Thinking about plagiarism

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Back in the Wodehouse Library after half-term we’ve been looking at the issue of plagiarism with the Year 11 boys.
Academic integrity is important and it has been encouraging to hear that many DC boys already have a pretty good grasp of what plagiarism is and how they can avoid it. However, two things have really stood out during the sessions we’ve run so far:

  1. the different types of plagiarism that we all need to be wary of committing, and
  2. how often plagiarism makes it into the news.

Our sessions have started off with a short DVD from the Study Skills range. Whilst many boys were aware they should not copy other people’s work and claim it as their own, many were surprised to learn that they could also plagiarise their own work!

We’ve gone on to look at a few scenarios which get the boys discussing how their school work, and later their university assignments, can represent only their own best efforts at synthesising information from different sources. We’ve also researched plagiarism in the news and learned about some of the consequences – such as expensive law suits and reputational damage – that have hit people who have not been as careful about attributing the work of others when they’ve chosen to include it in articles, speeches, films and art.

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