Plagiarism

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by teachin4ever, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    Apr 14, 2009

    I'm curious how you veteran teachers handle students who plagiarize? I teach one literature class and had my students write a research paper on a greek god/goddess. As I was reading through them today, I noticed some of the wording was way more advanced than the writing they usually turn in to me. So, I googled some of the "fishy" sentences and lo and behold, two papers were COMPLETELY plagiarized. They didn't even throw in a different word here or there.

    Now, I realize that, perhaps, they may not know exactly what it means to plagiarize. I don't teach English, just literature, however, their English teacher doesn't have them write papers AT ALL, so my P asked if I minded incorporating more writing during literature so they don't go through 7th grade not having written anything. Since I'm a new teacher, I said no problem, but I'm not doing it again next year. I don't think it's fair that I have to teach them not only literature but also, how to write papers, bibliographies, thesis sentences, main ideas, outlines etc. while their English teacher has them diagramming sentences all year. :|

    Anyway, I digress. Any insight on the plagiarism topic would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. jbj913

    jbj913 Rookie

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    Apr 14, 2009

    I put my plagiarism policy in my syllabus and make it obvious to notice. And I go on and on about what is plagiarism on the first day and how I am dead serious about it.
    I provide examples of how in college they will kick you out for a semester and you lose your credits and tuition.
    I've had a couple do it this year and double their Fs. And we have a school policy to report to an administrator.
    Three consecutive words or more is plagiarism if not cited correctly.
     
  4. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Apr 14, 2009

    Even though I teach juniors and seniors, many of them get to me thinking that one can only plagiarize while writing research papers ... and, many of those don't really understand.

    I get essays, presentations, etc that are copied/pasted and expected to be passable because, according to the students, "none of the other teachers care." I find that hard to believe, but, it is what it is.

    Students think I have some crazy special power to find copy/pasted material ... what they don't know is that it is called Google.

    So, I do a lot of teaching about plagiarism.

    If an assignment shows up plagiarized, I give the paper a 0. Then, depending on the length, set a new due date (1 to 3 days) for a re-do of the assignment. The new assignment gets submitted with the first plagiarized assignment (makes it easy for me to see if students "get it.") If a student refuses to re-do the assignment and take the 0, I refer the situation to the P for cheating and notify parents.
     
  5. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Apr 14, 2009

    I've been fighting this all school year. From essays to simple homework assignments, the "copy-paste" button is the bane of my existence.

    I give zeros when I notice it, and that is easier to do on essays. But as for homework assignments, I simply don't have the time to google everything.... students have flat out told me "you don't always catch it, so its worth it". Pathetic.
     
  6. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Apr 14, 2009



    I actually take delight in that response and say with great pride, "I'm not just another teacher, I'm Mr. B. Deal with it."



    Then there's the good old line of, "None of our other teachers are making us work today." ........."Excellent, since you aren't worn out from your other classes you should be fresh and ready to work in mine."


    Yet another......"Half the class isn't here so we shouldn't have to work." ........"Nope, that just means they will have to work extra hard to catch up with what you learn today."
     
  7. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Apr 14, 2009

    This is such a frustrating situation. I recently assigned my seniors a short satirical writing piece - rewrite a fairy tale. One of my boys completely cut and pasted his from an online source, and he actually might have gotten away with it, because he's generally a good writer. Unfortunately, one of his classmates used the exact same source. They both got zeroes and written up for academic dishonesty, per our school policy.

    It's getting to be that the only way we can be sure students are doing their own work is to have them write in class. I give an essay final for the first semester, and my students use the two hours to write an analysis of an article on the computers in the library. Having access to the internet doesn't matter, because they get the articles that day, but I can have our tech guy cut off internet access for that period if I want to.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 14, 2009

    I do as others have done and give an initial score of 0 with an option to redo.

    Although I don't think we can fully eradicate plagiarism, I do think that there are ways we can minimize it. For starters, we can really explain what plagiarism is, what it looks like, why it is bad. We need to show examples of plagiarism. We need to explain that you can't just rephrase things or switch a few words around to make it your own.

    We can also have students work on their writing in stages, in class, and evaluate those parts as they are completed. If a student has to do all the parts of the paper/project--brainstorming, outline, research, rough drafts, final drafts--in class, with the teacher around, they might not feel the need to plagiarize.
     
  9. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Apr 15, 2009

    Like jbj913, I have my policy right in my syllabus. Like Cassie said, I go over it with them in the beginning of the year, we do examples in class (copying another student's homework is cheating, letting someone copy your homework is cheating, turning in something you didn't write is plagiarism, copy and pasting is plagiarism, etc). In my class, if you plagiarize, it's a zero and a referral, plus a conference with parents and GC.

    At the conference they get the option to redo the assignment for partial credit. I like to tell me kids that writing an essay/research paper is just another way of expressing your individuality - why would you want to present yourself as a cheater?

    So far, I've had only had one kid actually do it.
     
  10. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    I explain in great detail what plagiarizing entails. I have the consequences for plagiarism written on my syllabus. My students know from the onset of the year that I have a zero tolerance policy for plagiarism.

    If I notice a student has plagiarized in a paper, they get an automatic zero and a conference with me, their parents and the P. Depending on the extent and nature of the plagiarism, we discuss the student's consequences. My school has a policy of expelling students that have plagiarized on major assignments such as the Senior year paper each student is required to write in order to graduate. We've only had one student plagiarize on their Senior paper in the five years I've been here.

    I tell them what it is, what it entails, and why it's wrong to take credit for work that isn't your own. Students that don't understand that will have to deal with the consequences of their actions.
     
  11. ANGRY AL

    ANGRY AL Companion

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    Apr 15, 2009

    I'd be doing handsprings if my guys even put forth enough effort to plagiarize.
     
  12. atkhorses

    atkhorses Rookie

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    Apr 18, 2009

    handsprings

    AngryAl that is hillarious. I can TOTALLY understand that comment.
     
  13. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    Apr 19, 2009

    I teach 7th grade, and my kids don't do research papers, however I'd have some type of punishwork assignment, if possible. Maybe like explain the pros and cons of cheating. I'm not sure if this would be persmissable in your school since the kid would have earned a 0, but it's just an idea. In my school, we have a double jeopardy clause. If a kid is caught cheating, you can either give a 0 OR write them up and let them make up the test. I choose the second because I want it to go on their official record. However, I give them a new test which is 10X harder.
     
  14. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Apr 19, 2009

    There are programs where you can run an esay or paper through the program and it will tell you if it was or how much of it was plagiarized. Make the kids run their papers through this program and attach the report that's generated. Then, you don't have to Google it or run it yourself.
     
  15. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    TurnItIn.com is the program. I hear that some school districts, especially private schools, pay for it. Not sure of the cost, but it doesn't seem affordable to a teacher to pay out of pocket, it seems.
     
  16. courtneymarie

    courtneymarie Rookie

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    Apr 23, 2009

    I also put my plagiarism policy in my syllabus. If they plagiarize, I give kids a zero. In the two cases where I've given zeros, I didn't give either a chance to redo it because the ENTIRE paper, not just parts, but the entire thing, was plagiarized. They knew exactly what they were doing, so they had no opportunity for a redo.

    Another time, 21 of the 22 students in my class plagiarized. (At this point, I should mention I have HS seniors). Some knew exactly what they did, some really, honestly didn't know that what they were doing was plagiarism (they had paraphrased, but paraphrased an entire source). I gave them an opportunity to redo. Some did, some didn't.

    When I catch plagiarism (which is sooooo easy to do, hello, Google), I print out the source they plagiarized from and staple it to their paper when I give it back.

    I've tried teaching about plagiarism, what it encompasses and how to avoid it, but, I admit, I need to work on a better idea of how to get the message to them--i.e., your entire paper can't be a paraphrase. I talk to them about "creating their own original thoughts", but there are still some, to this day, that I don't think entirely "get it".
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 23, 2009

    I've been trying to work on the whole plagiarism/copying thing with my students over the past few weeks. It's so frustrating because some of them honestly don't seem to get it.

    What I've been saying is that it doesn't come out of your own brain, you have to cite it. Even if you paraphrase it, the idea still belongs to someone else and you have to give them credit for that. The only exception to this rule is if you find the information in three or more places--then it's considered common knowledge and doesn't need to be cited.

    It seems to be getting through to them, at least a little bit. On their most recent projects, almost all of them provided citations (or at least a web address). Several of them even asked me how to cite things that I've said during class. :)
     
  18. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Apr 23, 2009

    There is a free plagiarism checker service ... it's meant more for students ... might be a neat way for them to learn about plagiarism ... might be able to require it be used before paper submission.

    I highlighted this tool recently on my tech in ed site: http://www.plagiarismdetect.com/
     
  19. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Apr 23, 2009

    Thanks for this site, KU. I just tried it out. First I put something I know I have written in. It came out with an 11% possibility of plagarism -- because three words in a row could be found in other sources.

    Then I cut and pasted a paragraph from enchanted learning. It immediately spotted it and gave it a 100% plagarism score, citing enchanted learning as the original source. Wow!

    I have been looking for a free site (not for my students, they are only in 2nd grade) but because often I hve handouts from years ago, and I can't remember if I wrote them or if I used the wording from other sources. I wasn't good about noting sources back then, so now I like to check so I can give credit where credit is due.

    Thanks for the great resource.
     
  20. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Glad I was helpful! Glad to hear another user finding good results with the tool! I may add in your info to my tech in ed site (with your permission, PM me if you want to see my site first).
     
  21. IowaLA

    IowaLA Rookie

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    May 7, 2009

    Literary Police

    At the beginning of the year I show a video made by one of our high school English teachers that explains plagiarism and what the consequences are. Yes it is a "dry" presentation, but it also scares most of my kids into not plagiarizing. I will say this bunch of kids are better at citing their sources than in years past.

    If for some reason they do plagiarize, it is an immediate 0 with an option to do for only 1/2 credit.

    Sadly, I do NOT find it hard to believe that other teachers don't care. When some of my students asked one of my colleagues if they needed a source page for their PowerPoints, she actually told the students and I quote "No, don't worry about it. It is just Social Studies class":eek:
     
  22. bluelightstar

    bluelightstar Companion

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    May 8, 2009

    We use TurnItIn.com for most submissions, so I think students try to avoid plagiarism. But when it does happen, I give a zero and refer them to the office; it's not a common occurrence for me though.

    The AP English teacher was telling me, however, about how she found one of her student's essays on Heart of Darkness almost word for word on SparkNotes.
     

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