Workshop Recap: Avoiding Plagiarism and Using Library Resources

On November 11, WAC Writing Fellows Claire Hoogendoorn and Jake Cohen, together with Bronwen Densmore of the Ursula C. Schwerin Library, led a faculty workshop on avoiding plagiarism and using library resources.  This was a lively workshop in which WAC Fellows and City Tech instructors shared their understanding of and experiences with plagiarism.

The presentation was organized around three main topics: understanding plagiarism, strategies for preventing plagiarism, and responding to plagiarism.  Some key points from the discussion are highlighted below.

Understanding Plagiarism

  • In order for students to avoid plagiarism, it is critical for them to know exactly what it means. The NYCCT statement on academic integrity is a necessary first step in this regard.
  • Not all plagiarism is equal: there are different kinds and levels of plagiarism.
  • Students commit plagiarism for a host of different reasons. Sometimes plagiarism involves an instance of pure cheating, however other times citation errors and/or bad paraphrasing are to blame.

Strategies for Preventing Plagiarism

  • Educating students about plagiarism – i.e. having an open and honest conversation about the topic – is the first step toward preventing plagiarism.
    • To this end, the WAC Writing Fellows will be organizing a student workshop on the topic next spring.
  • Part of the education process includes outlining the pedagogical purpose of research, providing examples of plagiarism, and modelling correct citation format.
    • There are also online quizzes (e.g. via the Baruch College Library) that can be used to reinforce the lessons.
  • Creating high quality assignments is a fundamental step in preventing plagiarism: Scaffolding assignments remains one of the most effective methods.
    • It is also helpful to use details in assignments and to empower students.
  • The City Tech Library has a number of resources to assist students in doing research and completing assignments.
  • Paraphrasing is difficult! This is true for both native and non-native English speakers.  Developing paraphrasing skills requires proper training and practice.

Responding to Plagiarism

  • Refer to the Academic Integrity Policy Manual for information about how to report cases of plagiarism.
  • We have to report every case of plagiarism.
  • There exist electronic resources for suspected plagiarism, e.g. SafeAssign

The slides and handout from the workshop are linked below…

PowerPoint Slides Handout

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.