Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Skull and crossbones


There are now 128 students in EDM310. Seventeen of those did not do the Blog Post #5 assignment. Nine of those who did the assignment did not attempt to answer the question Who is Dr. Scott McLeod? That leaves 102 students who answered the question. Of those, 17 copied considerable portions of Dr. Mcleod's About Me material without attribution and without identifying the material copied and committed plagiarism as it is generally understood in academic communities. Another 17 used significant portions of that same material without attribution and without identifying the material copied and a very strong case could be made that they also committed plagiarism. Consequently, I am absolutely convinced that at least a third of this EDM310 class does not know about plagiarism (or doesn't care, or both). And you hope to be educators.

We must talk. About plagiarism. We will do so during Part 1 of the Mandatory Attendance Week.

Here are two things you must do to avoid plagiarism:
1. Always provide the source of the material (or ideas, conclusions, approaches or concepts). We do this with pictures using the TITLE modifier tag. In blogs, a very easy way is to provide a link to the source material. In papers, and you use footnotes following one of many possible style manuals.
2. Always put quoted material in quotation marks. If the passage quoted is long, indent it in a paper or put it un a blockquote in a blog (the quotation mark icon in the post area of a blog).

Yes, there are some exceptions to these two rules. We will discuss them next week. However, you can never be wrong if you follow these two rules.

Why is it important to know about plagiarism and how to avoid it?
1. You can get an F in a course or be dismissed from the University.
2. You can lose your job in the education community.
3. You can fail to teach your students and they may suffer the serious consequences cited above.

Why am I not bringing charges against at least 34 of you? Because I think you do not understand plagiarism and how to avoid it. I will not have that option if it happens again.


  1. Dear Dr. Strange,
    The most compelling story presented to me about plagiarism was that you told of the student who was expelled from USA for charges brought against him by one of your fellow faculty members for plagiarizing his/her work. I can definitely say that I knew what plagiarism is and that it is morally and legally wrong. I even knew how to avoid it. However, I was certainly unaware of the severe ramifications of this crime. I hope that you have many thank you e-mails in your inbox for not taking such harsh measures on your students and giving them the benefit of the doubt. Thank you again for being so thorough. It really shows you care about your students and the way we affect the future.
    Frances Judd

  2. (C4T#1c2)
    Dear Dr. Strange,
    Plagiarism is basically cheating. We all know the penalty for cheating, and we definitely don't want our students' to cheat. Therefore, we should not cheat. On the other hand, I agree strongly with your opinion directed towards ignorance or just not knowing. I sincerely believe your approach to those students' showed your strong character profoundly. The story demonstrated two types of plagiarism. The first, was neglecting the author of a source that was used. The second, was copying and pasting and neglecting to put the source. In essence give credit when credit is due and it is vital to understand why giving proper attributions is detrimental.
    Thanks for your time,
    Kristi L. Jackson tweet me @ Kristi Jackson7

  3. Dr. Strange,
    Plagiarism was first introduced to me when I was in 5th grade. Since we were required to take the writing assessment, we were taught many things about writing that year. I will admit I had no idea what my teacher was talking about until I got to high school and we began to do works cited pages. Due to the number of papers I have wrote since I understand what it means to plagiarize, but I have noticed a serious number of fellow students who do not understand the concept of plagiarism. At the same time, I do know of students who simply do not care and would rather "copy-paste" for their papers. I feel that when an english class is taken, plagiarism is the very first thing that should be covered so that students will have no excuse.

    Kellen Bramlett