Don't Fear Plagiarism; Embrace it!
Plagiarism is the bugbear of higher ed these days and digital technologies are often identified as the vehicle if not the culprit for the plagiarism boom. Ultimately, my read on it all has to do with the growing pains we're experiencing as we move from the social, cultural, economic, material, and noetic structures of print into the social, cultural, economic, mateiral, and noetic structures of the digital. Any way, Mike over at Vita has a great discussion of his recently invented instant plagiarism assignment. The idea is behind the assignment is to have his students "do some initial focusing research while also making a point about plagiarism, and then to scaffold upon that initial research, getting them to put together an argument and structure in their own words without relying on any sources. " Mike concludes his post by saying:
And with that “Aha!” moment on their part, we moved on to the final portion of class, where they put together their pseudo-plagiarized draft with their assertion outline, introducing the combination with a brief note to me concerning how their perspective and insights extend the argument beyond what their sources say. As I look through their drafts tonight, it’s some solid initial work. Their assignment over the weekend is to do their library research in earnest; to come to me next week with a five-source annotated bibliography, which — scaffolded upon this week’s work — should give them a better idea of the range of discourse they’re addressing for this assignment.
I’m quite happy with the way this early work came out, and I think it more effectively models the careful and recursive way in which good research works, while explicitly addressing some of my other major pedagogical goals for this assigment, as well.
Don't fear plagarism. Embrace it.
plagiarism | teaching | teaching composition | teaching writing