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Chicano/Latino Studies: Suggested Activities

An overview of researching Chicano/Latino Studies at PSU Library and beyond.

Using and Citing Sources Activities

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.

Classroom Activities

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.

Human Citation Builder

Outcomes: 

    • Provide attribution using an appropriate documentation style when quoting or paraphrasing the ideas of others in order to acknowledge the research sources used.

     

    Materials: 

    • Large sheets of card stock or poster board
    • Markers
    • Paper cutter
    • Binder clips

     

    The Activity:

    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).

    Famous Plagiarists Scavenger Hunt

    Outcomes: 

    • Recognize issues related to privacy, ethics, intellectual property and copyright in order to respect the rights of others, comply with laws and contracts, or safeguard personal information.

    Materials: 

    • Computers/Internet - works best in a lab setting
    • PSU Student Code of Conduct: http://pdx.edu/dos/psu-student-code-conduct

    The Activity:

    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:

    1. Who is this person?
    2. What was this person accused of?
    3. What were the consequences?
    4. Would this person's actions be acceptable according to the PSU Student Code of Conduct?

    Each group will report back to the class on their findings.

    Modifications: 

    • Assign the research piece of this activity as group homework.

    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).

    Plagiarism via Audience Response

    Outcomes: 

    • Provide attribution using an appropriate documentation style when quoting or paraphrasing the ideas of others in order to acknowledge the research sources used.

    Materials: 

    • Students' cell phones

    The Activity:

    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.

    • Yes
    • No
      • We'll revisit this question at the end of the presentation.

    3. If I didn't plagiarize on purpose, I won't be found responsible.

    • True
    • False
      • False. Check out the example of Doris Kearns Goodwin, a historian who claimed that her copying was the accidental result of taking notes in longhand.

    4. Information copied from the internet must be cited.

    • True
    • False
      • True. It doesn't matter where you got the info, you still have to cite it.

    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?

    • Yes
    • No
      • Yes, this is word-for-word copying. You shouldn't be able to underline the same passage in the source and in your paper.

    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?

    • Yes
    • No
      • No, there is a difference between copyright violation and plagiarism. George can use the chart for academic purposes as long as he cites it properly.

    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?

    • Yes
    • No
      • Yes, making a copy of a copyrighted work (like a CD) is illegal. Uploading music files is considered the same as making an illegal copy.

    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?

    • Yes
    • No
      • Yes, it is too close to the original even though it's not copied word for word and even though there's an in-text citation crediting the original source. If you're having trouble getting away from the original syntax, close the book and pretend that you're explaining the sentence to a friend.

    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?

    • Yes
    • No
      • No, this is an example of self-plagiarism. If you think you have a legitimate case where it would work to reuse work from a different course, make sure to check with your instructor first. Most of the time you'll be expected to do original work for every project.

    10. At some point in my academic career, I have committed an act of plagiarism.

    • Yes
    • No
      • Is your answer different from what you thought before?

    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).

    Plagiarism Quiz

    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:

    Database Diving

    Outcomes: 

    • Provide attribution using an appropriate documentation style when quoting or paraphrasing the ideas of others in order to acknowledge the research sources used.
    • Observe and use pointers to additional information (authors, footnotes, bibliographies, controlled vocabulary, etc.) in order to locate additional sources.

     Materials: 

    • Groups of 4-6
    • Google Doc for each group
    • Online discussion forum for each group (optional)

     

    Sample Instructions:

    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.

     

    Modifications: 

    • Work in class instead of online or for homework.
    • Choose a different article that relates directly to topics you're covering in the course. It is best if the article is from a news source that does not directly list references or citations but refers to other articles or facts from previous sources. The article should be available in full text via the Library's databases.

     

    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).

    Plagiarism Quiz

    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.

    Outcomes: 

    • Recognize issues related to privacy, ethics, intellectual property and copyright in order to respect the rights of others, comply with laws and contracts, or safeguard personal information.
    • Provide attribution using an appropriate documentation style when quoting or paraphrasing the ideas of others in order to acknowledge the research sources used.
    • Apply the author’s intended meaning when quoting or paraphrasing in order to accurately represent content. 

    Citation Practice

    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). 

    Outcomes: 

    • Recognize issues related to privacy, ethics, intellectual property and copyright in order to respect the rights of others, comply with laws and contracts, or safeguard personal information.
    • Provide attribution using an appropriate documentation style when quoting or paraphrasing the ideas of others in order to acknowledge the research sources used.
    • Apply the author’s intended meaning when quoting or paraphrasing in order to accurately represent content. 

    The Activity:

     

    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).

    1. My word!: plagiarism and college culture

    2. Fair Use in the Age of Piracy

    3. Tales from the Public Domain

    4. Fareed Zakaria: Another plagiarism scandal, another wrist slap

     

    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.)

    1. Global warming is the increase in the Earth’s temperature as the result of greenhouse gases trapped in the atmosphere. Because of global warming, the average temperature of the Earth could rise as much as 8 degrees, causing sea levels to rise up to 23 inches over this century. I believe that we all have a responsibility to help prevent global warming. A recent report suggests that just by using more efficient appliances, we can have a significant impact on carbon emissions that affect global warming.

    Newsweek, 149(8), 43. Available from http://www.newsweek.com

    1. It’s no secret that the American population is getting fatter, in spite of our cultural obsession with fitness. Public health officials have expressed concern that the obesity “epidemic” is striking Americans of all ages, from very young children to older adults, and are looking to community groups to conduct outreach with at-risk groups. Through such efforts we can only hope for a healthier future.

    Turner, T. (2007). Organizations present options to fight obesity. New York Amsterdam News, 98(52), 27-36. Available from http://www.amsterdamnews.com

    1. Cancer is certainly a terrible disease, and researchers are hard at work attempting to find treatments and cures. However, it can be difficult for patients to figure out what is a legitimate treatment and what is the modern-day equivalent of snake oil, and it can be a source of stress to already burdened patients figuring out what is real medicine. Lowering the levels of copper in the body, eating a specialized organic, vegetarian, macrobiotic diet, and an Irish light therapy are just the kinds of experimental treatments that may have patients and their families scratching their heads.

    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!

    1. To ensure that the students use high-quality information when writing a term paper, professors might require students to find credentials for the authors of Web sites they cite. Figuring out who authored Web content, their backgrounds, motivations, or points of view may constitute a good lesson in critical thinking in itself. Teaching students how to critique the quality of Web sites and evaluate the quality and accuracy of information will help them in their post-academic futures.

      Embleton, K., & Helfer, D. S. (2007, June). The plague of plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Searcher 15(6), 23-26. Available from http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/
    2. Scientists have been searching for the cause of Alzheimer's disease for more than 100 years, and during that time, theories about why brain cells are destroyed in the course of the illness have come and gone. One of the newer and more unorthodox theories posits that Alzheimer's may actually be a form of diabetes. Some experts have even taken to calling the brain disease type 3 diabetes, as distinct from the insulin-dependent (type 1) and adult-onset (type 2) varieties of the condition.

      Arnst, C. (2007, December 17). Is Alzheimer’s a form of diabetes? Business Week 4063, 54-55. Available from http://www.businessweek.com/contents.htm
    3. According to Leaving Women Behind: Modern Families, Outdated Laws, the regulations that govern private pensions did not contemplate the influx of women into the labor market and therefore are not suited to the way modern women live. "Because women live longer than men, they are more likely to suffer the defects of our retirement systems," asserts co-author Kim Strassel. "Because the laws governing private pensions weren't designed for the modern woman, many have little retirement security. If reforms are not made soon, a growing number of women will be denied their 'golden years.'"

      Outdated laws hurt women. (2006, August). USA Today Magazine, 135(2735), 9-10. Available from http://usatodaymagazine.net/