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Class Plagiarism Policy

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Time Estimate

40 minutes


Engage students in defining plagiarism for your course.



Computer Lab Option Materials

Digital projector

  1. Ask students their definitions and place those definitions on one side of the board. Then, after locating all of the main verbs and nouns, try to create a composite sentence out of the responses. (10 minutes) Hint: the sentence will likely follow something like this formula: “The use of someone’s else’s ideas presented as your own without proper citation.” The underlined sections often include a number of synonyms and related nouns/verbs.

  2. When the class agrees on a general definition, ask students what the course policy should be for failure to adhere to that definition, considering that there are different types of plagiarism:

    • Excessive repetition (poor paraphrasing of another’s words)
    • Improper citation (failure to cite properly)
    • Improper Idea borrowing (failure to cite another’s ideas)
    • Fraud (creation of false sources)
    • Forgery (turning in another person’s work as your own)
  3. Explain what these types of plagiarism mean and put them on the board, asking students what the policy should be for each type of “offense.” If the class does not come to an agreement on these terms, that’s OK. (15 minutes)

Computer Lab Option

Compose the definition on the instructor’s digital projector, or, if you have extra time, when brainstorming, ask students to search for further definitions online and use them in your brainstorming task.