03 Oct

What is plagiarism?

There are many different types of plagiarism.  The main three that I am focusing on are cheating (straight out taking someone else’s work and calling it your own), patchworking (taking part of someone’s paper and inserting the writer’s own words a little throughout the other person’s paper or paragraphs), and lastly, non-attributions (lack of citing for someone else’s work).

I like the focus on unintentional and intentional plagiarism.  I know that many students don’t even realize that patchworking or non-attributions are considered.

One thing I did with my students.  We did a unit on the Winter Olypmics (when they were going on a few years ago.)  I made them write a paper on the Olympics, an athlete, and the sport their athlete played.

As they wrote, I had them tell me at the end of each paragraph where they got the information.  They put, internet, self, book, or something similar.  We went through paragraph by paragraph so that I could help them see where it could be any of the three ytpes of plagiarism.  It really helped them see where they got thier information and then where they needed to site it.  I was able to help them really focus on patchworking (the biggest type of plagiarism in school, I think).  That might be useful when you are starting to try and help the students and parents learn more about them.

Why is there a harsher punishment for cheating then for patchworking?

I think that the reason they don’t have the same punishment is that patchwriting is taking passages and not copying it word for word, but maybe not good at rewording it in the writer’s own words.

Cheating is straight up word for every word, and then taking credit for it.

When I was teaching English I had some students that were having a hard time rewording passages to make them more thier own, which was much different then the student just taking an older student’s essay and turning it in.


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