Week 9b (11)

O, plagiarism. It can be a grim subject, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

We’ve talked about this a bit, and I’ve seen you working to develop classroom practices that foster academic integrity as a constitutive part of the writing process, generally. That’s the goal, as I see it.

How can we get closer to that goal– or how would you refine the goal, if it’s not that, and how would you work toward it? How might the articles for this week help us with this, or not?

I’d like to ground that discussion also in specificities, particularly with respect to:

  • Lesson plans
  • Grading

These are issues that you mentioned that you’d like to discuss further, and I think that’s an excellent idea.

We started talking about the sample essays/poem last week, and I think we should return to them next week– to continue our conversation about grading, also with an eye to questions about source use.

After all, plagiarism represents just the outer limit of a much more mundane– and therefore common– pedagogical question: How can we best teach our students to use sources in a meaningful way, establishing their voices as writers within a larger conversation that precedes them? And how should we measure/communicate their ability to achieve that effect?

I’d also like to look at some lesson plans. If you have a lesson plan that went well for you, or that you have questions about, or that illustrates something you’d like to discuss, will you send it to me? I’ll make copies, and we’ll discuss next week.

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12 Responses to Week 9b (11)

  1. Tyler says:

    I spoke briefly with Chris at the end of our last class about “self-plagiarism” and have already had this issue come up in my class. This first curiosity of mine is specific to creative writing assignments, but I’m curious what other professors think of the idea of “self-plagiarism” in regards to student fiction, poetry, etc. Self-plagiarism is defined in “Better Know a Plagiarist; or, The Genres of Academic Dishonesty” (found in the Writing at Queens Plagiarism Sources Page) as “Submitting coursework from prior semesters (in whole or in part) to a subsequent class as though it were new, or submitting the same essay simultaneously to two separate classes.” How does this function when it comes to a student hoping to improve a piece of fiction, for example?

    On a mostly separate note, I was interested in how the Jenkins article, “Toward a Rational Response to Plagiarism,” framed the argument about how the effort to penalize plagiarists is not a particularly important one for a professor because students are preventing themselves from acquiring the skills they will need as workers. “It comes down to this: Either you can be a teacher or you can be the plagiarism police. I choose to be a teacher. As such, part of my job involves catching the occasional plagiarist. When that happens, I chalk one up for the good guys. Otherwise, I don’t worry about it. I find that I’m much happier and more productive that way. True, some students may ‘get away with’ cheating, for the time being, but I believe they’ll get their comeuppance eventually. After all, it’s pretty hard to plagiarize a quarterly report.”

    And that’s true, but it also brings up a question about the importance of college essay writing for, say, the future MBAs of the world. Is the role of improving essay writing to ensure that students have skills they need as workers, or to simply create better college students out of them? What is the difference and how might it inform our teaching?

  2. In answer to Tyler regarding submitting the same essay to two different classes I believe the judgment would have to be the intent of the student. If the intent was to rewrite a fiction piece and make it better, then it would be hard to judge this as self-plagiarism. If it’s being under such stress and pressure and lack of time, then the “human factor” comes into play and would a professor take that into consideration? If it’s just being lazy, then…

    I was fully in accord with Rob Jenkins in his article Toward a Rational Response to Plagiarism when he stated “I’m a writing instructor, not a detective. My primary responsibility is to help students learn to write better” (2). I was also happy to read that he thought there weren’t “many clear cases of plagiarism” and that “most are borderline, at best” (5). I have stated in my syllabus a half-page under the heading ACADEMIC INTEGRITY full information about plagiarism (taken from Chris Williams’ syllabus) and added this: “Websites and businesses set up to sell papers to students often claim they are merely offering “information” or “research” to students and that this service is acceptable and allowed throughout academia. This is absolutely untrue. If you buy and submit “research,” drafts, summaries, abstracts, or final versions of a paper, you are committing plagiarism and are subject to stringent disciplinary action.” During the first day of classes, we went over the entire syllabus and I made it a point to discuss this and even mentioned that all Colleges use special plagiarism tracking software. I also mentioned that we would discuss throughout the semester how to cite, how to quote, how to paraphrase etc. So that the students would not be afraid to use sources, as they must.
    Rebecca Moore Howard’s article “Plagiarism, Authorships, and the Academic Death Penalty” was exhaustive and very interesting. I did not know that some educators, such as the two that Moore Howard mentioned, Glynda Hull and Mike Rose, believe that patchwriting (in relation to a specific student that Hull and Rose were talking about) was “a valuable stage toward becoming an authoritative academic writer”(788). It was also interesting to read about the history of plagiarism (and its Latin root meaning “kidnapper”) and that before modern times, mimesis was the way “Western writers established their authority” (789). Several thoughts from authors and thinkers, from Lucan to Descartes, Freud, and T.S. Eliot, were both meaningful and funny to read. The definition of plagiarism and its three forms, cheating, non-attribution, and patchwriting (799), were extremely useful and I can definitely use these in my class. The patchwriting example on page 800 is also very good and I will have my class analyze this as an exercise. The other very interesting idea was how foreign students may be patchwriting due to cultural reasons, especially those students from non-Western countries who “may have been taught to adopt the voice of an authoritative source or to blend the voice of that source with their own” (801). Cultural differences always need to be taken into consideration within the classroom.
    In terms of how can we best teach our students to use sources in a meaningful way, I think we should encourage them to present their own ideas first and foremost and only use sources to back these up. Most students will use many quotations to actually give evidence of the author’s thoughts instead of their own. They first summarize an article’s passage then give a quote to prove that summary. We should encourage them to be courageous and make a statement, that will help them establish their own voices as writers and they will less inclined to plagiarize by accident or patchwriting through fear of giving an opinion.

  3. Kate Bryant says:

    If the goal is to “foster academic integrity as a constitutive part of the writing process, generally” (Fisk) then I think this week’s readings can help re-introduce and frame the overarching question. Like Alain, I found the explanation of different forms of plagiarism– cheating, non-attribution, and patchwriting– on page 799 useful, in “Plagiarisms, Authorship, and the Academic Death Penalty.” I’ve also never heard the phrase “patchwriting” or “patchphrasing” before this year. Of these kinds of plagiarism, this seems like the most likely to occur and potentially more difficult to catch. Rebecca Moore Howard suggests that this practice might occur when writers “are working in unfamiliar discourse, when they must work monologically with the words and ideas of a source text.” She suggests that the goal should be to “[help] patchwriters find a voice” and “help students make maximum intellectual use of it and then move beyond it” (796). This seems like a useful way to think about the issue, and explain it. The most obvious way to do this seems to be by introducing and working with a variety of models, like the one Howard provides and others that I was able to find.
    Addressing plagiarism proactively is one part of a larger conversation about the interrelated issues of understanding the function of sources, integrating them gracefully, and citing them properly, and in general I feel like I should have been spending more time with concrete examples in-class throughout the semester, in discussing all of these subjects. I think it helps to have gotten more acquainted with what level of comfort I can expect students to come in with since I had no frame of reference for this, as has been the case with many aspects of teaching English 110.
    Rob Jenkins’ article “Toward a Rational Response to Plagiarism” makes some suggestions that seem obvious to me, like that it is “both wrong and counter-productive– not to mention incredibly cynical– to assume that every student is a plagiarist, whether nascent or full blown.” That never would have occurred to me, though perhaps it’s a function of being overwhelmed by other considerations, or using modified versions of inherited assignments that (however else I feel about them) are definitely designed to minimize opportunities for plagiarism. The main issue I’ve had is the one I’ve mentioned, with a student grabbing text from other sources to provide contextual information, without attribution. In that case the solution is to address him directly. In general I’m thinking that a way to address these subjects is by planning to return to them throughout the semester– positive redundancy. I think I’m doing this already, but it could perhaps be more explicit.
    One of the challenges of this semester has also been trying to understand how my own knowledge of academic conventions is constructed– in many (most) cases I find I couldn’t possibly point to a specific moment when someone explained a concept to me, and I’ve never put in words why a particular convention or rule matters. I think I often feel like I’m patchwriting when I look for language to help me do this, but perhaps it is an important developmental stage.

    Also, on the subject of lesson plans, I’m interested in some of the material on the page of plagiarism resources for faculty, but there are many broken links…

  4. Weiheng Sun says:

    I found the definition of plagiarism in Howard’s essay “Plagiarisms, Authorship, and the Academic Death Penalty” especially helpful: “cheating, non-attribution of sources, and patchwriting” (800). This clarifies the line of plagiarism and is instructive for teaching students to adopt a correct convention of writing and attribution of sources. I think the patchwriting is tricky and I agree with Kate that this is difficult to catch. As Alain noted in his post, the international students “may be patchwriting due to cultural reasons,” I agree and think that we need to have more sympathy towards international students thanks to different language background, perhaps make more efforts to teach them how to write properly without falling in the trap of plagiarism.

    Jenkins’s article “Toward a Rational Response to Plagiarism” sets up a healthy attitude towards plagiarism. It also provides us with some practical suggestions such as “State your policy in your syllabus,” “talk about it openly.” I feel the most important lesson from this is to “Keep your priorities straight.” The priority is teaching and not trying one’s best to catch someone plagiarizing (which is “far from the most important part.”) Emphasize the importance of not plagiarizing but not over-emphasize it. In terms of plagiarism, we should be careful about our attitude towards students, as Jenkins says that, “You should start each course believing that most students are basically honest and genuinely want to learn.” The belief that most students are honest the baseline we should hold. I have a student who didn’t submit the drafts due to religious observance. Then the final draft was excellent, from thesis, structure to diction, clarity, way beyond an average A paper in freshmen composition course. This made me doubt if this paper was plagiarized. I googled it but found no evidence. This question haunted me for a while until later on I got a chance to talk to the student and finally understood that the student’s perfectionism led to such a great paper.

  5. Audrey Wollen says:

    Like everyone above, I really appreciated how Howard outlined a spectrum of plagiarism, from poor summarizing/patch-writing to full-blown purchasing of papers. It seems to be a very vast umbrella term, which gathers quite extreme cases of academic dishonesty next to well-meaning efforts to synthesize unfamiliar information, and I was convinced by the end of her argument that a catch-all punishment was inappropriate. However, I wish she had gone into the nuances of path-writing a little bit more; at times, I was a little confused about what fell under that umbrella term too. I found this especially when she explained that a sufficient summary should be done with the book ~closed~, which I don’t think I’ve ever done in my life! I get how it might function as a pedagogical example, but asking students to read over historical or dense information so many times that they can write a version out “without looking” seemed like an odd way to approach the problem.

    I was suprised she didn’t talk about how one could introduce authors or artists who incorporated collage or appropriation into the classroom as a discussion point. Even the “remix” is a very useful example, or sampling songs — what are the ethics of sampling, what informs the choices made, how does it change both songs to track their lineage, is “citation,” in that sense, beneficial? This practice is so ubiquitous in hip hop and now pop music at large that students can have very informed and opinionated discussions about it. An activity I did in my class was bring in “Rap Genius” which crowd-sources slang definitions and interpretation of rap lyrics. This is a really useful website for multiple reasons: it demonstrates clearly how interpretation is a discursive practice, done amongst peers, and how texts can be read very differently by different people (the most exciting part is when people get into arguments about the text!). It is also, essentially, a large scale, crowd sourced citational practice– filling in all the references, samples, and “plagiarized” content and linking back to their original source. We then collaborated as a class on a hypertext pdf file called Sontag Genius (lol), where everyone contributed a small explanation of one of her many outside references. Wikipedia is also a great jumping off point for a conversation about citation, mostly because it is where our students get a lot of their information, and it requires very rigorous citation practices in its own editing schema — I’m planning on a class where we all edit a Wikipedia page together, which requires having a citation for every single sentence.

  6. saba says:

    As stated by Martha Woodmansee in Howard’s article, “the notion of the author as an individual creator of original work is a ‘relatively recent invention’ ”(790), therefore following the history of “mimetic to individualistic authorship” (790) to present time with advent of technology and computer and hypertextualization defying the boundaries of authorship, gives us a very good touchstone to evaluate the assumed binary of originality vs. plagiarism. As she states later proposing the policy section:” [this policy] affirms the possibility of individual authorship and hence of plagiarism, but it does not characterize plagiarism as the binary opposite of originality nor as a transgression against text virtue.” (802) I appreciated this conclusion, especially considering hypertextuality and its defiance of authorship.

    Just like Katy and Alain I found the classification of plagiarism at the end of Howard’s article extremely helpful, but coming back to Tyler’s concern about self plagiarism, I have also experienced a student submitting a 20 page well-revised play for a short scene assignment they were supposed to hand in the following weekend. When I brought this to my student’s attention asking if this play is written during past weekend, student replied: “I’m just a little hurt that someone would think otherwise.”. So fearing destabilizing my connection with my students, which I have worked so hard to establish in my class, I “let it go”, mostly because I had no proof and my only instinct coming from my own experience writing plays, was that this seems like an impossible task to accomplish during a weekend. This was also coupled with my student not having turned in homeworks for a couple of weeks which I suspect was due to his acting in a play he had invited us all to attend. I also later discussed this with Tyler, where we debated the “punitive approach” and its consequences especially in case of a creative course. So reading the “Let it go” section in Jenkins article was a remedy: “no matter what you do to deter cheating, some students are going to find a way around it. You can go crazy thinking about it.”.

    Reading “Make plagiarism difficult” in Jenkins, I thought about ways in which I have tried to enact this myself throughout the semester by means of asking for a very specific and creative response to readings since I noticed asking merely for summaries especially for more established texts—considering online resources—will not suffice. So turning reading-responses into a piece of creative writing itself has worked in case of my class. As an example, if we are read a play this weekend (“Bald Soprano” in case of this example), I ask them to identify a structure that’s founded based on the core idea of the play. I mentioned they can write, draw a chart, use photos and words or a combination of these, to express how they see the structure of this play working along with providing evidence from the play. The results were a mix of circular structure, spiral structure, written text, power point, drawing with stick figures, etc. I normally read all their responses before class and coming to class, we screened all the structures via projection and discussed them. This made for a very interesting and engaging discussion. One (not so strange but also strange) phenomenon I have noticed about homework is that, if they know that they are being read by their classmates, they will try harder, and this I compare with the beginning of the semester where responses were sent directly to me, as opposed to “reply all”. In case of “reply all”, they still receive individual feedback from me and I have previously mentioned that, in case you are not comfortable to share your work with class, it can be sent privately to me. Only once a student of mine asked for not being included in “reply all” thread.

  7. Jenkins’s approach to plagiarism “Toward a Rational Response to Plagiarism,” specifically as perspective on our positions as educators versus “plagiarism police,” was refreshing, especially after reading through the Academic Integrity Violation Form. I appreciate his assertion that we “should start each course believing that most students are basically honest and genuinely want to learn. Otherwise, why would you stay in this profession?”

    Howard’s three forms of plagiarism: cheating, non-attribution, and patchwriting seemed to provide a ‘morality scale’ of sorts from which to measure the level of offence (799). If the offense is unintentional (patchwriting), it’s clear that our actions should respond differently to those instances where plagiarism is intentional (cheating). In Howard’s “Plagiarisms Authorships and the Academic Death Penalty,” I’m interested in the concept of patchwriting as “a pedagogical opportunity, not a juridical problem” (788). When I see text in which my students are patchwriting, I assume that they’re having trouble understanding the text, so I try to work with them on annotating and summarizing a text with a closed book, as Howard suggests (801). The concept of patchwriting “as an important transitional strategy in the student’s progress toward membership in a discourse community” is a pedagogical opportunity I hadn’t thought about before this article, but have seen my students work through in their revisions (788). Many of our students are just beginning to find their academic writing voices, and it’s possible that their imitation of sources is an effort to ‘sound’ like a scholar. In a way, it’s somewhat positive for student drafts, but not for “public writing” (798). However, I agree with Alain—we should work more on helping students to have their own ideas first and use the sources to back them up.

    The WPA article “Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices” section on the causes of plagiarism was helpful in the realm of pedagogical opportunity. If we can understand why students patchwrite, we have the ability to address at least some of those reasons. Many of the reasons seem common to freshmen: fear of failure, time management and not understanding the consequences (2). Our responsibility in making it “difficult and unnecessary” to plagiarize is a first step in preventing plagiarism (4).

    (apologies for the late posting)

  8. Zeli M. says:

    I found the readings this week particularly useful in the context of calibrating the context, for myself, toward the prospect of teaching english 110, in the future. In english 210, plagiarism is pretty easy to spot– or at least, so would I imagine. It has been my experience, that after a few rounds of creative writing assignments, I have gleaned at least a sampling of the unique voice of every student. Of course, there are no completely new styles of creative writing nor new narratives. This can make spotting plagiarism a conundrum here… However, I feel like I would only notice red flags were a student to radically step outside their voice and demonstrate a mastery (or lack-thereof) of language that was acutely out of context with the rest of their work.

    I was encouraged by the ways in which both Howard and Jenkins, expressed a kind of doubtfulness toward stringent anti-plagiarism policy. I appreciated Jenkins’ very clear disavowal of obsessive plagiarism checking for the sake of a more optimistic, and rigorous, focus on the work being generated in the classroom. I was even more excited by Howard’s exploration of “authorship” and “the misleading concrete-ness of plagiarism policies on the syllabus.” From the outset, Howard describes this kind of concrete-ness” as a “classification that would ascribe criminality to an important stage in students learning.” Of course, she isn’t stating that plagiarism is OK and should become intentional practice, however the porous boundaries between authorship, collectivity, and individual voice, seem to be vitally at work in her thesis for a less policed approach to plagiarism.

    I love how Howard addresses kinds of slippages that can occur for an introductory writing student… How so often, they “weave new patterns from the fabrics of others…” and isn’t this what we want of an introductory writing student, or any writing student? If part of the work of english 110 and 210 is to disavow “textual purity,” as Howard puts it, than slippages into plagiaristic territory might be an inevitable conundrum at times.

    To ground myself in the world of this exciting thesis, whilst knowing that plagiarism as we commonly know it is something to work against, I keep thinking about this passage of Howard’s:

    “Composition instruction therefore aims to teach writing as discovery and to help writers express themselves in their own unique language.”

    How than do we encourage students to move past the safe ‘cop out’ of plagiarism in a way that is asking them for their deepest exploration into their “own unique language?” How do we encourage this without discrediting “encounter(s) with unfamiliar words and concepts” that might be skirting on the edge of plagiaristic impulse? Especially in first drafts… I’m excited to listen in on what the class takes from these questions.

  9. Plagiarism. It’s a scary word, both for the student, and, as I am more recently learning, professor alike. It weighs heavy on our minds, particularly for those teaching younger students. Of particular interest to me, as someone young in their academic career, was Rob Jenkins article, most likely due to the easy comparisons I could make to what were my own concerns and behaviors in the classroom. I think I can objectively say that much of my own practices aligned with Jenkins’, except for a few key places where I struggle. In particular, I was moved by the point of “Keeping our priorities straight.” While I haven’t had to address plagiarism too much outside of syllabus and citation conversations with these classes, it has been forefront on my mind lately, particularly with those students who have come dangerously close to outright plagiarism. I have spent time hunting for writing sources, but it isn’t for the gotcha moment of catching someone plagiarizing, but rather in trying to divine in someway the students intentions before having a discussion. In fact, most of the plagiarism issues I’ve seen in my classes are due to ignorance and not maliciousness (case in point: the student who attempts to turn in the same work for two different courses).
    When thinking about plagiarism, and how to approach it, I often think back to when I was an undergraduate, just starting to take my upper division literature courses. In the middle of a semester, one of my professors announced to my class that someone in the class had committed an act of plagiarism. That student, the plagiariser, would have until the end of the day to stop by the professor’s office and have a conversation about their behavior and the repercussions. While I often think about this method (I’m still not sure how I feel about it, all these years later), what really struck me was how every one of the twenty-plus students stopped and looked around with eyes peeled: it’s me, everyone was thinking at the same moment. The professor, noting the concern, assured the class that the cheater had done something very direct, and had knowingly and actively cheated. This put most students at ease, but the truth lingered. The concern for academic integrity, and how easily many students, particularly those who are skillful at manipulating others’ words, commit it, in conjunction with those students who plagiarise due to ignorance, has since been a concern of mine. But I believe after reading this week’s texts that Jenkins’ Let it Go stance is the most emotionally appropriate response to these behaviors.

  10. Caleb Fridell says:

    I would like to add to the discussion my experience with a student that has left me bewildered. I mentioned last week that I noticed she copied in her first paper about four lines in one paragraph word for word from an Atlantic article, without attribution. This might be an instance of “patchwriting.” I had a conversation with her and tried to explain that we have academic conventions about citation and so on; I asked her to revise the passage. The “revision” that she sent me shortly after was, word for word, unchanged. Thinking I must have not been clear, I sent her a long email, again explaining how and why to cite all sources and gave her, probably too generously, a 60 for a grade–telling her to focus on getting the next paper right. This last Friday, she handed in her draft for the second paper, which contained even more plagiarism. Most of her introduction was copied and pasted from wikipedia (speaking of wikipedia), and sections in the body paragraphs were seemingly copied from the random google results from the search term “Crenshaw intersectionality.” I talked to her again in my office hours this morning; she admitted that she might have done some copying and left with the same promise to revise the passages in question. But I’m left with the hopeless feeling that, first, I have not adequately explained the importance of citing sources in an academic context, and, second, that she feels the need to do this to complete my assignments.

    This second hopeless feeling is, I think, of a kind with how I felt in paper conferences with many of my non-plagiarizing students. There too I felt that students were asking me (sometimes explicitly) what they had to write to get the grade they want: tell me which words to put on the page so I can stop worrying about this. Though of course they are not cheating, I felt in those conversations they were similarly astray from a “genuine desire to learn,” and similarly lacking in concern over the originality of their writing. In other words, their perception of their paper was the same: an odious task to be fulfilled to specification, but not theirs. I’m curious to know if other people have suggestions for what I might do differently to change this. It seems to me that a step toward “making plagiarism difficult” would be to convince students that their writing really should be their own, not because the rubric says so but because any writing they do should be the expression of their own passionate interest. Handing out grades (I hate them more and more) gets in the way of this, of course.

  11. Farrah Goff says:

    I found the WPA article to be extremely helpful when it comes to discussions of plagiarism. Part of what I liked about this in depth definition that the WPA provided was that it attributed other aspects to plagiarism beyond just intentional deception by the choice of the student. So much of my own understanding of plagiarism comes from this intent of malice or cheating, but the WPA really laid out all of the possibilities that could go into plagiarism whether it be purposeful or accidental. The CUNY Policy on plagiarism is harsh (and rightfully so) but harsh policies such as immediate 0 grade or immediate failure of the class and disciplinary action, does not, in my opinion, leave room for these more nuanced incidents or possible inadvertent errors. The first possibility, “students may fear failure and may fear taking risks in their own work,” I think actually makes this conversation about plagiarism relevant to our class’s previous discussions revolving intervention, especially related to mental health. My own syllabus, and I’m sure many others who leaned on Chris William’s work for guidance, reads “Final drafts that contain plagiarism will receive a zero, may result in failure of the course, and the case will be reported to Queens College” but how do we treat the issue with the severity it warrants, while simultaneously not squashing the student who may lack confidence or be afraid to use their own language. A personal anecdote, following the submission of their first essay, I requested all my students write me a letter of what they felt they earned on the paper. One of my very strong students, wrote me that she felt she deserved a C, and gave me an in depth explanation as to why. This student earned one of my very few A’s. Thankfully, she did not have any plagiarism, but for the student who may be just making a mistake, where is the line and how do I approach it? Especially if the only opportunity I am presented with to catch said plagiarism IS on the final draft, as I have many students who are currently not submitting zero drafts or rough drafts.

    Beyond plagiarism, I am very eager to look over others’ lesson plans. I try to follow the outline that has been provided as best as possible, but often find I am unsure where I am going until I get there. Additionally, does anyone else have to plan extra activities for one class in comparison to the other? The issue with this is that I then find that my afternoon class has access to more information and more activities that I simply cannot get done with my morning class in the same amount of time. I am unsure how to address this and I am unsure how related to time of day this is and how related this is to the class dynamics. I would be interested in hearing other people’s thoughts.

  12. Jacqueline says:

    I love Audrey’s approaches to talking about appropriation/collaboration/citation! Thinking about ways to talk about authorship more broadly without getting too heady or shaming students feels like the most effective way to encourage them to explore their own ideas while starting to reckon with conventions around citation and plagiarism in the university classroom. The Gaipa text many of us have used as well as the “They Say, I Say” readings seem to be useful connections to that conversation. The theoretical text we read for the Lens Analysis in my class has a very lengthy references page, and it took me a few classes before I realized that some students had no clue what all the parenthetical citations were. It took a class spent dissecting the text in small groups for some of them to start properly citing the theorists in the essay, instead of just attributing everything to the author of the essay. In their groups, first I had them outline the short section they were assigned based on the major ideas from that excerpt, then they had to show which ideas were coming from which theorists, and lastly they had to assign a Gaipa strategy to each scholar based on their responses to other scholar’s work. Though of course instances of patchwriting have arisen since then, this was a fairly straightforward and yet helpful exercise that worked well with my class.

    Like so many things I’ve been realizing as the semesters go on, I see how reverse engineering the class to address issues of plagiarism will be much more effective than just mentioning it with the syllabus, periodically in draft comments, and in whatever other moments it seems pressing. I have definitely found that in all the instances where plagiarism has come up thus far in my class, it has been an issue of lack of familiarity with citation conventions or of patchwriting. In those situations, I’ve tried to help my student engage more closely with the texts they’re referencing. As Rachael mentions, I try to get them to put it in their own words. As Jenkins expresses and a lot of you echo, there seems to be little benefit from being constantly on guard for plagiarism, especially considering there are so many useful ways to include conversations that are more positive and constructive (such as Howard’s model of patchwriting as a transitional tool) that touch on plagiarism without instilling fear. I find it difficult enough to get my students thinking towards their own arguments and ideas about readings, so though I see the importance of letting them know the potential consequences of plagiarism during their academic careers, I’m conscientious of not scaring them away from exploring their own ideas by detaching conversations about plagiarism from larger conversations of academic discourse and authorship.

    To echo Caleb’s hopeless feelings, a number of my students have said this is the hardest they have ever had to think, and, though I can tell a few of them are excited by that challenge, many of them find it tortuous. So, as always, I’m eager to hear how others have had success in engaging students in their writing.

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