Thursday, August 4, 2011


Question: What are the characteristics of student writers who are likely NOT to plagiarize?

Answer: Student who write with a strong sense of purpose.

Quote: “In examining in chapter 4 the texts that her research subjects produced, Pecorari (Academic Writing and Plagiarism: A Linguistic Analysis. Diane Pecorari. New York: Continuum, 2008.) determines that students who wrote with a strong, defined sense of their own scholarly purpose and ethos were less likely than other writers to use a ‘large proportion of repeated language…whether properly attributed quotation or textual plagiarism.’ The finding is significant, for it demonstrates the critical importance of the relationship between a student’s sense of authority and his or her perceived right to speak within a given conversation. Moreover, when employing ‘repeated language,’ the writers with greater sense of their own purpose were more likely to reaccentuate, reconceptualize and adapt the passages than merely rephrase them. In other words, avoiding plagiarism is not simply a matter of understanding and employing grammatical or formal convention used within a discipline; it also has to do with understanding the subject of the discourse and with one’s sense of purpose in writing.”

Comment: I guess that means if students know the subject and have a strong sense of purpose in writing, they will have no need to plagiarize and, further, they will make better use of quotes than merely to rephrase them. RayS.

Title: “Review: Theorizing Plagiarism in the University.” Kay Halasek. College English (May 2011), 548-568.

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