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Using collaborative efforts. to teach students about plagiarism. Bozena Barbara Widanski, UC Clermont College & Debra Courtright-Nash, Ferris State University. Collaboration Chemistry - Composition . Training. Chemistry . Literature Review. Chemistry . Composition .

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using collaborative efforts

Using collaborative efforts

to teach students about plagiarism

Bozena Barbara Widanski, UC Clermont College&

Debra Courtright-Nash, Ferris State University

central structure of our collaboration


Chemistry - Composition



Literature Review



Research Proposal


Lab Work


Peer Review




Central Structure of our Collaboration
2003 2005 the tasks we asked our students to complete
Organic Chemistry

Laboratory Students

Conduct a review of literature in fall quarter, with training

Develop a hypothesis

Test that hypothesis in lab

Give a presentation

Write a journal article

Submit the article for review

Revise the article

Give a presentation on their project in Organic Chemistry lab

Composition Students

Learn the format for articles

Watch a presentation by Organic chemistry students on hypothesis and experiment

Conduct a peer review on the Organic Chemistry articles

Write a peer review response to an Organic Chemistry student’s article

2003-2005: The Tasks We Asked Our Students to Complete
defining plagiarism in uc clermont syllabi
Defining plagiarism in UC Clermont syllabi
  • 1. Submitting another’s published or unpublished work, in whole, in part, or in paraphrase, as one’s own without fully and properly crediting the author with footnotes, citations or bibliographical reference.
  • 2. Submitting as one’s own, original work, material obtained from an individual or agency without reference to the person or agency as the source of the material.
  • 3. Submitting as one’s own, original work, material that has been produced through unacknowledged collaboration with others without release in writing from collaborators.
avoiding plagiarism requires
Avoiding Plagiarism Requires
  • Knowledge of legalities
  • Knowledge of conventions of the field
  • Understanding of rationale for both
  • Motivation to observe the rules and conventions
legality first it is important to understand the definition of fair use
Legality: First, it is important to understand the definition of Fair Use:
  • Fair Use is when a person uses limited amounts of information for illustration, commentary, or exemplification in opinion pieces, for educational use or for transformative purposes (that is, to create something new)
convention teaching students proper documenting within the text
Convention: Teaching students proper documenting within the text:
  • Any time that information from a source is included in the text, it should be documented with a number that corresponds to the reference page
  • The reference page and documentation should follow standard guidelines for ease of access
  • If possible use more than one reference per piece of information
  • One reference may be cited two or three times within the introduction
convention documenting alone does not prevent plagiarism
Convention: Documenting alone does not prevent plagiarism

True, any time we use information from a source, we should document. However, even if one documents, one should put the information from the sources in his or her own words

If one does use exact words, one should always use quotation marks.

Beyond documentation: A person should ask the author or publisher’s permission to use information when:
  • Using large amounts of information, especially exact words
  • Using entire tables, graphs or other such specific pieces of data
  • Using photographs or videos
  • Using information for reasons other than educational
there are excellent sites that explain fair use further
There are excellent sites that explain Fair Use further:
  • Like:
  • The University of Texas Web Site:
  • Nolo’s Legal and Business Books, Forms and Software Site:
Attend a library research presentation

Write articles’ summary

Participate in an online session on documentation

Take on line quiz about plagiarism

Additional Tasks We Asked Organic Chemistry Laboratory Students to Complete in 2005-2006 Writing Project

Some questions from quiz:

  • How should a person paraphrase or summarize a source?
  • Which of the following is NOT fair use of information?
  • A writer should probably request permission if they plan to:____________________
  • If one plans to use a photograph from the internet in his paper…
assessment of 2005 2006 year
Assessment of 2005-2006 year:
  • All students were able to complete quiz about plagiarism successfully.
  • Most of the students felt that they learned a lot in this course and gained the experience in writing scientific article while avoiding plagiarism
  • Students realized the importance of proper documentation and fair use of scientific article.
some ways to increase the awareness of plagiarism among undergraduate students
Some ways to increase the awareness of plagiarism among undergraduate students:
  • Let the students watch the powerpoint presentation
  • Give them a quiz
  • Ask them to visit the web sites on plagiarism
  • Provide them with the examples
  • Give the students a writing project
unique strengths of using collaborative efforts to teach students about plagiarism
Unique Strengths of Using Collaborative Efforts to Teach Students about Plagiarism:
  • English, Chemistry, and Library Faculty can give different perspective to the concept of plagiarism
  • On-line learning can increase understanding of plagiarism
  • Peer-review of students’ writing can encourage student teaching student about plagiarism