• Definitions of Plagiarism and Strategies for Avoidance


    What is it?

    University of Indiana Bloomington Definition:


    Plagiarism is defined as presenting someone else's work, including the work of other students, as one's own. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged, unless the information is common knowledge. What is considered "common knowledge" may differ from course to course.

    1. A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.
    2. A student must give credit to the originality of others and acknowledge an indebtedness whenever:
    3. Directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
    4. Using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
    5. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
    6. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
    7. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.


    What does it look like?

    Turnitin Plagiarism Spectrum


    Why is it such an intractable problem?

    “Effectively, in this day of digital "cutting and pasting," asking a "What is.." question is a license to plagiarize (Jakes et al..)

    This applies to questions related to description, comparison, and, in these days of access to an infinite body of documents based upon higher-level thinking skills, in many cases, questions of analysis and synthesis

    The key is originality of thinking, and contextualization within an environment of discussion and evaluation.

    “…guided inquiry produces more learning and more engagement, while doing nothing to decrease students’ ability to meet so-called “objective” markers, such as certification exams (Cooper & Mueck, 1991; Denton, Adams, Blatt, & Lorish, 2000). It may even reduce plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty (Houtman & Walker, 2010) (Gonzalez, 2013.”)


    Practical strategies for avoiding plagiarism


    1. Breaking large assignments into smaller parts with intermediate deadlines to reduce the likelihood of student procrastination leading to temptation to plagiarize online resources.
    2. Integrating forms of personal or current events reflection that would not be available to an online paper mill.
    3. Having students conduct and report on their own Turnitin search prior to final submission of their paper.
    4. Randomly selecting or having all students present an oral summary of their work to demonstrate personal mastery of the topic.
    5. Instructing students in the skills of note taking with source citations, outlining, placing citations in the text and bibliography, paraphrasing and quoting.





    Reference List

    Gonzalez, J. J. (2013). My journey with inquiry-based learning. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 24(2), 33-50.


    Jakes, D.S., Pennington, M.E., Knodle, H.A. (2000) "Using the Internet to Promote Inquiry-based Learning." Available: http://www.biopoint.com/inquiry/ibr.html.