The fire and brimstone approach to preventing plagiarism has failed to promote either understanding of ideas of academic integrity or its practice, according to many essays in a new collection, Originality, Imitation, and Plagiarism: Teaching Writing in the Digital Age. The book, just published by the University of Michigan Press, features essays on how these issues play out in different disciplines and a mix of philosophical and practical approaches to an
To many writing instructors, going nuclear (expulsion threats) or high tech (detection software) have failed to stop cheating. So they aim for small victories, through new approaches to teaching about academic integrity.
What if everything you learned about fighting plagiarism was doomed to failure? Computer software, threats on the syllabus, pledges of zero tolerance, honor codes -- what if all the popular strategies don't much matter? And what if all of that anger you feel -- as you catch students clearly submitting work they didn't write -- is clouding your judgment and making it more difficult to promote academic integrity?