Internet Plagiarism as Flashpoint and Folklore

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					                  Internet Plagiarism as
                      Flashpoint and
Do high school students
     plagiarize more
 from Internet sources
 than from print-based             Internet
         sources?                  Traditional print

       JoAnn Balingit, Ed.D

              NECC 2009

Library Media Specialist 1991--2001

English teachers

Research paper units // juniors & seniors

Internet Literacy // online resources & evaluation
                     St-Tchr Conflict

• Students rejecting reference books & journals
  Students gravitating toward online information

• Teacher requests to “prove” online plagiarism
  Teachers suspicious of Internet required book
          Increasingly ca ~ 1996 -- 2002
                       Internet Plagiarism--
“How The Web Destroys the Quality of Students'
  Research Papers”
The Chronicle of Higher Education, 1997
“The e-Plagiarism Plague”
School Library Journal, 2000
“How the Web Makes Plagiarism a Plague”
New York Times, 2001
“Avoid the Plague”
Learning and Leading w/ Technology, 2006
                    Plagiarism &
                  Composition Theory
   – Electronic detection services such as Turnitin
• criminalize writing behaviors
• destroy classroom relationships based on
• prevent productive teacher-student
  discussions on why plagiarism occurs
                             ---Kelly Ritter (2006)
                   Theory: “Patchwriting”
                       vs. Plagiarism

• copying too much from source texts, "rearranging
  and slightly altering phrases and sentences” into a
  mosaic of voices

• a transgressive writing behavior as a learning device
--Rebecca Moore Howard , Standing on the Shoulders
  of Giants (1999)
                       Theory: Plagiarism an
                        ineffective concept
teachers overuse plagiarism
“as a kind of wastebasket, into which we toss anything we do not
   know what to do with
• [from] outright cheating. . .
• to appropriating large blocks of text without attribution;
• to omissions or mistakes in citations;
• to paraphrasing an original too closely;
• to collaborating too closely…”
                               --Lise Buranen (1999)
                Has the Internet been
                  unduly linked to
– Do HS students really plagiarize more from
  Internet sources than from printed books and
  articles? More
  • Unacceptable uses of ‘borrowed’ text
found in Internet–based passages
than in print-based passages?
                     Internet Plagiarism

• McCabe, 1999 (not Internet-specific): HS students
  copy more than college students
• Small, 2001: 74 percent from textbooks & theses; 24
  percent from Internet
• Scanlon & Neuman, 2002: Sts engaged in plagiarism
  equally from book/print and Internet/digital
• Lester & Diekhoff, 2002: “traditional cheaters” 270;
  “Internet cheaters” 37 (college student survey)
                      Internet Plagiarism as
                     Flashpoint and Folklore:
     – Subjects, raw data collected (2002 – 2005)
•   3 high schools (urban/suburban/public/private)
•   5 teachers (novice, experienced)
•   23 students (CP, Honors, and AP)
•   23 research papers (with note cards, outlines, drafts)
•   16 interviews (student & teacher, 10 focus groups)
•   classroom and library media center observation notes
                      HS Research Paper Unit
                       typical “works cited”

 • Traditional resources: Certain # books & journal
                  articles (6 / 8 / 10)

• Web pages/digital resources:
    (never required) (ignored) (even prohibited)

• Internet research instruction
               (little time) (disregarded)
                       Internet Plagiarism as
                      Flashpoint and Folklore:
   – Data Collection
• Papers yielded 663 passages of “appropriated text”
• I traced these passages to 175 “Works Cited” (or not!)
   – 83 books
   – 43 articles (print journals)
   – 49 web pages
                      Internet Plagiarism as
                     Flashpoint and Folklore:
– 663 passages into 5 types
– four “unacceptable” types
   1. fraudulent reference
   2. failure to “ use quotation marks”
   3. failure to cite
   4. failed reference
– And acceptable : well-synthesized, documented text
                   Observed Frequencies

observed    Acceptable   Unacceptable Row sum

Tradition    208         291         499
print source
Internet     110         54          164
Column sum 318           345         663
                   Statistical analysis

Chi-square Test of Independence
--to relate the variables, type of source
• traditional print text
• Internet/digital text
to frequencies of “acceptable” or “unacceptable”
                                 Chi-square Analysis

fo            Passages     Type 1:     Type 2:      Type 3:      Type 4:     Row sums
Observed      Cited        Third       Failure to   Failure to   Failed
Frequencies   Acceptably   Party       Quote        Cite         Citation
Source:       208        100           89           86           16          499
Print         [fe 239.3] [fe 82.8]     [fe 81.3]    [fe 80.5]    [fe 15.1]

Source:       110          10          19           21           4           164
              [fe 78.7]    [fe 27.2]   [fe 26.7]    [fe 26.5]    [fe 4.9]

Column        318          110         108          107          20          Grand Ttl
                     Internet Plagiarism as
                    Flashpoint and Folklore:
  – Chi-square: Χ2(4, n=663) = 35.75, p < .001
• What source, Internet or print, is highly significant
• Internet was more highly related to acceptable
  uses of text than was use of books and printed
• In fact, the required use of books and journal
  articles produced an unexpected finding. . .
                 “Third Party” fraud

• faked documentation: student pretends to
  use a source by making up references to it
• behavior I called “Third Party” fraud
  because the student credited a third party
• Sts required to cite up to 10 works (!)
• Is ‘Third Party’ deception plagiarism?
                         “Third Party” fraud

• 20 out of 23 papers 100 fake references to
  showed this         books and journals
  behavior            [fe 82.8] (expected)
                              10 fake references to
If: 110 instances out of 663,
                              web pages
   you would expect           [fe 27.2] (expected)
82 book   and   27 Internet
                    Internet Plagiarism as
Contrary to reports of
                an Internet plagiarism plague,
             I found a print-based plague. More
                   • “Third party” fraud
                     • failures to quote
                      • failures to cite
                    • or failed references
traced to print media.
                  Internet Plagiarism :
• promote Internet use, teach information literacy
• reconsider “Works Cited” requirements—how
  many sources, kinds & why: what goal?
• engage students in discussions about why
  writers document their sources at all
• teach how to read & how to write “an
  argument”! (see Graff and Birkenstein, 2006)
                Internet Plagiarism :
Consider whether high school students are
• In a position to be “academics”
• Ready to write scholarly works
• Taught how to read scholarly works
• Understand why they cite other’s works
                   Questions for further
• Best “bridge” between elementary school report
  writing and “scholarly” writing?
• Most important writing skills for HS students to
• Role of the research paper in practicing writing skills?
• Models that might work: A writing workshop? (Study
  the craft of writing.)
• 10 books and articles for a 6 to 8 page paper?
                  Use technology to address the
                   so-called plagiarism plague

                Engage student writers
•   presentation technologies, Web 2.0 tools
•   sharing with peers (in class, online, distant)
•   collaborative writing
•   storytelling: digital stories
•   topics meaningful & important to the student
                   Internet Plagiarism as
                  Flashpoint and Folklore
Do high school students
     plagiarize more
 from Internet sources
 than from print-based              Internet
    sources?—nope!                  Traditional print

       JoAnn Balingit, Ed.D

              NECC 2009

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