Faculty Voices: What Causes and Can Prevent Plagiarism? Critical Reading Strategies
Visual: Video opens to the opening title with the video series title, Faculty Voices: Walden Talks Writing, then the title, What Causes and Can Prevent Plagiarism? Critical Reading Strategies”
Visual: The screen changes to show each speaker talking to the camera in their home offices. Each person’s name and college is listed as they speak.
Dr. Allyson Wattley Gee, College of Management and Technology: Because they don't understand what they read. Let's face it, our world has its own language. So many of the, the texts and the journals that you read, you read a passage and you’re like, huh, what are you saying? And then you read it again, and you read it again, and maybe you just don't understand what's being said because the language is so different from how you speak or from what you read in a newspaper or on a basic article that you've read. And I think students end up copying because you can't paraphrase what you don't understand.
All of a sudden, you then come to university and people automatically expect you to learn this different language, and it is a different language. I've read, you know, some journals where, you know, in the article you read it and you go, so what exactly were you trying to say? Because you have no idea—and it's not about big words, oh, they use a lot of big words.
No, it's just the way of writing, the way of expression, and the greatest tool we can give our students is to teach them to be, in many ways, multilingual. To be able to read this academic scholarly stuff, but yet still be able to read everything else that they might read in the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post and be able to read that and understand and read our articles in the scholarly world and understand that too. So teaching them, giving them tools to understand all these different languages is, I think, it's the greatest skill, and it's hard to do.
Dr. Laurel Walsh, Riley College of Education and Leadership: I think the trick to academic integrity is a lot of us feel that we don't have the authority to make claims, and so we look to those scholars and authors whose ideas are really well put together on the page. And it's, you know, well they've said it so beautifully, you know, that's what I was trying to say myself. But the truth is your professional truths, the ideas that you have gleaned from your readings, all of those form a lens through which you look at the things that you encounter in your classroom readings and the discussion board posts. And, in truth, academic integrity is aligning yourself to the principles of composition in an agreed upon exchange where we’re all learning from each other, we’re all drawing from each other’s ideas.
Dr. Darci Harland, Riley College of Education and Leadership: There are a number of strategies that I personally use, and I pass these along to my students to avoid academic integrity issues. The first has to do with how we read our resources. First thing I do is I skim the article, I read the abstract and then the headings. And then I learned to read with purpose. A lot of the times, you know, we pick an article to read because we have a purpose--we're wanting to know an answer to a couple of the questions and the article may help us answer those. So I address those first and see if I can't figure out where, where those are.
And then I like to mark up my document. I do that, if it's a printed one, I write in the margins, but if it's a PDF, I have also learned a way to write in the margins there using highlighting and such. But for me, I need to, like, rephrase it, so I'll take when I'm reading and then put a note in the margin, go oh this might apply it in this way. And so I may summarize, but I'm also taking it a step further and going, oh, this aligns with someone else that I read. And so I leave myself a note.
Another tip to keep from plagiarizing is never copy and paste out of the original source. It's very, very tempting to do that because you think, oh, it'll save time, and then what happens is that you forget you copied and pasted because you told yourself when you copied and pasted it that you're gonna rephrase it, and then you're and then, whoa, then it gets bad really quick. If you do copy and paste, go ahead the first time you do that and put it in quotes and put the page number so that you remember, this was from the original source, I have it in quotes, we know we're not supposed to use a whole lot of quotes in academic writing, so I'm gonna need to paraphrase it eventually.
Dr. Laurel Walsh, Riley College of Education and Leadership: It's a process. We don't all learn academic writing at the same rate, at the same speed. I think the truth is that each time you have a higher degree of cognitive load in an assignment, the temptation is to fall back on old bad habits. So I think plagiarism is learning and relearning how to honor the ideas of others, how to incorporate their ideas and put them next to yours, being able to juxtapose complex thoughts, and incorporate all the things that you read from each other, from your classroom, into one holistic academic paper. And it takes time to learn that, it's a nest of skills--it's not one thing at any point.
Visual: The video ends with the closing title with the video series title, Faculty Voices: Walden Talks Writing and the Writing Center’s e-mail address: [email protected].