Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Symptoms of Plagiarism

I have been working quite a lot with academic honesty over the past months with the across school audit, reworking the schools academic honesty policy and preparing for a workshop for this approaching weekend.

Part of the solution in combating academic dishonesty is identifying what the causes and symptoms are.  It ok to say - "everyone just needs to follow the proper protocol and we will achieve complete academic honesty in the school". It won't work unless you look at the reasons why academic misconduct is occurring.  Once a reason or symptom is identified, we can start working on remediation.

I created this poster using examples of reasons that have been given for academic misconduct.
The image can be used in the following ways :

  • As a reminder of how one can avoid plagiarism, 
  • As a tool for teachers to recognise there are multiple reasons for academic dishonesty 
  • To assist teachers in the areas where academic honesty can be combated on their watch through specific teaching of skills - if you are in an IB school, some of these symptoms can be related directly to the Approaches to Learning. 
  • As a diagnostic tool to identify reasons for students breaching academic honesty
The poster is licensed under creative commons BY-NC-SA. The A3 full size PDF is linked here for your convenience.


Linda Weeks said...

Looks great, Di! Would love to have a copy or 2, 3, 4 in our library. Fantastic image!

John Royce said...

Love it, Dianne, well done!

Maybe another poster to balance this one, a good health poster, signs of good practice?

That last line is marvellous, if symptoms persist ...


Dianne McKenzie said...

Hi Linda,
Thank you for your gushing compliment ;-)
You can print out as many as you need. I have shared it with the staff at school along with the ideas for how it can be used - as an evaluation, diagnostic and best practice resource. By sharing it with staff it may also lead to more opportunities for PD. On plagiarism and Creative Commons. We shall see.

John, Thanks for your comments.
There are a few more concepts in the works - stay tuned !!


Nadine Bailey said...

Excellent and very nuanced view on plagiarism. And quite right to open the discussion as to the role we can play in creating life-long learners that can cope with academic demands. I've incorporated this into a post I wrote based on some discussions I've been having on a university level on the same topic:

Dianne McKenzie said...

Thanks for your comment and ping back Nadine, it is a complex issue and I do agree with you re the Symptoms of Plagiarism - could be reversed as plagiarism is the symptom of these behaviours however, I was struggling to place it all under one umbrella with the by line ... artistic license I suppose and I think it can work both ways if we stretch it ....

I like your idea of grouping the behaviours together that go together, I will look at that and would appreciate any input to make it a better standalone resource. I created it with a specific purpose / workshop in mind and my sharing it wider is just a by product of that.

John said...

Very thorough and relevant, Dianne. I admire your courage to include the onus for teachers to create assessment tasks that do NOT lend themselves to copy-and-paste situations.

Dianne McKenzie said...

Thanks John, at the workshop I ran alongside this graphic, 80% of the symptoms were identified as being controlled or influenced by educators. It is not always the students fault and it is important that this is realised and acted upon.

Saad Malik said...


i am working as teacher librarian in an IB School Pakistan, and my priority has always guiding students how they could protect their self from plagiarism, the problem i face is our students dont understand what is plagiarism actually, it is not only just copy pasting but there are other factors too like forgery etc,nice work Dianne! we have selected APA format for referencing in extended essays and other assignments, for the next batch i will definately teaching Diploma students about search techniques

Portia Rhodes said...

Hi Dianne,
I love your poster on "Symptoms of Plagiarism." Is there a way to obtain copies of the poster to share with English Language Arts teachers in my district?

Thank you,

Dianne McKenzie said...

The link to the poster is embedded in the blog - last sentence.