Sunday, September 28, 2008

Plagiarism Guidelines

I know it's been a while since my last posting, but I've been extremely busy with the opening of the new school year, tutoring, and completing work for my Master's program in Library Science. Before I discuss the guideines for plagiarism, perhaps I should explain what it is. In simple terms, plagiarism occurs when you use words, ideas, or any information from a source other than your own knowledge and experience, and fail to properly cite the information source. Probably 90% of the population is guilty of plagiarism at some point in their lives because it is often unintentional. For example, a writer could have a citation for a source, but if the source is improperly credited, it is still considered plagiarism. There is a very fine line that can't be crossed to avoid this problem. Here are some examples of actions that constitute plagiarism:

Downloading and turning in a paper from the web or paper mill

Copying or pasting phrases, sentences, or paragraphs into your own work without citation

Paraphrasing a source's words or ideas without citation

Including a graph, table or picture from a source without citation

Getting so much help from a tutor that you can't truly call your paper your own

Turning in previously written work when that practice is prohibited by your instructor

*Using Sources Effectively pg. 14


Brandy said...
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Brandy said...

Sorry about my last post I accidentally, the silly word verification at the top when my mouse skipped on me...anyway..
I think the subject of plagiarism is a very timely topic. There is so much on the internet it would be easy for some to "borrow" another person's work. I thought it was interesting when I had to turn in my first paper for the Online orientation that the TurnItIn site scans for plagiarism. I wonder how many other schools and universities are using similar options to help check for plagiarism?

Alicia said...

Do you think it is fair if a professor holds a student in violation of plagiarism if he/she never explicitly told students that a previously written paper by the individual student could not be submitted for credit in his/her course?

If there is no explicit requirement, can a student still be held in violation of plagiarism?

Brandi W. said...

Good question Alicia,

I have always felt that it is common sense that you don't reuse exact papers. New comments can be added, updated information etc. It has always been noted in my classes that this was not allowed. I feel that the professor should mention it,however.

Carla Brown said...

I agree with Brandi W. and Alicia when they say that professors should let students know where they syand on the re-using of individual papers. Many people would not feel it is plagiarism if you are re-using your own thoughts. Many people could fall in the trap.

Anne Marie said...

I have a friend who was expelled from college for using one of his own papers. He had permission from the professor, who later changed her position. To protect yourself, I would make sure the policy/permission is in writing.

Ali Dinges said...

I had never really thought through some of the points you made about plagiarism. One that stood out was getting so much help from a tutor that you can longer call the paper you own. I wonder where this line is drawn with students with writing difficulties. I wonder if people who help in writing centers at college are aware of their limitations in helping students.

Cathie Ruble said...

Being that I love to read, I have so many words of other people in my head that sometimes I am worried that I will accidently use their words. Does anyone else have this fear or am I the only paranoid one?

Angie Andre said...

My husband (he's a high school science teacher)and I were discussing the fact that you absolutely cannot use your own paper for two different classes. I didn't realize. I wonder how much information from one paper is acceptable to use in another?
Cathie I am a little paranoid as well. I read a lot and sometimes I think I will accidentally use someone elses thoughts. Hope that's not crazy :-)