Copyright and Plagiarism
1 Hook/Attention Getter
Have the video playing (with audio) as students come in.
I use Google Slides to intro the theme of copyright and digital citizenship. This was designed for a mixed level (9-12) strategic English class. Many students struggle with reading and writing. The essential question is: What should you consider when using other people's work and doing research?
Student will be able to:
- Define key concepts of copyright, plagiarism, citation, piracy, original, inspiration, appropriation
- Understand legal and ethical debates of using other people’s work
- Consider the perspectives of the original creator, audiences and your teacher
3 Guided Practice
After students listen to the Ice vs Bowie samples again, explain the lawsuit that followed and why Bowie/Queen was successful. Explain how plagiarism is the same kind of violation but that it can be avoided in an educational setting with citations. Distribute the handout. Read for students, defining terms. Read second page for them pointing out key terms used and the fact that "cite" is the verb for "citation" and NOT site, like a website.
What Is Plagiarism?
1. In instructional settings, plagiarism is a multifaceted and ethically complex problem. However, if any definition of plagiarism is to be helpful to administrators, faculty, and students, it needs to be as simple and direct as possible within the context for which it is intended.
2. Definition: In an instructional setting, plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source.
3. This definition applies to texts published in print or on-line, to manuscripts, and to the work of other student writers.
Citation for this article (created using the webpage: KnightCite)
"Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices." WPA Council.org, edited by Charlie
Lowe, Council of Writing Program Administrators, Jan. 2003, wpacouncil.org/positions/WPAplagiarism.pdf.
Accessed 7 Dec. 2017.
1. Plagiarism is the act of taking words, ideas, music or information from others and using them like they are your own. Someone who does this is called a “plagiarist.” While some plagiarists do this on purpose, it’s possible to do it simply through lack of proper citation. If you use someone else’s creative work, like music or photographs, especially if it isn’t for school or you make money on them, it is illegal. It breaks copyright laws. Instead of using them for inspiration to come up with your own original work, you appropriate them and try to act like their work was yours.
2. When you are writing a paper for school, things are a little different. Your audience is your teacher. When you turn in work that has your name on it, your teacher expects it to be your own. That’s part of what putting your name on an assignment means: that the work in it is yours, unless you say otherwise. It’s like the music example. If you put your name on an assignment that has other people’s words, from articles, the web or another student’s work you are committing literary theft (stealing).
3. So when you use someone else’s work, it is important to clearly and correctly cite the writing to show it isn’t your original work. If you don’t cite you are claiming it is your work. Also, if you cite incorrectly, it is still plagiarism, but it could just lower your grade. If the citation is incorrect or incomplete, it is still plagiarism and that is considered academic dishonesty. Teachers can look at these cases differently and may be more lenient if it is clear you didn’t intend to plagiarize, but it is up to your teacher and the policies at your school.
4. Someone else’s words need to be cited, but so do any of their creative works. If you are using them for school assignments (academic purposes) copyright laws allow small amounts to be used for schoolwork, but you still need to cite that you used it and where it came from. Don’t steal from others’ work; give credit for their work that you are using.
"Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices." WPA Council.org, edited by
Charlie Lowe, Council of Writing Program Administrators, Jan. 2003,
<wpacouncil.org/positions/WPAplagiarism.pdf.> Accessed 7 Dec. 2017.
Students follow along while instructor reads, and they add notes to define the highlighted words on the first page, defined, if possible, by the students: "instructional settings"= schools; "multifaceted" = many sided; "ethically"= (right and wrong); "context" = setting; "deliberately" = on purpose; "acknowledging" = giving credit; "manuscript"= original. Students should also underline "common knowledge" and discuss what that means.
4 Application: What does avoiding plagiarism "look like?"
Google Slides, Slide #11- Simple illustration of the steps to research and presentation.
Next play the 5 question Kahoot to review key terms.
After discussing what kind of research they will be doing and how to create citations using library databases and online citation creators (review from previous lessons in the library for research) students log in to Chromebooks and enter the pin to play Kahoot. Because the "results" are made public as they play, I provided numbers for their "nicknames."
5 Review and Wrap Up
Discuss Kahoot results then go to the Robots video. Use it to re-visit the concept of "common knowledge"- the movies are so familiar that students might think it is common knowledge, but it is still created content that is under copyright. Use slide 14 (see Google Slides presentation earlier in this lesson) to demonstrate what a Works Cited page looks like and why it is used. After discussion, play the David Bowie, Under Pressure video as students pack up to leave.
Discuss answers, why is it correct, etc.