Copyright and Fair Use


    10 Reasons Students Cheat
    (James B. Tenbusch: Scholastic Administrator, Spring 2002)

    1. Lack of motivation to study or work hard.
    2. Pressure from parents and teachers to get good grades.
    3. The social stigma associated with cheating has disappeared.
    4. Cutting and pasting information from electronic sources is so easy.
    5. A mistaken belief that everything on the Internet is free for the taking.
    6. Lack of understanding about what plagiarism is and how to properly reference materials.
    7. Because students are not often caught cheating, or disciplined if they are caught, they think they can get away with it.
    8. Fear of falling behind because "everyone else" is cheating - and getting good grades as a result.
    9. Unable to keep up with the heavy work load.
    10. Belief that "getting it right" and "getting it done" are valued more than original thoughts or ideas.


    10 Tips for Catching Plagiarists
    (James B. Tenbusch: Scholastic Administrator, Spring 2002)

    1. Individual Writing Styles  Has a student who normally writes like Dr. Seuss suddenly become a budding Hemingway?  Look for jargon or an overall writing style that is unusually advanced or out of character for the student.
    2. Internal Inconsistencies Check for abrupt changes in tense, grammatical elements and word usage throughout the piece.
    3. Unusual Spelling  Keep an eye out for peculiar spellings, particularly British or Canadian forms of commonly-used words.
    4. Transitions Notice any transitional sentences or paragraphs that are remarkably less sophisticated than the surrounding text - these are clear signs that a student is using the "patchwork" method of plagiarizing.
    5. Color Matters  Grayed-out words in normally black text are most likely hyperlinks pasted from a Web page into a word processing document (possibly along with a paragraph or two.)  Also examine paper for signs of "white-out," which may be covering up URLs at the top or bottom of a page printed directly from a Web browser.
    6. Page Layouts  Strange layouts can point to sloppy cut-and-paste jobs.  Check elements such as headings, spacing between words and lines, font style or size changes, or incorrect page numbering.
    7. References  Check references to tables, graphs, charts, and footnotes that are not included in the paper or accompanying material.
    8. Off Topic  Go back and review the instructions specified in the assignment.  Are there any required elements that are missing?  Does a portion of the paper appear to be tacked on?  Is the topic of the paper dealt with obliquely or only in part?
    9. Prior Performance  Keep track of student who have fallen behind in class, or who typically wait until the last minute to complete an assignment.  Studies have shown that cheating and plagiarism are much more common among academically weak students and those with poor time management skills.
    10. Investigation  If you do suspect a student of plagiarizing, ask him or her to summarize the main points of the paper or answer specific questions pertaining to specific parts of the piece.  If the individual does not understand the questions or can't reasonably discuss the ideas presented in the paper, it's likely that he or she is not the author.