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Contextualizing Plagiarism

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Truth or Consequences: Defining Plagiarism

This 50-minute activity explores plagiarism by asking students to read articles on plagiarism incidents and discuss them. Students perform group work to inform each other about the incidents while recognizing the many contextual concerns regarding what defines plagiarism.

The Big Picture

This 50-minute activity asks students to read and respond to a blog post about purchasing essays from an online essay-writing service. Discussion questions focus on the line between writing process and ethics.

Authorship and Popular Plagiarism

This 40-minute activity asks students to read one of two articles that discuss why plagiarism is an important issue. Discussion can focus on why people see plagiarism as a problem and why some incidents of plagiarism are potentially harmful if used as a substitute for original research.

Copyright and Plagiarism

This 30-minute activity asks students to read a short article from the NCTE Chronicle on the differences between plagiarism and copyright violation and then read and respond to several different scenarios about plagiarism and copyright.

Collaborative Authorship

This 35-minute activity asks students to read and discuss different collaborative composition scenarios and decide for themselves whether or not the actions depicted are “acceptable.” Instructors foster discussion on what kind of repercussions should arise from the situations described, if any.

Defining Our Terms

This 30-minute activity explores the different definitions of the terms that are often used in larger definitions of plagiarism. Students engage with the multiple meanings of the terms and focus on the contextual nature of plagiarism definitions.

Class Plagiarism Policy

This 40-minute activity asks students to define plagiarism and then explores some of the many permutations of common definitions. The instructor then engages students on the various forms of plagiarism and asks them to consider a course plagiarism policy.

Comparing Policies

This 30-minute activity asks groups of two students to compare their own school’s plagiarism policy with that suggested by Rebecca Moore Howard. Discussion of the two policies and how each defines plagiarism follows.