Finding one’s academic voice is an important part of development when dedicating one’s self to earning a degree. However, it is not always easy. Sometimes we lack the confidence (self-efficacy) and think our words are not good enough. Other times, managing our time becomes difficult and taking short cuts seems like our only way out. Once this habit begins, especially if it is not caught, can have devastating results later down the road, but often our emotions allow us to rationalize the practice of taking this easy option.
There are also many temptations with the World Wide Web, including websites touting that you can buy information that cannot be traced. Be cautious. Technological advancement is making this quite the inaccurate marketing tool. In addition, students who do use tools such as Turn It In can be deceived by what they do not know. For example, often, academic institutions have access to outside student work when running these reports. Students on the other hand do not, and thus, copies of other student papers or even sections or portions may not be identified to the student but will be to the instructor. “Not fair,” one might say. If one is using another’s work, they know it, and thus it can still be deemed unethical, whether they themselves saw it in a plagiarism report or not.
So, what can you do? Take the high road and develop your confidence by developing your academic voice. One of the most important aspects to this is simply giving credit to where the information was learned. Doing this correctly is also important, but giving this credit is a good place to start.
Your assignment this week involves exploring this area of ethics and will include three parts:
- Part One: Discuss why you think plagiarism is so problematic in higher education today. Have you seen examples of it? What do you think you can personally do to help develop your own academic voice? Does it stir up any emotions when you think others are “getting away with it”?
- Part Two: Write a one- to two-paragraph summary about what you have learned this week. Within this writing exercise, demonstrate three levels of preventing plagiarism within your own writing, and highlight each example in a differing colored font as noted below:
- (red font) Paraphrased information using a citation. (Author, Year)
- (green font) One sentence quote from the text that helps support your summary. Be sure to include the exact page the quote is found in your citations. (Author, Year, p. X)
- (blue font) Free-write. Write something entirely based on what you remember from your reading. This should still be cited, but is all in your own words. (Author, Year).
- Need assistance with paraphrasing? Examples on how to paraphrase.
- Not quite clear what you do here? View this worked example for assistance.
- Part Three: Reflect on how difficult you think Part Two was. Do you have any bad habits you need to break? How much more difficult would it be to avoid this situation when using websites to assist you in research? What strategies could you use here to help you have more success and prevent accidental mistakes?
This exercise should be a minimum of three to four pages and should adequately discuss all questions posed, demonstrate maturating self-awareness. Your text is the only required source, but additional sources are encouraged. Use the rubric to check for thoroughness. The Ashford Library should be used as your primary source for any additional sources, but other credible sources will also be accepted. Your sources should be cited according to APA format as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Note that no title page is required. A reference page is required and sources must include correct citations within the writing exercise when utilized.