Year: KS3 Literacy Topic: Plagiarism
Learning Objective: Identifying correctly and incorrectly cited information; identifying plagiarism
Success Criteria: I can identify sections of an essay that require citation and use the correct citation method; I understand the importance of citing sources to avoid plagiarism
Starter: Introduce the topic of plagiarism / give the lesson objective
Main: Read a section of an essay written with no citations (worksheet), with possible plagiarism, mention academic standards. Give some examples of citations.
- In pairs discuss why we need to cite sources in our work
- Feedback to class ideas following discussion
- Q and A about the importance of avoiding plagiarism
- Compare section of essay with citations to essay without
- Complete a worksheet inserting citations
Plenary: Class discussion on what we have learned about academic standards
Differentiation: Outcome of worksheet and discussion
Resources: Worksheet, citation examples, copies of essay sections, Q and A sheet
What is a citation? A citation is giving the name and date of a scientist, researcher or theorist who has published something that you are talking about in your essay. It can be done in different ways, either before or after a quotation, at the end of a paragraph that has discussed a particular theory or as part of a sentence. Every researcher that is cited in the essay should be mentioned in the reference list at the end of the essay, and all references should be cited.
Examples of citations:
Attachment theory was developed from studies of children’s early relationships which were believed to influence future relationships “from the cradle to the grave” (Bowlby, 1979, p.129).
Bowlby (1979) argued that the first relationship would affect the individual “from the cradle to the grave” (p.129).
Bowlby (1979) believed that children’s early relationships influenced their behaviours in future relationships throughout their whole lives.
The first relationship that the infant develops is referred to as the primary relationship, and will have a profound influence on the child through to adulthood and for the rest of their life (Bowlby, 1979).
Plagiarism Q and A
What counts as plagiarism?
- Copying from friends
- Copying from textbooks
- Copying from the internet
- Rewriting anything that has already been written without citing the source
Why is it important to cite our sources?
- To avoid copyright problems
- To be sure that our assertions have evidence to support them
- So the reader can check facts and figures
- Because the people who wrote the original work should be credited
Why can’t I just write my own opinion?
- You can but it’s considered academically stronger if there is evidence
- It might be that someone else has already said that, so you would be plagiarising by mistake
- Only journalists get to write their own opinion, academics have to provide evidence
Essay Section with Possible Plagiarism
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was a groundbreaking book because it was the first modern science fiction story. It was written at a time when people were worried about scientists playing god and scared of what might happen in the future if science had a free reign without morals. It was also a horror story because it dealt with death and gory details of decaying flesh. The original story was written over one weekend while Mary Shelley was staying with Shelley and Byron and they were challenging each other to write the scariest story.
Why is the above possibly plagiarised? This information must have come from somewhere, either reading from books or the internet. At the very least, the book being discussed should be cited.
Essay Section with Correct Citations
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) was a groundbreaking book because it was the first modern science fiction story (Ordover, 2007). It was written at a time when people were worried about scientists playing god and scared of what might happen in the future if science had a free reign without morals (Morton, 2002). It was also a horror story because it dealt with death and gory details of decaying flesh. The original story was written over one weekend while Mary Shelley was staying with Shelley and Byron and they were challenging each other to write the scariest story (Ordover, 2007).
Put a mark where you think a citation should be in the following sections of essays. There may be more than one correct answer for each section, and we can discuss your choices.
Dickens is famous for writing about poverty and deprivation, for instance in Oliver Twist, but he also wrote some funny scenes, especially in The Pickwick Papers. Dickens was writing at a time when some people were beginning to be concerned about the plight of the poor, but others were not so bothered, and he wanted to raise awareness.
Stanley Milgram conducted some famous psychology experiments in the 1970’s which may be considered unethical today. He asked subjects to electrocute other people if they answered a question wrong. The subjects did not realise that the people were not really being electrocuted but were acting. Milgram wanted to find out how far people would go when obeying figures in authority.
The book Folk Devils and Moral Panics examines the way the media can made a mountain out of a molehill by demonising individuals or particular groups and turning the public against them. Statistically rare events are highlighted and blown out of proportion, inciting fear and hatred among readers of newspapers. It was originally written about the fights between the Mods and the Rockers, but the same ideas can be applied to the modern day with groups such as illegal immigrants, benefits scroungers and gangs.