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Using Resources
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Evaluating and Using
Print and Media Resources

What is plagiarism?
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You've been researching what resources are in public domain as well as how to use resources without infringing on copyright and fair use laws. The next step is making sure the product you are producing is not plagiarizing other people's intellectual property.

So what does it mean when work is "plagiarized?"

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (12 Nov 2003) states that to plagiarize is:
Main Entry: plagiarize
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): -rized; -riz·ing
Etymology: plagiary
Date: 1716
transitive senses : to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source
intransitive senses : to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
- pla·gia·riz·er noun

There are many strategies to determine if the student's work contains plagiarized work. Some of them include:

    1. If the syntax in the turned-in work suddenly improves, this is a red flag that plagiarism maybe involved.
    2. Another indicator is if there is no bibliography with the written work.
    3. The vocabulary used is considerably improved from their past work....take a word from the material and ask your student to define what this word(s) means.
    4. Use a search engine such as Google or AltaVista to copy, paste and nest the phrase in quotes into the search field of that search engine.
    5. If the final product has odd and inconsistent formatting, this maybe another indicator.
Activity Description
  1. Using Real Audio, download and listen to this audio file from National Public Radio's web site. This clip is about well-known author Steven Ambrose plagiarizing in his written work: real audio file or mp3 file
    1. What future consequences do you think S. Ambrose will face?
    2. How can you avoid plagiarism?
      1. Download this activity sheet: (word doc file) (adobe acrobat file)
      2. Visit Dr. Jamie McKenzie's Module Maker for Online Learning
      3. Visit these well-designed research project examples/more examples
  2. Review the possible indicators of plagiarized work listed above...can you think of other indicators that aren't included in that list? Now visit this site Plagiarism Stoppers: A Teacher's Guide and explore the resources they have listed for detecting plagiarism.
  3. Download, print and distribute this file using Adobe Acrobat Reader: Beware of Plagiarism!
    1. Discuss as a group what does and does not constitute plagiarism.
    2. Did you learn something new about plagiarism that you didn't know before? Explain.

Now go to What Are Paper mills?....


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