Teaching Academic Integrity and Source Use in Ongoing, Sophisticated Ways

Sep 14 2005

Teaching Academic Integrity and Source Use in Ongoing, Sophisticated Ways

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Academic Integrity as a Complex Continuum



    Where along these continuums would you classify the following scenarios? How would you deal with the situation? Would you address the situation as an academic integrity violation?

    1. Before you have directly taught strategies for synthesizing, summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting sources, a student attempts to cite a source but does not adhere to the citation conventions of the rhetorical community for which she is writing.
    2. A student changes some of the words used by a source but retains the source’s sentence structure. She includes a parenthetical citation for the source.
    3. A student submits a paper similar to one you have found online, but the student has changed the paper’s supporting evidence to Elon examples. The student also submitted pre-writing activities related to the topic.

    Plagiarism in Context: Opportunities for Class Discussion

      From Meeting of Minds (p. 214): “Plagiarism disrespects the people you are learning from, and it misrepresents your own learning process. It is quite unnecessary: there is no requirement that all the ideas in an academic essay be original. But there is an expectation that a writer will have gone through the mental process of relating and shaping, and contributing to, the ideas of others in a way that composes the writer’s unique ‘sense’ of things.”

      Teaching Source Use as a Sophisticated Understanding of Writing Conventions

        From Lance Massey:

        • Using sources is not a simple, skills-based activity.  It requires a sophisticated understanding of the writing conventions appropriate for the genre, documentation system, and other aspects of rhetorical context.
        • Source use begins with strong analytical/reading skills, meaning that “teaching” source use must happen throughout the semester, and that teaching writing always also implies teaching reading.
        • The notion of “support” is incredibly complex and it is intertwined with other liberal academic values—especially “originality.”  That is, if you say “find sources to support your argument,” students are likely to look for sources that agree with or disagree with them (which means they’ll likely only use secondary sources, and in not terribly imaginative ways).  But if you explicitly address the different kinds of sources and the different purposes they can serve in a research paper (or any other paper), then students will be better prepared to use sources effectively.

        Rhetorics as Resources for Teaching Source Use

          Rhetorics present discussions of academic integrity and source use in the context of the writing conventions of rhetorical communities. They also combine instruction in source use with direct instruction in other parts of writing processes.

          See “Academic Integrity and Using Sources: Examples of How a Rhetoric Can Help” for a sampling of ways that A Meeting of Minds: A Brief Rhetoric for Writers and Readers explores source use.


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