Truth or Consequences
These resources provide lesson plans and handouts for teachers interested in teaching students how to understand plagiarism. The lesson plans in this section include activities that help students define plagiarism, assess their attitude toward plagiarism, and create a class plagiarism policy. The resources with titles that include "Handout" provide handouts that are free to print for your students by using the print option in your web browser. The "Handout" resources correspond with the resource listed above it.
Contributors:Cristyn Elder, Ehren Pflugfelder, Elizabeth Angeli
Last Edited: 2012-06-08 08:42:19
To examine different cases of plagiarism reported in the media within context in order to identify the different ways plagiarism can be defined and to be aware of the various consequences.
- “Hamilton President Resigns Over Speech” (One copy per student in Group A)
- “Fame Can’t Excuse a Plagiarist” (One copy per student in Group B)
- “Washington Post Blogger Quits after Plagiarism Accusations” (One copy per student in Group C)
- “Hungary's Presendent Quits Over Alleged Plagiarism” (One copy per student in Group D)
- The following article is an alternative option for students who are fluent in more than one language. It treats the issue of plagiarism when translating a text from one language to another: “Plagiarism in China Fuels Debate on Intellectual Theft”
- This is another alternative article that does not treat one specific case of plagiarism but discusses plagiarism within the context of online publishing (e.g., on MySpace web pages): "Myspace: A Place for Plagiarism? (Part one)"
- “School Cheating Scandal Tests a Town’s Values” (One copy per student in the class for homework)
Collect four or five articles (or links to the articles) on plagiarism cases in the news. These cases should identify different aspects of plagiarism. Assign the reading of these articles to be done at home before class or allow for time in class to read.
Divide students into groups of four or five, depending on how many articles you want to cover. Each group of students should be reading a different article. So, for example, the four students in Group A should read “Hamilton President Resigns Over Speech.” Group B should read “Fame Can’t Excuse a Plagiarist”, etc. As students read their article, they should complete the table titled “Truth or Consequences” as it pertains to their article. After each student has individually read his/her article, have students discuss the article within their group to make sure they understand the main points.
Divide students into new groups, each new group consisting of one student from Group A, Group B, etc. Each student then explains his/her article to the new group. The other students complete the Truth or Consequences Table as it pertains to each article.
After students have discussed their articles within their groups, complete the same table on the board, eliciting responses from the class. Discuss issues related to the articles as questions arise, including how context may change the definition and/or consequence of plagiarism.
Ask students to read back through their answers on the plagiarism attitude scale. In response to the articles read, would they change any of their answers on the scale? What questions do they still have about issues presented on the scale?
For homework, have students read the article “School Cheating Scandal Tests a Town’s Values.” Ask students to write a journal entry responding to the final consequence of the plagiarism case described in the article.
An appropriate follow-up lesson to this one would be, for example, the lesson titled “Big Picture” or “Comparing Policies,” in which classroom policies on plagiarism are examined.
Computer Lab Option
If doing the reading in class, students can access the articles online and complete the Truth or Consequences table.