Thursday, May 21, 2009

Topic: Plagiarism

10-second review: Don’t assume students can even define plagiarism.

Title: “Using Bloom’s Taxonomy to Teach Students about Plagiarism.” MA Vosen. English Journal (July 2008), 43-46. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary: Students complete a K-W-L chart. In column one (K), they list what they already know about plagiarism. In column two (W) they list what they want to know a bout plagiarism. After discussions about plagiarism, students put in column three (L) what they have learned about plagiarism.

Students develop a definition of plagiarism. They do so after checking Google and sharing what they have learned. The teacher reads a paper written in the past, but leaves out the citations. The students pick out what has been “plagiarized.” Teacher emphasizes in-text citations and works-cited entries. Students make up MLA citations for a variety of different resources from a book with one author to an article on a Web site to an e-mail. Focuses on the difference between paraphrases and direct quotations.

Comment: I have often felt that students plagiarize without realizing they are doing so. This article suggests that teachers not assume students can even define it and encourages discussion of what constitutes plagiarism. She encourages students to ask questions. I suggest that the teacher or English department prepare a booklet on “Everything You Never Wanted to Know about Plagiarism Because You Were Afraid to Ask” in Q & A format. RayS.

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