A Quote to Consider If parents and schools took cheating seriously — for instance if school funding was tied to the cheating rate — all sorts of effective methods would be developed to create an academic environment with integrity. Our failure to do so makes a mockery of the empty slogans about the importance of honesty and betrays every child who believes our preaching about character and virtue. (Michael Josephson, “Cheating Leads to Cheating.”)
Why Do Students Plagiarize and Cheat? Everyone else does it It’s very competitive I don’t have time to do it Don’t buy into the assignment Poor role models (Parents?, Media) “Other teachers don’t mind.” Don’t understand documentation
Extent of the Problem At least 30% of students admit to some cheating (same as before Internet) Some sources say as high as 80% of students cheat When surveyed, students perceived that 90% of peers cheat There is a problem of the reliability of self-reports.
An age old problem “The civil service examination system with its variations, established in China a millennium or more ago, was conducted in sealed individual cells from which candidates did not budge for three days. Before entering the examination room, the candidates were searched carefully for any aids they might have concealed on their persons. In spite of all the precautions, in spite of the death penalty for examiners and examinees when the cheaters were caught, there is live evidence of the circumvention of external help…. A ‘cribbing garment’ which was rented to those intending to cheat. When sewn into the coat, this garment could be smuggled into the cell and the candidate could copy...Any number of the 722 essays based on the Confucian writings.” Brickman, William. “Ethics, Examinations and Education.” School and Society, 89:4 (1961), p.412.
How is it Done? Copy and paste Web sites for papers (free and purchase) Papers-Written-To-Order Note cards written to order Exchanging with another student PDA’s… Calculators Pagers Cell phones
Preventing Plagiarism (stop it, don’t mop it.) Explain plagiarism, citations and paraphrasing. Schedule library time for research. Be suspicious of students who say that they are “working at home.” Ethics and character must be taught Effective Assignments
Preventing Plagiarism II Structure assignment so that parts of assignments are due at different times. Require drafts (collaborative writing.) Evaluate the process as much as the content. Require annotated bibliography Tell war stories about detecting plagiarism Require printouts or photocopies of material cited.
Easily plagiarized assignments AIDS Choose a topic from Catcher in the Rye. History of jazz and classical music African Art Leonardo Da Vinci How could these assignments be improved?
Beware of: Vocabulary and syntax not typical of student. Inability to read parts of essay aloud or answer simple questions. Old sources in bibliography and websites that no longer exist.
Downsides of Plagiarism Detection Violation of students’ copyright Violation of student confidentiality Doesn’t account for print sources
Resources Articles Young, Jeffrey R. “The Cat-and Mouse- Game of Plagiarism Detection.” Chronicle of Higher Education. July 6, 2001. p.A26 (Available through Academic Search Premier.) Anti-plagiarism sites "Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers," by Robert Harris This site offers good assignment strategies and a reminder to distinguish between intentional cheating and poor source management and integration http://www.virtualsalt.com/antiplag.htm http://www.virtualsalt.com/antiplag.htm Bedford Workshop on Plagiarism
Resources, cont. University of Virginia Plagiarism Links http://plagiarism.phys.virginia.edu/links.html Student Learning Sites Indiana University Writing Center Citing Your Sources (Cornell University Library) Citing Your Sources Internet Paper Mills Bignerds.com Enter “free essays” into any Internet search engine.
Copied with permission from: Harris, Robert A. The Plagiarism Handbook. Los Angeles, CA, Pyrczak Publishing, 2001.
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