These activities can be done in the classroom or online as homework, and can help students understand how to use and cite sources in their paper. Please note that not all activities need to be pursued. Pick and choose the activities that best fit the needs of your class.
These activities can be done in the classroom and can both help to teach search strategy skills and give you a sense of how well students understand the concepts.
This activity works best if students are looking at a handout, website, or style guide with examples of citations for different formats.
1. Cut your card stock or poster board into longways strips 8-12" wide. Write out sample citations REALLY BIG. Use a different color marker for each element of the citation (author, date, title, journal title, volume/issue, pages, etc). If needed, cut up your strips so that each citation element is separate.
2. Give one piece of the citation per student. Students with citation elements stand at the front of the room in no particular order.
3. Everyone else uses their citation guides to identify the format cited and tell the citation element holders where to stand to create a perfect citation.
Repeat with different groups of students standing up with different citations. Use binder clips to keep the pieces of each citation clipped together. Try different formats, from simplest to most complex (e.g. book, article, website, chapter in edited collection).
Break students into groups of 4-6. Assign a famous plagiarist to each group. Examples include: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jayson Blair, Michael Hand, Kaavya Viswanathan, Park Yung, Mike Daisey (for more ideas, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journalism_scandals). Groups should be prepared to answer the following querstions:
Each group will report back to the class on their findings.
This activity was designed by Theresa Westbrock and originally appeared in Let the games begin!: Engaging students with field-tested interactive information literacy instruction (Neal-Schuman, 2011).
You will need to set up audience response polls ahead of time using an application like http://www.polleverywhere.com/
1. What is the definition of plagiarism?
a. Using unauthorized notes during exams
b. Collaboratin on an assignment when you've been instructed to work independently
c. Presenting someone else's work as your own
d. Copying soneone's answers during a test
All of these activities are unacceptable and represent some form of cheating, but the correct answer to the question is c: "Presenting someone else's work as your own."
2. At some point in my academic career, I have committed an act of plagiarism.
3. If I didn't plagiarize on purpose, I won't be found responsible.
4. Information copied from the internet must be cited.
5. Example #1:
Source: Davidson, R., 1973. Genesis 1-11. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
Original wording: "Such 'story myths' are not told for their entertainment value. They provide answers to questions people ask about life, about society and about the world in which they live" (p. 10).
Mary's paper: Specifically, story myths are not for entertainment purposes rather they serve as answers to questions people ask about life, about society and about the world in which they live.
Is it plagiarism?
6. Example #2:
George has a presentation tomorrow for his public relations class. While searching the internet, he finds the perfect graphic to illustrate one of his key points. Even though he's pretty sure the graphic is copyrighted, he decides to cut and paste it into his PowerPoint anyway. He lists the website and date he visited the site below the graphic. Did George do anything wrong?
7. Example #3:
Last week someone stole Linda's car. The police were able to recover the car, but the thief took ALL of Linda's CDs. Linda's chemistry partner, Adam, has had a crush on her since the first day of class and decided that this is the perfect opportunity to show Linda how he feels. They have similar taste, so he'll burn a bunch of CDs for her to keep in her new car. Even better, he'll put a whole lot more music files online for her to listen to on her computer. Is there anything wrong with this?
8. Example #3:
Source: Spurgeon, C.F.E. 1952. Shakespeare's Imagery and What it Tells Us. Cambridge, England: The University Press.
Original wording: The main image in Othello is that of animals in action, preying upon one another, mischievous, lascivious, cruel or suffering, and through these, the general sense of pain and unpleasantness is much increased and kept constantly before us. More than half the animal images in the play are Iago's, and all these are contemptuous or repellant: a plague of flies, a quarrelsome dog, the recurrent image of bird-snaring, leading asses by the nose, a spider catching a fly, beating an offenceless dog, wild cats, wolves, goats and monkeys (p. 335).
Stan's paper: The majority of the animal images belong to Iago, and all these are negative: flies, wild cats, a quarrelsome dog. Through these images the sense of pain is heightened and kept in front of the audience (Spurgeon, 1952: 335).
Is it plagiarism?
9. Example #4:
Matt worked really hard last quarter on the final project for his web design course. He even wrote a lot of original content on his favorite topic, gun control. This quarter he has to give a talk in his speech class on a topic of his choice. Can he reuse what hea already wrote last quarter?
10. At some point in my academic career, I have committed an act of plagiarism.
This activity is adapted from a session designed by Christine Bombaro that originally appeared in Practical pedagogy for library instructors: 17 innovative strategies to improve student learning (ACRL, 2008), and a game designed by Susan Ariew that originally appeared in Let the games begin!: Engaging students with field-tested interactive information literacy instruction (Neal-Schuman, 2011).
Find out more about plagiarism as well as bad and acceptable practices while writing a research paper. Take this quiz from Stephen Bailey's Academic Writing (Routledge 2011) and receive instant feedback:
This week you will be working in groups to compete for extra credit points. Your task is to find an article in the library's databases, read it, and then write a reference list for the different resources mentioned in the article.
1. Find and read Lisa Miller's 2010 Newseweek article, "War over ground zero: A proposed mosque tests the limits of American tolerance."
2. Track down each information source referenced in the article and write perfect citations for them.
3. Optional: Keep going... track down some information sources that are referenced in Miller's references and write perfect citations for those!
4. Arrange ALL of your perfect citations, including your perfect citation to the original article, in a timeline or chronological list, oldest to newest.
Extra Credit: Points will be awarded to each group for finding the oldest citation, finding the most references, and being the first group to complete the task and hand in the assignment.
This activity was designed by Jenna Kammer and originally appeared in Let the games begin!: Engaging students with field-tested interactive information literacy instruction (Neal-Schuman, 2011).
Here is a quiz you can give students either in-class (to discuss) or as homework to assess how well students understand how to avoid plagiarism.
This activity offers students the opportunity to practice citing sources, paraphrasing, and knowing what to cite. It is offered as a downloadable (.doc) file or the content can be put into a course guide (like below).
I. Write a citation for each item below, using the citation style of your choice. For each source, note what kind of citation you are writing (article, book, etc).
II. Read the paragraphs below. Underline the sentences that are NOT common knowledge and therefore need a citation. Insert the in-text citation using the information you’ll find in the reference list entry for each paragraph. (The reference is in APA style, but you should use the style you've chosen to practice.)
Newsweek, 149(8), 43. Available from http://www.newsweek.com
Turner, T. (2007). Organizations present options to fight obesity. New York Amsterdam News, 98(52), 27-36. Available from http://www.amsterdamnews.com
Tomorrow’s cancer cures. Prevention, 55(3), 60. Available from http://www.prevention.com/cda/homepage.do
III. Practice paraphrasing the following passages. Remember, it is not enough to rearrange the sentence a little and change a few words here and there. Starting from scratch, restate the idea with a completely different sentence structure and completely different words. Don’t forget your citation!