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You need to know about these things because they should guide your manner of working in higher education. Plagiarism and cheating are serious issues in higher education, and plagiarism, in particular, is increasing a great deal at present. We want you to have the knowledge and skills and the good working habits that enable you to make effective and appropriate judgments in your work. This unit is designed for students near the starting point of higher education studies. It provides the information and skills that you need at present – and you will have more material on this topic at a later stage, when you need to now more about it.
The aim of this unit is to: help you to get a clear idea of academic honesty and academic misconduct clarify the meanings of academic misconduct – cheating and plagiarism and collusion provide you with information tattoo need in order to be academically honest; identify and help you to attain the skills that you need for academic honesty and good practice As well as providing some exercises to help you to learn from this material, this unit is intended to be a resource to which you may wish to return for guidance. The answers to the exercises are at the end of the unit. Some points to think about
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As a student you should learn about academic honesty because it is an important element of higher education behavior. There are several aspects to it. It involves: ensuring fairness to those who have produced new knowledge and ideas; ensuring that the work that a person says is her own is indeed her own; the discouragement from cheating to gain unfair personal advantage. The intention to deceive staff or the institution is central to the activity of the plagiarist or cheat. However, it is not fair on you, as a student, if your fellow colleagues cheat and plagiarism and thereby get better marks.
Sam, Suzanne, Quiz, and Katharine are in a level 1 class at Smooth University. They are all studying psychology and are in a class of over a hundred and eighty students. Their seminar sessions are thirty in number and so far they do not feel known as individuals by staff. Suzanne has been struggling because she, unlike the others, did not study psychology at school. She has been quite depressed about it and has asked the others for help. They did what they could, but she did not seem to be able to take it in. At times she talks about leaving university.
They come to the coursework assessment at he end of level 1 and to everyone’s surprise, Suzanne comes out with one of the highest marks in the class. The tutor praises her work at the next seminar as being well constructed, and particularly well written. Suzanne is clearly happy and they all go out for a drink in the evening. Under the influence off few pints she lets slip that she paid another student in her house (from level 2) to write it. After the time and effort the others have put into helping Suzanne, and doing their own work, the others feel cheated by her action.
The attitude to plagiarism can differ in different cultures, for example moieties it can be considered to be an honorable act to reproduce the exact words of the expert teacher. In the LIKE the norm is to expect students to produce their own work. They will, of course, use the work of others within their work and where this occurs the others’ work needs to be cited and when quoted, marked as a quotation. Some international students may need to adjust to LIKE norms when studying here. Luau comes from South East Asia.
He was encouraged to give great respect to his teachers, there and to regard them as experts whose work was to be emulated. He is very taken aback when he is told that his examination paper would express more of his own ideas and should not contain material that he must have learnt by heart from his lecture notes. He finds it hard to understand how he, himself could have anything worthwhile to say at this stage. If you are an international student and feel that you do not understand the material in this unit, ask a tutor or study advisor for more help.
Some definitions and explanations We have said that the avoidance of cheating and plagiarism is a matter of having information and a set of skills that become good habits of working. We start by looking at a set of explanations as part of the information, and hen you will be given several definitions. You do not need to memories these definitions, but you are expected to have a working knowledge of them. To start with, we introduce the term ‘academic misconduct’ to mean the use of dishonest academic behavior to one’s own benefit. The term includes cheating, plagiarism and collusion.
Clearly, Suzanne illustrates academic misconduct in her behavior – and that was plagiarism. Cheating is often seen as a behavior that occurs in examinations, but it is broader than that. Here are some examples of cheating behavior. Simon knew that others needed a book in order to complete the essays that hey had been set. He used the library book himself, then handed it back in (it was a short-term loan) and then when he was in the library the next day, took the book from its proper location and put it in another area of the library.
Jamie went into the examination with ten key names written on his arm in ballpoint pen Juliet was doing a Chemistry degree. Her experiment in class did not go too well and the data she achieved was incomplete. She had a look at her friend’s book and got an idea of the appropriate kind of data and made some up. Christina had not done enough revision for the class test. She took the day Off, saying that she had ‘flu and knowing that she would then have a bit more time to learn for the test which she would do later. Deed had a project in English to write up, to be handed in at a particular time.
There was other academic work to be handed in at the same time and he knew he could not do all of it. He left the English project until last. After a session in the gym he complained of a very sore wrist, put a bandage on it and went to see his tutor to ask for more time to complete the project on the basis that he could not write very quickly at present. His tutor told him to go o the medical centre and get a note. He came back two days later with the project now completed and the wrist unbalanced and ‘healed’. The two days had been very useful.
ABA was one of a group of students who were working together on a project that was to be submitted jointly. She had gone into higher education partly because she wanted to enjoy a good social-life, and the project was not going to get in her way. When the other students in the group met to work on the project, she would constantly say that she could not make it. They got on with the project, completed it and handed it in with Abs’s name on it as well. They resented her behavior, but being in the early stages of their programmer, did not know each other very well and did not know how to indicate Abs’s lack of contribution.
Plagiarism, as we have said, is another form of academic misconduct and it requires a rather special explanation which is as follows: Those who work in higher education and research can be seen as working in a community – the academic community. This community has a set of rules to which it works. Academic conventions are these rules and academic misconduct is the behavior that contravenes these agreed rules. These ales, obviously identify cheating as a contravention however, there are aspects of these rules that refer to the ‘ownership’ of ideas.
According to these rules or conventions, new ideas are treated like property that someone owns. One reason for this is that there are rewards and awards (grants, prizes, qualifications, degrees etc) given to people for the quality of their ideas. Following from the notion of new ideas as property, we can consider the use of undistributed ideas for the gain of another person, as a form of theft. By ‘undistributed’, we mean the lack of attachment of a name and resource to the idea -so it is as if the idea is that of the writer. Other words for ‘attribute’ are reference, acknowledge and cite.
You usually reference the idea of another in the text (where you have referred to the idea, or quoted from it) and in a reference list at the end Of your work. Plagiarism is the term for passing off another’s work as one’s own for one’s own benefit. It usually that others’ ideas have been ‘borrowed’ without being referenced to the original creator of the idea. Plagiarism occurs whether the ‘passing off of the work as one’s own’ is intentional or unintentional. We have to say that plagiarism may be intentional because anyone can always claim that ‘s/he he did not know about plagiarism’.
Correspondingly therefore, teachers and institutions have to be clear themselves that they have ensured that students have received appropriate opportunities to understand academic misconduct and to have learnt the necessary skills to behave with academic honesty. Below are some examples of plagiarism: Emma was doing a law degree and found that her flat-mate had done the same module the year before and was willing to let Emma look at her essays – but insisted that she should not copy any of it. Emma copied a large chunk f one of them because she did not understand the subject and altered a few words here and there.
Unfortunately for her, she did not notice the font was different on the copied chunk and her plagiarism was detected. Anna had work to do in chemistry that she did not understand. It was about the nature of a particular reaction. She looked on the internet and found a piece of writing that was exactly what she needed – and cut and pasted it, adding a few words of introduction and conclusion. Antonio phoned home to his friend for help with an assignment in Civil Engineering. His friend found a piece of writing in Spanish. Antonio had it translated from the original and submitted that.
Billie found that an old textbook on modern history at his home that said exactly what he needed to say in an essay. He copied it. The change in style was noticed by his tutor, who challenged him. Collusion is a form of plagiarism too. Some examples of collusion are: Joanne was struggling in her Education degree. Her friend was doing a similar degree at another university. They decided to choose the same topic for their dissertation and to work together on it assuming that they would not be found out because their respective dissertations would never be seen gather.
Students in Business Studies were asked to develop marketing strategies for a given product. They’re told that they should work together to do the necessary research and to develop a presentation, but that they should then work alone in the preparation of the written work that they would hand in. Kay was in one of the groups. She had not done her fair share of the initial research, and when it came to the written work she asked one of her group to help her. The colleague leant Kay his completed written work, and she copied it, then wrote her account, very heavily based on his.
She showed him her very similar account before she handed it in – and thanked him before he could object. Both of them were deemed to have colluded. The definition of collusion starts the same as for plagiarism. Collusion is the passing off of another’s work as one’s own for one’s own benefit and in order to deceive another. However, it goes on to say that while in the usual definition of plagiarism, the owner of the work does not knowingly allow the use of her work, in a case of collusion, the owner of the work knows of its use and works with the other towards deception of a third party.
On occasions, woo people might collude in plagiarism another piece of work. When we define collusion, we need to be clear where the boundaries of unacceptable and acceptable co-operative or collaborative work are. Co- operation is seen as openly working with another or others for mutual benefit with no deception of the other(s) involved. Co-operative behavior is a common and is usually welcomed practice in higher education. Research teams rely on it. Often you will be told that you should work together to the point of writing up an assignment, and then write it up separately.
However, there may be local ‘rules’ or designations of acceptable practice and occasionally vocabulary use with regard to collusion, cooperation and collaboration may vary. It is important to find out from your tutors just what is expected in your local context. What is acceptable may differ from assignment to assignment. It is possible that on occasions you will be asked to work jointly on a piece of writing – and clearly, that is all right. Rather than talking in the negative about the avoidance of collusion or plagiarism, it is useful to use the idea of working with academic honesty.
Academic honesty is where you understand academic conventions and work within them. In this independent study unit, we put the stress on plagiarism. This is because plagiarism takes more effort in understanding than other forms of academic misconduct. This is not because plagiarism is necessarily more serious. The fabrication of data – or making up Of experimental results can be far more serious and have far greater consequences than plagiarism. So that you can return to this material easily on future occasions, we gather up these ideas as a series of definitions and put them into a glossary in Appendix 1 of this unit.
Exercise 1: Thinking that you know about plagiarism does not mean that you an always decide what is right You have now looked at the explanations of academic honesty and misconduct and have read about the justification for citation. It is time to test your understanding. You will find, in the next exercise, that thinking that you know what plagiarism is may not mean that you actually know what it is when it comes to the distinctions of right and wrong in your work or the work of another.
Some of the examples are plagiarism, some are collusion, some are cheating and some are all right. Remember that plagiarism occurs when the work of someone else is presented as one’s own and is not attributed to the there. One of the three answers given (a, b and c) is closest to the answer. The answers are at the end of the unit. 1 . Joe has an essay to prepare. He meticulously reads books in the library, but is not sure from which text the ideas have come, and which ideas were his own. He lists the range of books he thinks he used in his reference list. ) Not plagiarism but he should have cited the books in the text b) Plagiarism – he should have cited the books in the text c) Not problem – he cited the books in the reference list 2. Jane does not know how to get started with an essay – she is in her first master. She delays starting it and then panics and her friend shows her how she can buy an essay from a paper mill website. She buys one and submits it (only this time’ she says). A) This is not all right but it is cheating, not plagiarism b) Plagiarism ? and it is not all right c) Plagiarism but it is all right at this stage, but not later in the programmer 3.
Terry and Fran live in the same house. They are on the same course and hence have to put in the same assignments. Fran has difficulties with writing but she really wants to do well in her degree. Terry would like to get to know Fran better and sees this as a way of increasing their friendship. He suggests that since the class is large, they could put in the same essay and no-one would notice – and in this way he ‘helps’ out Fran, who is very grateful. A) Fran colluded. Terry did not. B) Terry colluded and Fran did not c) They colluded 4.
Mike uses the library to find the relevant literature to the essay that he has to write, then, using one of the essay sites, buys a similar essay and integrates into it the material that he has read. A) It is certain that Mike plagiarisms b) Mike did not plagiarism if he cited the sources and paraphrased appropriately c) Mike has plagiarisms because he bought the essay 5. Malay found that her friend, who had done the module last year, had done the same experiment. Her friend suggested that Malay could read through what she had written but she warned her not to copy it as that would be collusion.
Without her friend knowing, Malay did copy part of it and presented it as her own. A) Malay plagiarisms her friend’s work b) Malay and her friend colluded c) Malay and her friend plagiarisms 6. Damson finds that an essay that he has done in school is very similar to one he has to write at university. He uses his school essay – but unfortunately he does not have the references properly recorded. He has names cited in the text, but not details of the sources. He makes up one or two and thinks that his tutor will probably not worry about the rest. ) Because it was school work – from a different place, it was all right b) It was all right because it had already been marked c) Damson plagiarisms 7. Sue is a lecturer. She gives a lecture to first year students on cell biology and talks a lot about current developments in research, but does not give the references to the research in the lecture or on handouts. ) Technically Sue plagiarisms b) It is all right. If this had been written work, Sue should have cited correctly ? but it was oral c) It is all right not to cite if your are a teacher / lecturer in the process of teaching 8.
Tim and Nonage are working on the same essay for theology. Nonage finds a good website that is very helpful. It provides good material on the subject on which they are writing. She tells Tim about it. They both download chunks of it. Nonage cuts and pastes into her essay and puts a reference to the site in her reference list. Tim paraphrases from the material, acknowledges it in the text and in his reference list. The tutor would not have noticed the similar material but for the fact that the two essays were adjacent to each other in the pile. ) Tim and Nonage colluded b) Tim and Nonage plagiarisms c) Only one of them plagiarisms 9. In statistics, Gamma has a project that involves use of a questionnaire to find out what television programmer her friends watch at a particular time in the evening. This will generate data for statistical analysis. She is ill for a few days and is running late. She makes up some of the responses and uses them. A) Gamma plagiarisms ) Gamma cheated c) Gamma colluded 10. Harry integrates into his essay, a chunk of handout material from his last years work.
He alters some words to fit better and splits the material with two sections of his own writing. A) Harry plagiarisms b) It is all right to quote from handout material without citation c) It would have been all right if Harry had rewritten it more in his own words 11 . Jamie has an essay to write in philosophy. He is not very good at writing and has developed a style whereby he copies down appropriate quotations (citing them appropriately) and then paraphrases the content of the taxation in the next paragraph as a kind of summary, steering the meaning towards another quotation and so on. ) So long as Jamie paraphrases appropriately, he is not doing anything wrong b) Jamie is plagiarism c) Jamie should be using appropriate methods of referencing 12. For Sophia, English is a second language. She wants to succeed and goes to a friend who speaks better English. Her friend goes through her whole essay, correcting the language all the way through. A) What Sophia is doing is understandable. It is all right b) What Sophia and her friend are doing is not all right. It is a form of collusion c) What Sophia is doing is not all right.