Link to Archive of Weekly Issues Site Teaching Module Wri 01: Understanding Plagiarism in the Real World

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Created: August 1, 2002
Latest Update: August 7, 2002

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Site Teaching Module Wri 01:
Understanding Plagiarism in the Real World

Teaching Essay Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individaul Authors, August 2002.
"Fair use" encouraged.

This teaching module is based on Understanding Plagiarism in the Real World.

  1. Preparatory readings for module.

  2. Notes on and analysis of readings.

  3. Discussion questions.

    1. Do you believe that individual competitiveness and jealousy play a part in accusations of plagiarism and cheating in school?

    2. These cases of plagiarism, particularly ones that involve famous writers, rarely inspire unanimity of opinion as to whether the similarity involves plagiarism or forgiveable error. What does that suggest about validity claims that are made by both the party accused of plagiarism and the accusor?

  4. Experiential activities related to module.

    1. Try an experiment. Choose an example from the story of two passages that are remarkably similar. Include the footnote, if there is one. Then ask a small group of students you know to decide whether the passages involve plagiarism. Do the same with a few teachers you know. Share the results with us. This would be a good project for a small group.

    2. Form a small group to rewrite one of the passages that has been identified by the story as plagiarism. How difficult was it to do? What does that suggest about Doris Goodwin's comment:
      " Goodwin made it clear that she was uncomfortable mentioning the researcher's role. Still, she said, sounding exasperated, it's all "so crazy ... the fact that that check wasn't made. You know, I mean, it would have been so simple to either paraphrase these things a little better or put them in quotes. I mean, it's not like I wouldn't have wanted to do that."

      "So simple," she added. "It would have taken, you know, an hour."
      Scroll almost half way down the file.

  5. Self-test questions related to module.

    True or False? And explain briefly why it's true or false. (25 words or less)

    1. Most problems of plagiarism are problems of student cheating. (What percentage of writing is done outside of school and publication?)
    2. Writers who plagiarize are not permitted to publish in the future. (What happened in Goodwin's case?)
    3. The public usually considers mitigating circumstances when a famous author is accused of plagiarism. (What does the L.A. Times article suggest has been the public's response to Goodwin's dilemma?)

  6. Conceptual linking we had in mind as we prepared the module.