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1 Plagiarism and how to avoid it Stephen Bostock and Mike Brough September 2005 Keele University International Postgraduate Students Induction.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Plagiarism and how to avoid it Stephen Bostock and Mike Brough September 2005 Keele University International Postgraduate Students Induction."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Plagiarism and how to avoid it Stephen Bostock and Mike Brough September 2005 Keele University International Postgraduate Students Induction

2 2 Summary What is it? Why is it a problem? How is technology involved? Why does it happen? International students problems Keeles position Advice on avoiding plagiarism and collusion

3 3 Plagiarism Passing off someone elses work or ideas as ones own, without credit Literary theft, cheating, copying The unoriginal sin (Colon 2001) Including: Plagiarising published/web sources Colluding (not collaborating) Fraudulent authorship

4 4 Where do you draw the line? 1 A. Copying verbatim from a source without an acknowledgement. B. Copying a paragraph and making only small changes e.g. replacing a few verbs, replacing an adjective with a synonym. C. Cutting and pasting a paragraph by using sentences of the original but omitting one or two and putting one or two in a different order. D. Composing a paragraph by taking short phrases from a number of sources and putting them together using words of your own to make a coherent whole. E. Paraphrasing a paragraph by rewriting with substantial changes in language and organization; the new version will also have changes in the amount of detail used and the examples cited. F. Quoting an original paragraph by placing it in quotation marks with the source cited and discussing it in your own words

5 5 Why is this a problem? For the student failure to achieve academic learning outcomes treated as academic misconduct For the teacher a waste of time For the institution threat to reputation and value of degrees QA, regulations, and legislative context

6 6 Technology Electronic writing makes it easier to plagiarize Web documents give more opportunity; cheat Web sites Internet communication widens the geographical scope But technology also aids detection

7 7 Collaboration and collusion Collaboration is encouraged even in preparation for individual assessed writing: Academic discussion, prewriting, sharing sources, peer review, copy editing Collusion is shared work, claimed to be individual: Sharing text Sharing ideas/problem-solving that leads to the same answer Technical editing, redrafting Where to draw the line may vary with discipline and with assignment – check with your tutor. Acknowledge any help you got including copy editing (this should be given in an Acknowledgements statement)

8 8 The JISC plagiarism detection service (PDS) [ ] The PDS detects use of the web, collusion within and between cohorts, and published text books. A demonstration web site open to all. Guides for teachers and students are available. Keele licenses its use; Schools use it to provide consistent good practice across the university. Students should expect to have work checked without notice, either to investigate a suspicion or (occasionally) to screen a whole cohort of work. We dont want to detect it, we want to deter it.

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12 12 Why do a few students plagiarize? Poor writing skills, poor time management Unintentional bad practice through ignorance (in the past) Cultural differences More time pressure on some students; part-time working More pressure on some students to get a good qualification Intention to deceive (cheating)

13 13 International students International students are (statistically) more likely to be caught plagiarizing. Why? may have weaker English writing skills may arrive with cultural assumptions that some plagiarism is OK may have more time pressure through working in a second language All these problems are also found in some UK/EU students

14 14 Keeles position Keele is a scholarly community with a culture of research and teaching. Plagiarism (and collusion) is serious misconduct. We (the University and the students Union) want to raise student expectations of scholarly writing, providing guidance & teaching. Staff will set a good example in their own materials. Regulations and procedures are applied consistently across the University. Each School has an Academic Conduct Officer. Software supports the detection/confirmation of plagiarism or collusion.

15 15 Writing right Ideas from other authors must have their source acknowledged – cited in the text and listed in the references. Text/diagrams from other authors must be acknowledged – cited in the text and listed in the references. Where plagiarism is found in assessed work, it does not just reduce the grade. There is no mark; it is academic misconduct.

16 16 References and reading 1. From Academic writing for graduate students by Swales and Feale, University of Michigan, Colon, A Avoid the pitfalls of plagiarism, Writer 114 (1) p JISC Plagiarism project ation_studies/Imri/Jiscpas/site/jiscpas.asp including A guide to good practice by Jude Carroll & Jon Appleton 4. Park, C In other (peoples) words: plagiarism by university students – literature and lessons, Assessment and Evaluation in HE 28 (5)

17 17 Web sites The Keele key skills package has a section on plagiarism entersite.html Postgraduate induction materials Frequently asked questions on assessment: regulationshandbook/faqs.htm#assess

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