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Authorship and Popular Plagiarism

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Time Estimate

40 minutes


To have students gain a larger understanding of the context of authorship, plagiarism, and intellectual property.


Authorship and Popular Plagiarism handouts

  1. Split the class into two groups and then distribute article one to one group and handout two to the other. Give students a chance to read their articles:"Plagiarism: Everybody into the Pool" and "Threats and Responses: Intelligence Assessments." (10-15 min.)

  2. After students have read the articles, ask each group to briefly summarize the article and explain the main points to the other half of class. This may involve choosing particular students to articulate each article. (5-10 min.)

  3. Discuss the content of the article with students. (15 min.) You can certainly include any details or concerns students have, but there are some discussion questions to build upon:

    • What were some of the consequences for plagiarizing?
    • Do the consequences change in different contexts?
    • How many people do you think plagiarize often?
    • What are some of the motivations for doing so?
    • Are there situations where activities considered “plagiarism” is acceptable? Explain.
    • Why do you think people are so concerned about plagiarism issues?