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Understanding Plagiarism

July 3, 2011

The initial portion of our module 4 assignment wanted us to be able to identify and understand plagiarism and self-plagiarism.  Here are a few questions we were to think about and my responses.

“First, read Section 1.10 in the APA Manual (pages 15 – 16). Was the concept of self-plagiarism new to you?” (501 Syllabus, 2011)

The concept of self-plagiarism was not new to me, but I really didn’t know much about it.  I had heard that you could plagiarize yourself from others who have completed a masters program, but I had never been introduced to it formally.  During both my high school and undergraduate careers, an instructor never addressed self plagiarism.  Through discussion with classmates and colleagues, and by reading the APA manual I have come to understand self-plagiarism better.  I understand that copying your previous work can be an act of plagiarism.  I never understood how you could plagiarize yourself when they are your personal thoughts.  It is hard for me to grasp the fact that you cannot recreate/rewrite your own work–since you were the one that initially came up with them.  I understand now that the act of publishing makes it necessary to cite yourself.

“Review the Boise State University Student Code of Conduct and do a search for plagiarism within the document. Were you aware of the consequences for plagiarism? Do you know your own schools’ policy on plagiarism? What rights do you have as a teacher to enforce violations of plagiarism?” (501 Syllabus, 2011)

I was unaware of the specific consequences but I knew they were going to be strict and followed through with.  Yes, the high school I worked at had plagiarism rules, but none strict enough to expel students.  The strictest rules were those failing students for the particular class.  As a teacher, I need to have proof and keep record of all offenses.  If I am not prepared for a fight, I will probably not have much pull when it comes to failing a student for plagiarism.

Review our course syllabus section on plagiarism and the three types of plagiarism. How does it compare to the Boise State Student Code of Conduct rules on plagiarism?

I feel the course syllabus aligns with the Boise State Student Code of Conduct.  I believe our instructor will do his part to warn us and keep us from crossing the plagiarism line.  The first offense will be a warning and the second will be expulsion.  I feel this is fair.  Simple mistakes are easily made in citation, but plagiarism is often an intentional act.

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