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Plagiarism: Defining it Avoiding it Preventing it Amy Benjamin www.amybenjamin.com Cathedral High School New York, New York September 1, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Plagiarism: Defining it Avoiding it Preventing it Amy Benjamin www.amybenjamin.com Cathedral High School New York, New York September 1, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Plagiarism: Defining it Avoiding it Preventing it Amy Benjamin Cathedral High School New York, New York September 1, 2010

2 Part One: Defining Plagiarism Forms of: Word-for-word copying Using statistics without attribution Paraphrasing without attribution Plagiarism: The “kidnapping” of the unique words and ideas of another; the deliberate attempt to mislead the reader into thinking that the unique words and/or ideas of another are those of the writer

3 Forms of: Word-for-word copying The “five-word” rule: If you lift more than five consecutive words from a source, then you have to cite.

4 Forms of: Using statistics without attribution The “numbers” rule: You always have to say where you found your statistics.

5 Forms of: Paraphrasing without attribution The “not my idea” rule: If it’s an idea (not a fact) that someone else developed, you need to attribute the idea to them.

6 Part II: Avoiding Plagiarism Frame writing tasks that require thought and integration, rather than cut-and-paste. Easily cut-and-pastable tasks: 1.Write a report about an author’s life and works. 2.Explain photosynthesis. 3.Discuss three reasons for the Civil War. 4.Summarize Chapter 5 of The Scarlet Letter.

7 Part II: Avoiding Plagiarism Frame writing tasks that require thought and integration, rather than cut-and-paste. Not so easy to cut-and-paste: Compare and contrast two authors, focusing on how their works reflect their lives. Consider: The time and place in which they lived: Are the settings in their works similar to those in which the authors themselves lived? Their personal challenges and losses: Do their characters face personal challenges and losses that are similar to those of the authors? Their family lives: Do the authors write about families that are similar to their own? Word Bank: environment, reflect, recreate, setting, characters, similar to, different from, conflict, challenge, relationship

8 Part II: Avoiding Plagiarism Frame writing tasks that require thought and integration, rather than cut-and-paste. Not so easy to cut-and-paste: Draw and label a series of diagrams that depicts photosynthesis. Use scientific terminology OR: Photosynthesis is a complex process. How would you explain it to a third grader? How would you explain it to an eighth grader? OR: Create an illustrated glossary of words and terms that someone would need to understand photosynthesis. Define the words and terms in your own words.

9 Part II: Avoiding Plagiarism Frame writing tasks that require thought and integration, rather than cut-and-paste. Not so easy to cut-and-paste: Locate the information about the reasons for the Civil War in your textbook. Make an outline that expresses this information.

10 Outline: Elementary Boxes & Bullets Main idea Middle Sch I. A. B. C. II. A. B. C. III. A. B. C. High Sch I.________ A.______ 1._____ 2.______ a._____ b._____ c._____ B.__________ II.____________ A.__________ B.__________ 1._______ 2._______ 3._______ C.__________

11 Part II: Avoiding Plagiarism Frame writing tasks that require thought and integration, rather than cut-and-paste. Not so easy to cut-and-paste: Summarize Chapter 5 of The Scarlet Letter as an in-class writing task.

12 The following writing tasks and writing conditions are difficult to plagiarize: Comparison-contrast Writing that involves making a personal connection: (What does ________ remind you of? Why?) Non-traditional formats: dialogues, lists, labeled diagrams, raps, scripts, information expressed within a graphic organizer Outlines In-class writing tasks

13 Paraphrase Example Original: Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one learned in school. Albert Einstein Not-so-good Paraphrase: Education is what is left after a person no longer remembers what that person learned when that person went to school. That is what Albert Einstein said. Better Paraphrase: According to Albert Einstein, true education outlives the forgettable details that we learn in school.

14 Original Source Looks Like This: 1 For many Southerners it was psychologically impossible to see a black man bearing arms as anything but an incipient slave uprising complete with arson, murder, pillage, and rapine. -Dudley Taylor Cornish, The Sable Arm: Negro Troops in the Union Army, , p. 158.

15 Plagiarism: 1 According to Civil War historian Dudley Taylor Cornish, for many Southerners it was psychologically impossible to see a black man bearing arms as anything but an incipient slave uprising complete with arson, murder, pillage, and rapine. 2 Not Plagiarism: According to Civil War historian Dudley Taylor Cornish, “For many Southerners it was psychologically impossible to see a black man bearing arms as anything but an incipient slave uprising complete with arson, murder, pillage, and rapine.” 2

16 Summaries and Paraphrases Original Source: Half of the force holding Fort Pillow were Negroes, former slaves now enrolled in the Union Army. Toward them Forrest’s troops had the fierce, bitter animosity of men who had been educated to regard the colored race as inferior and who for the first time had encountered that race armed and fighting against white men. The sight enraged and terrified many of the Confederates and aroused in them the ugly spirit of a lynch mob.

17 Summaries and Paraphrases Borderline Plagiarism: Albert Castel suggests that much of the brutality at Fort Pillow can be traced to racial attitudes. Fifty percent of the troops holding Fort Pillow were Negroes, former slaves who had joined the Union Army. Toward them Forrest’s soldiers displayed the savage hatred of men who had been taught the inferiority of blacks and who for the first time had confronted them armed and fighting against white men. The vision angered and perhaps frightened the Confederates and aroused in them the ugly spirit of a lynch mob. 2

18 Summary and Paraphrase Acceptable Paraphrase: Albert Castel suggests that much of the brutality at Fort Pillow can be traced to racial attitudes. Nearly half of the Union troops were blacks, men whom the Confederates had been raised to consider their inferiors. The shock and perhaps fear of facing armed ex-slaves in battle for the first time may well have unleashed the fury that led to the massacre. 2

19 Integrating Sources Use present or present perfect tense in phrases that introduce quotations: Bloom points out that… Bloom has pointed out that…

20 Signal Phrases (or not) A signal phrase is a phrase that informs the reader that a quotation, summary, or paraphrase is coming up:

21 No Signal Phrase Those testifying on the Union and Confederate sides recalled events at Fort Pillow quite differently. Unionists claimed that their troops had abandoned their arms and were in full retreat. “The confederates, however, all agreed that the Union troops retreated to the river with arms in their hands.” 3

22 Signal Phrase Those testifying on the Union and Confederate sides recalled events at Fort Pillow quite differently. Unionists claimed that their troops had abandoned their arms and were in full retreat. “The Confedertes, however, “writes historian Albert Castel, “all agreed that the Union troops retreated to the river with arms in their hands.” 3 3

23 Vary Your Signal Phrases In the words of historian Rajesh Kumar,”… As Rajesh Kumar has argued, “… In a letter to his colleague, Rajesh Kumar writes, “… “…” notes Rajesh Kumar, “…” Rajesh Kumar offers an intriguing interpretation of these events: “… In a bold claim, Rajesh Kumar asserts that, “… 3

24 Cite Statistics and Include Signal Phrases Shelby Foote notes that of the 295 white troops garrisoned at Fort Pillow, 168 were taken prisoner. Black troops fared much worse, with only 58 of 262 men being taken into custody. 3

25 Ellipsis Ellipsis marks look like this: … Use ellipsis to indicate that words have been omitted. Use ellipsis only when the words have been omitted within a sentence. The sentence must remain grammatically complete despite its omissions.

26 Ellipsis “We captured…about 40 Negro women and children.” 7

27 Brackets Brackets allow you to insert words of your own into quoted material. Sometimes, you want to do this to explain a confusing reference, or to keep a sentence grammatically intact: According to Albert Castel, “It can be reasonably argued that he was justified in believing that the approaching steamship-s intended to aid the garrison.” 8

28 The examples in this presentation are taken from A Pocket Style Manual, Fourth Edition by Diana Hacker published by Bedford/St. Martin’s 2004.


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