Information Competency Gavilan College Spring 2006 Module 19
Anti-Plagiarism Resources
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Definition of Plagiarism

From the American Heritage College Dictionary, 4th ed.

Plagiarism: 1. The act of plagiarizing. 2. Something plagiarized.

Plagiarize: 1. To use and pass off (the ideas or writings of another) as one's own. 2. To appropriate for use as one's own passages or ideas from (another).

 

Example?

From Sage Publishers, a review of their recent publication, Cultural Identity and Global Process, by Jonathan Friedman:

Examining ideas ranging from world systems theory to postmodernism, Jonathan Friedman investigates the relations between the global and the local, to show how cultural fragmentation and modernist homogenization are equally constitutive trends of global reality. With examples taken from a rich variety of theoretical sources, ethnographic accounts of historical eras, the analysis ranges across the cultural formations of ancient Greece, contemporary processes of Hawaiian cultural identification and Congolese beauty cults. Throughout, the author examines the interdependency of world market and local cultural transformations, and demonstrates the complex interrelations between globally structured social processes and the organization of identity.

From Amazon.com, , on their Product Overview page for this book, under the heading Editorial Review:

Drawing on ideas ranging from world systems theory to postmodernism, Cultural Identity and Global Process analyzes the relations between the global and the local to show how cultural fragmentation and modernist homogenization are equally constitutive trends of global reality. Illustrating his thesis with examples from a variety of theoretical sources, ethnographic accounts, and historical eras, Jonathan Friedman considers elements as disparate as the cultural formations of ancient Greece, contemporary processes of Hawaiian cultural identification, and the Congolese internalization of modernity evidenced in beauty cults. Throughout his work, the author examines the interdependency of the world market and local cultural transformations, demonstrating the complex interrelations between globally structured social processes and the organization of identity.

And from Stanford University:

Stanford University said today it had learned that its teaching assistants' handbook section on plagiarism had been plagiarized by the University of Oregon. Stanford issued a release saying Oregon officials conceded that the plagiarism section and other parts of its handbook were identical with the Stanford guidebook. Oregon officials apologized and said they would revise their guidebook.

From the New York Times (June 6, 1980)

 

Exercise 1
The extract below is followed by some possible uses that could be made of it. For each use, discuss whether or not it is plagiarism, and give a reason for your decision.

Original Text:

The second problem would have guaranteed the failure of the new math even if the first problem had not existed. The overwhelmng majority of elementary-school teachers have had inadequate training in mathematics, and thus did not understand what they were expected to teach. A program that attempts to transmit knowledge not possessed by the teacher is doomed to fail. As this fact became clear to curriculum directors and textbook publishers across the country, they compounded their error by attempting to make the new math teacher-proof. This involved developing self-explanatory materials and mechanical, repetitive techniques which were based on underlying mathematical principles. Unfortunately, the new techniques were far more complicated than the old ones had been, the teachers still did not understand what was going on, and an entire generation did not learn how to compute. (From Copperman, P. (1980). The literacy hoax. New York: Morrow Quill Paperbacks).

Possible uses of the original text:

  1. A program that attempts to transmit knowledge not possessed by the teacher is doomed to fail.
  2. "A program that attempts to transmit knowledge not possessed by the teacher is doomed to fail."
  3. A course that attempts to transmit knowledge not possessed by the teacher will never succeed.
  4. A course that tries to convey understanding not held by the teacher is fated to be unsuccessful.
  5. If the instructor does not have the knowledge that the student is meant to learn from a course, then the course will never succeed.
  6. Without the first problem, the second one would still have been enough to stop the new math from working.
  7. Copperman (1980) claims that without the first problem, the second one would still have been enough to stop the new math from working.

 

Exercise 2

Original Text:

An even better case can be made that the new English curriculum has directly caused a deterioration in the writing skills of American students. Writing instruction in the early 1960's tended to be rather mechanical. Teachers focused on such aspects of the writing art as grammar, punctuation, syntax, and spelling. This type of instruction was fiercely criticized in the late 1960's as stifling creativity and fostering an imitative kind of writing. In my opinion, some of the criticism was well-founded, especially for bright students, but as usual the baby went out with the bath water. (From Copperman, P. (1980). The literacy hoax. New York: Morrow Quill Paperbacks).

Possible uses of the original text:

  1. Teachers focused on such aspects of the writing art as grammar, punctuation, syntax, and spelling.
  2. Instructors concentrated on such parts of the skill of written composition as "grammar, punctuation, syntax, and spelling".
  3. A mechanical approach dominated the teaching of composition in the first years of the 1960's.
  4. Copperman (1980) asserts that some of the criticism of early 1960's writing instruction was justified, especially in the case of intelligent students, and that what was good was thrown out with what was bad: "...the baby went out with the bath water."
  5. During the later years of the 1960's, two strong criticisms were made of such teaching of writing: first, that the students could not be creative and, second, that only imitative writing was encouraged.
  6. One view (Copperman, 1980) is that, although there was good evidence to support some of the critical judgements, the effective aspects of instruction were given up together with the ineffective.

 

More Information

Kimberly Smith & Erin Crook's Writing Center plagiarism page (Coming Soon)

From Fairfield University Library, The Plagiarism Court: You be the Judge, a tutorial on plagiarism. Use either Flash or a web-based version.

Altavista, Google and Yahoo search engines can all find complete passages if you remember to put quotation marks at the beginning and ending of the passage.

If you want credit for this module:

Create a 'plagiarism' exercise for your class. You can make a PowerPoint presentation, a webpage, or a forum discussion if you have an Etudes shell for your course. Try it with your class and keep records of how your students responded to the presentation. Most importantly, did the number of plagiarism incidents go down?

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Address of this page:
http://gavilan.edu/tlc/ic/plag.html
For questions or comments, contact Jo Anne Howellat
jhowell@gavilan.edu
Last updated on April 12, 2006

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