Monday, November 3, 2008

Topic: Plagiarism

10-second review: Suggests that many students have not been taught how to avoid plagiarism.

Title: “Responding to Plagiarism.” A Drum. College Composition and Communication (May 1986), 241-243. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary: Defines plagiarism: “…both legally and morally wrong because it involves the appropriation of words or ideas that belong to someone else and the misrepresentation of them as one’s own.” We need to emphasize with students that to avoid plagiarism all they need to do is to credit the source. Sounds pretty basic, but students need to be reminded to do that. In the past, the complications of footnotes might have deterred the students from acknowledging the source, but with today’s methods of including the acknowledgment in the text, students should find the procedure easy for the writer and more intelligible and less distracting to the reader.

The author also suggests using preliminary assignments like abstracts, summaries and background papers in which students briefly describe their procedures in developing their research papers.

Comment: Ultimately, I believe that most students will not plagiarize if they engage in assignments in which they want to find the answers to real questions. RayS.

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