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Comparing Policies

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Time Estimate

30 minutes


To have students understand the differences between what their school recommends and what other critics suggest

  • Howard, Rebecca Moore. "Plagiarisms, Authorships, and the Academic Death Penalty." College English 57.7 (Nov. 1995): 708-36. Print.
  • Your own institution’s plagiarism policy

  1. In groups of two, students will read their institution’s official plagiarism and academic dishonesty policy and takes notes on the article, focusing on definitions of plagiarism

  2. Students then compare this policy to the policy Rebecca Moore Howard provides in her article "Plagiarisms, Authorships, and the Academic Death Penalty"

  3. The pairs of students will then move into groups of 4 (2 pairs of 2) and discuss the main differences between the two policies

  4. The instructor will lead class discussion on the differences and students’ opinions of their institution’s policy


Students can develop a short policy statement for the course—work that would lead into the lesson plan on creating a course plagiarism definition.

Computer Lab Option

Instead of discussing the different policies in groups, students can discuss the policies through a discussion board set up before class. If possible, share the university’s policy during class time and have students annotate and comment on the document, discussing their comments and questions during class time.