Discuss plagiarism with your class.
Be certain students understand what plagiarism is. (If you do
not have time in class, assign one of the sites mentioned on the
Resources page so that students can review definitions.)
Teach students how to synthesize and
paraphrase correctly. (Again you can select and assign one of
the sources on the Resources page.)
Thoroughly discuss the honor code.
(Add an honor code and plagiarism statement to your syllabus.)
Accentuate the positive. Emphasize
the positive reasons for citing: gives authority to your opinions,
shows amount of work you did.
Be certain that students understand
the purpose of a research paper. Students should understand
that their papers should analyze and synthesize work in a field.
Review steps and procedures for doing a paper.
Emphasize process as well as the subject.
Papers should have a dual purpose: to gain subject information
and to increase information competency skills.
Mentor/monitor the research process.
Require students to hand in various stages of their work, e.g.,
an annotated bibliography of first three, five, ten sources. Annotations
would contain statements on how information would contribute to
their papers. An annotated outline after a rough draft. (This also
cuts procrastination which is a leading cause of plagiarism.) After
students have read several background sources, have them create,
unannounced in class without notes available, an annotated outline
for their papers so that the basis of the paper is their own synthesized
ideas. (Don't give them a date, but warn them that readings must
be completed by a particular date so that they can do this outline.)
Make topics very specific and change
them from year to year.
Make the paper/project an integral part
of the course. Have students present/discuss their papers and
findings so that their hard work contributes to their learning and
their classmates' learning in the class. Make students teachers,
responsible for topics you would have covered in the course. (Perhaps
include in a test information they present or build on their topic
as part of the class.)
Consider alternatives to the research/term
paper. Annotated bibliographies, research journals, a literature
review, a diary. (Talk with the librarians about possibilities.)
Have students keep a journal which
documents their procedures and progress and learning as they research.
Follow up the paper. Have students
submit a paper on what they learned by doing this project or put
a question on the final.
Make models of good papers available.
Hold students to quality standards.
You get what you ask for.
Make penalties clear.
Rethink your purpose. Doing some
of these suggestions may take valuable time away from class. Why
are you giving this assignment? Research assignments should further
knowledge in the course and should contribute to students' information
Make finding, evaluating, and synthesizing
information required competencies of a college education. Many
faculty members believe that students come to college with these
skills; they don't. You may say, "Let someone else teach the research/writing
process." But the process varies with the disciplines. Make sure
your students know what is required in your discipline. Make information
competence a college-wide initiative.
Take advantage of your reference librarians.
We are here to help you in this process. Let us know what we
can do for you.
Susan Cooperstein x6832
Joanne Helouvry x6834
Patty MacDonald x6831