I cam across this quiz from the EasyBib Blog today.
I have some problems with it.
Think you can identify plagiarism like a pro? See if you can beat this quiz by our citation expert and prove that you’re as plagiarism savvy as you say.
Here are the quiz questions:
- Taking information from an outside source and presenting it as your own.
- Examining the works of others to gather information for your research.
- Making use of the works of others to support your own ideas.
- Using the same essay you wrote for one assignment and handing it in for another assignment.
- Taking text from a source, changing one or two words, and putting it in your paper with a citation.
- Copying a diagram from a website and including it in your paper with a citation underneath.
- Using the work of another student to create your own paper.
- Having someone look over your paper and discussing how to improve it.
- Including information from a personal communication, like an email, without providing a citation.
I’m FINE with most of them, but there are two that I strenuously disagree with.
One, I disagree with ENTIRELY. That’s #4
The “correct” answer is that handing in the same essay for two assignments is self plagiarism.
Forgive me, but WTF?!
If you are submitting a paper for publication, and it is one you have previously published, then sure, that’s a problem. BUT, if you are a student and you wrote an essay for another course (possibly even in another year) that happens to meet the criteria for the current assignment, then WHY NOT?
In this particular situation, you should really be asking yourself, “What is the objective for this assignment?” Unless it includes something specific about creating a NEW work, then put down your red pen and focus on the objectives YOU HAVE NAMED.
If the goal of the assignment is for the student to be ale to demonstrate that they know how to do this thing you have asked them to do, then,
Why should you care if they did it this week or last year?
Why should you care if they used it in another course?
Think about that.
What purpose does it serve to make students REPEAT things they have already demonstrated they can do?
The other question I have some issues with is #8: Using the work of another student to create your own paper.
This one is far more complicated than the article would have you believe.
What about group-work? What about collaboration? What about students helping each other? Those are all things that are useful, good, and very important to learning.
If you use that student’s work without their knowledge or permission, that’s a problem.
If you have their permission, less of a problem provided the instructor is OK with collaboration, and provided you acknowledge the other student’s help. (i.e. Cite them. Explain how they helped you. That sort of thing.)
Both of these questions encourage instructors to isolate their students from each other and to pit them against each other, neither of which are conducive to learning, OR to the creating of a feeling of community.