007) warns writers to expect interuptions"
In his 2007 book "How to write a lot", Paul J Silvia makes some amusing observations about academia:
"Complaining is an academic's birthright. The art of complaining develops early, when undergraduates complain about their professors, their textbooks, and the cosmic unfairness of 9:00am Friday Classes... Of course, professional faculty raise complaining to a refined, elegant art, particularly when [Vice chancellors] or parking permits are involved" (Silvia, 2007, pg. 49)
An 'ellipsis' (three dots) indicates I have taken some words out of the original text because they weren't directly relevant to the point I wanted to make with the text
I have taken an American word out and substituted with the Australian equivalent. I use brackets to show it is changed.
Many academics will cringe when they read Silvia's (2007) outline of "specious barriers" to writing which "appear to be legitimate" but are actually just flimsy excuses which "crumble under critical scrutiny" (pg 11)
This bit of writing prepares the reader for my use of the ideas
Here I weave in parts of Silvia's text with my own to change the emphasis to suit my purpose
Does this mean you need to find a 'source' for all the ideas you use in your work? Not necessarily. Some concepts are so commonplace that it can be hard to know who to reference.
Sometimes the 'stolen products' can be difficult to identify
Step Four Don't take good notes
A lot of plagiarism is inadvertant - a result of bad scholarly habits...
Peg Boyle Single suggests there are four reasons to quote someone directly:
When the author can say what you cannot
When the quote is catch or edgy (see above)
When the quote is a definition
When the quote comes from a nationally recognised organisation or expert
("Demystifying Dissertation Writing", 2010, pg 72)
This prezi was composed by
Dr Inger Mewburn
With input from Dr Robyn Barnacle
Research Fellows, School of Graduate Research
Many people are not 'taught' how to make notes
They just write whatever leaps off the page at them...
"Collect notes, not articles or books" (Boyle, 2010)
Only take notes on the second read through
Avoid transcribing (use your verbs)
Use a highlighter or quotes EVERY TIME you copy
Pay attention to style as well as content
Step One Be bored by 'administrative stuff'
Here's the simple version:
Patent Drawing for Plywood Chair
Submitted by Charles,
registered in 1942,
Manuscript Division (F-04)
We take the position that most plagiarism is inadvertant.
But it doesn't happen by accident.
A number of things have to go 'wrong'...
So here is our guide to:
How to Plagiarise (by mistake)
If we were "Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences" (i.e.: plagiarising) it would like like this:
Many academics have specious barriers to writing which appear to be legitimate, but are actually just flimsy excuses which crumble under critical scrutiny
Be confident and try to 'put it in your own words'. Just remember: you still need to put in a reference if the idea is not yours.
For example, you have probably seen plenty of these chairs before:
But did you know about this?
I know - It's like eating a big plate of this...
Ignorance is not a defence.
If your thesis contains plagiarised material you will be stripped of your degree
- even if it's discovered years and years later.
Charles and Ray Eames designed this chair for the manufacturers 'Herman Miller'. It was wildly popular and spawned a whole generation of copies. The copies were so numerous that almost no one remembers the original.
The question is: does it matter?
To a historian of Ray and Charles Eames it matters a lot
To a school child it doesn't
Most of us academics are onlookers: the crowd who are barracking for one side or the other... we probably aren't worth referencing.
Some of us are more visible: The quality of our work means we are 'watched' and followed by others. BUT: not all team players will be worthy of referencing because they are playing, not making the rules.
Only a few of us are VIPs:
Very Interesting People.
VIPs 'change the rules'. The quality of their work is so exceptional it will move thought in the field. These people are always worth referencing - this shows the reader that you know what makes a 'good game'.
Try changing the way you store information
Endnote / Zotero etc store your notes with the article
Store just the notes
Use a data base like Evernote (or an old fashioned card file)
Here's an original quote:
"Most people have no idea how much - or how little - they're writing. Because they view themselves in a flattering, self enhancing light, most people thing that they're writing more often and more efficiently than they are. To write a lot you need to take a cold, accurate look at your writing by monitoring your writing progress" (Silva, pg 39)
I can use verbs to insert my opinion - either positively:
Silva (2007) points out that most people don't know how productive they are when it comes to writing. He accuses academics of failing to realise that they are not as productive as they think they are. He suggests that keeping records about writing habits is a way to overcome this tendency, which seems worthwhile - if a little time consuming.
Or more skeptically:
Silva (2007) claims that most people don't know how productive they are when it comes to writing. He accuses academics of failing to realise that they are not as productive as they think they are. His suggestion that keeping records about writing habits is a way to overcome this tendency seems overly time consuming.
Copy passages which you think are particularly erudite and make a note of why, ie:
"The cure for writer's block - if you can cure a specious affliction - is writing" (Silvia, 2007, pg 46)
Good use of hypens... they act like a 'pause' before and after a phrase in speech. This is a well known rhetorical trick which the author has deployed here.
It's about knowing the 'provenance' of ideas...
Provenance or chiefly ( US ) provenience (prvnns, prvinns) -n:
"a place of origin, esp that of a work of art or archaeological specimen. [C19: from French, from provenir, from Latin prōvenīre to originate, from venīre to come]"
The following references were used to make this presentation:
RMIT plagiarism policies: http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=p1l82w9nky8a
Boyle, P. S (2010) "Demystifying Dissertation Writing: a streamlined process from choice of topic to final text", Stylus: Sterling, Virginia.
Silvia, P. J (2007) "How to write a lot: a practical guide to productive academic writing", APA Lifetools: Washington D.C.
Be sure: use 'Turnitin'
Steps 1 to 8 are outlined in these pages
Turnitin is an online text-matching service which can be used to prevent plagiarism and encourage academic integrity.
Registered lecturers, teachers and students can submit assignments and articles to Turnitin , which are compared line-by-line to previous submissions and other database content (webpages, online e-journals, etc).
A report is generated identifying similarities between the submission and previous material, allowing teachers and students to review the citation and paraphrasing used throughout the assignment to see if any improvements are needed.
The approach taken at RMIT to the use of Turnitin is one of promoting academic integrity, rather than policing plagiarism. This is achieved through identifying the service with related practices and attitudes, such as correct referencing/citation styles, copyright management and information literacy.
From the RMIT webpage:
I'm writing something