Module 2: WHY EFFECTIVE PARAPHRASING MATTERS

Back to ELIZABETH'S MINI-COURSE ON PATCHWRITING


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OVERVIEW

Writing is hard. There's no doubt about it. And you may find writing research papers or working with sources to be the hardest kind of writing, especially with the fear of plagiarism looming over your head. After completing the last module, you may be concerned by how much effort it takes to paraphrase effectively. After all, we saw a video of a student desperately trying to avoid patchwriting...and yet she still fell prey to standard errors.

Nonetheless, there are important ETHICAL, ACADEMIC, and PROFESSIONAL REASONS to avoid patchwriting. In this section of the course, we'll examine what those reasons are.


MINI-LESSON 1: THE ETHICS OF AVOIDING PLAGIARISM

OBJECTIVE: 2.1 Explain the importance of academic integrity
When instructors and college administrators talk about academic integrity, they likely use the word "ethics" or the phrase "ethical behavior" or "ethical decision-making." But what does that mean? Moreover, what does it mean to possess "integrity"? Click on the link above to learn more.

MINI-LESSON 2: ACADEMIC REASONS

OBJECTIVE : 2.2 Explain the academic consequences of plagiarism
In : addition to the ethical rationale, there are academic reasons to write effective paraphrases free from patchwriting. Click on Mini-Lesson 2 to learn more.

MINI-LESSON 3: PROFESSIONAL REASONS

OBJECTIVE 2.3 Explain the professional consequences of plagiarism
Not only can plagiarizing impact you personally, it can impact you professionally. Click on Mini-lesson 3 to learn more.

ACTIVITY

Once you've had a chance to view the three mini-lessons above, you can participate in the Module 2 group discussion.

This is a two-part activity and assumes this class is being taken online; it can easily be replicated in a face-to-face workshop, as well.

1. Go to this Google Excel spreadsheet [1] to sign up for a group; make sure to put your first and last name and your email address in the column. Only three members per group, please.

2. In groups of three, collect examples of plagiarism policies from several different places. This might be from different classes you're taking, from different colleges or universities (these are often on the web), or from your high school's website. What do the policies have in common? What common language do you see being used? What possible consequences are discussed? Do you think there are any places where a student might be confused by the language? What might need to be clarified? We'll use TitanPad[2] to collaborate to write a common policy that you think is fair and clear.


TitanPad is very intuitive and easy to use. Here's a brief tutorial I made to walk you through how to use it to collaborate with your classmates:[3]


When you work with your classmates, make sure to include the following:
  • types of plagiarism, including a definition of patchwriting.
  • at least two resources you find in the library or on the Internet which you think offer good explanations of patchwriting. Make sure that the resources come from reputable sources.
  • an explanation of the possible consequences a student might face if caught patchwriting.
  • a rationale for academic integrity


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3. When your document is ready, share the link with your instructor.

4. Each member of your group should also submit a separate summary of the choices your group made, where you might have disagreed, how you came to consensus, and why you think the policy you've arrived at will be appreciated by students and teachers alike.

TIME TO REFLECT

Now that you've had a chance to discuss with your classmates about the consequences for intentional AND unintentional plagiarism are, reflect in your journal about how 3-5 concrete steps you think you might take to practice academic integrity.