WriteCheck gets it wrong (again)

The latest entry on the WriteCheck blog, 3 Ways to Avoid Plagiarism – Summary, Paraphrase and Quote includes a teaching video and the transcript of the spoken text.

It’s an interesting piece; I’m not sure how useful the video would be as a teaching tool or as a learning tool. There are too many holes in it.

Again and again, in the video and in the text, we are told:

Avoiding plagiarism is pretty simple because there are only 3 ways to borrow information, so you only need to know the requirements for these three techniques, and you should have it.  The three ways to save yourself from plagiarizing are summary, paraphrase and quote.

And that’s just plain wrong. Continue reading

How much rewriting?

“Plagiarism avoidance” is a term to be avoided.

It suggests that it does not matter what we write and how we write it, the aim of the game is to beat Turnitin.

It isn’t.

This is not a new line of thought. I have voiced it before, in posts such as Plagiarise better?! and Avoiding “plagiarism avoidance.”

Would that we could get rid of the “P” word, or at least use it more wisely Continue reading

Worth 1000 words

A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words. So is a good analogy.

Teddi Fishman’s horse-training analogy in her column for the March 2013 edition of Ethos, is spot-on!  The analogy  just chimes with so much of what I’ve been trying to say in this series of musings.  Ethos is the newsletter of the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI), and Teddi Fishman is both Director of ICAI and Executive Editor of the newsletter.  Ethos is available to ICAI members only, but Teddi has very kindly permitted me to copy the column Continue reading

No, we don’t!

We don’t teach shoplifting, and how to avoid it, do we?

We don’t teach swearing, and how to avoid it, do we?

We don’t teach food poisoning, and how to avoid it, do we?

We don’t teach dropping the baton, and how to avoid it, do we?

Why then do we (say that we) teach plagiarism, and how to avoid it? Continue reading

Avoiding “Plagiarism Avoidance”

Try a Google search for the exact phrase [“plagiarism avoidance”] and you get about 2,880 hits.  Plus one – I’ve no doubt just added to the tally.

The exact phrase [“avoiding plagiarism”] is a little more popular: 393,000 hits.

We teach … but what do they learn?

EasyBib is a site which helps students generate Continue reading