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This month's Ok or Not? Poll explores the use of someone else's work as inspiration for one's own work. Given that good research papers have many of the same elements that instructors are looking for, like a well-supported thesis, specific examples, organization and clarity and citations, students often seek good papers of the same topic as inspiration for their own work. Is it ok to use someone else's paper as a guide and copy ideas from it?

Ok or Not? Poll
You use another person's essay as a guide and inspiration for your essay. Ok or Not? 

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Surveys

Published on by kennethb.

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In our last Ok or Not? Poll, we asked: Is it ok to have the majority of the assignment consist of quotes? Kimberly Standifer commented that it is not ok because students should follow the 80/20 rule of 80% of the paper being original and 20% being quoted. While not a hard and fast rule, the 80/20 rule provides a framework for original writing that students can follow in their papers. In some cases however, a researcher may build upon previous work may discuss existing literature at length. At a certain point, it is up to you to discuss with your instructor what is acceptable. 

This month's Ok or Not? Poll explores a different issue around the use of your own essay. Given that essay questions can be similar and you may have previous original work on those same ideas, is it ok to submit your own essay or large chunks of it for comparable assignments across your classes? Voice your opinion in this monthly poll.

Ok or Not? Poll
You submit an original essay you wrote for multiple assignments in different classes. Ok or Not?

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Surveys

Published on by kennethb.

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For research papers, students often use facts or definitions to help further their paper's argument and clarity. For many students, these facts and definitions are self-evident or the result of reading class materials.  However, even if certain facts or definitions appear in textbooks or outside articles, students think that it is ok to not include citations for these facts and definitions because they've memorized it or it seems like common knowledge. For example, would you have to cite that 75% of the world is covered in water or something less common--the definition of DNA in a Biology class.

This week's poll explores whether students need to cite facts or definitions in their research paper. Is this OK or not? Voice your opinion in this monthly poll.

Ok or Not? Poll

For a research paper, you include references to facts you've learned in class and use a common class definition but you don't cite it because you didn't explicitly use any outside sources. OK or not?

 

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Surveys

Published on by kennethb.

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Ever encounter a quote that's almost a perfect fit for your argument? This week's poll explores whether modifying a quote  to fit your argument is an acceptable practice. If you've cited the source and followed all research writing practices, then changing a quote (with brackets) wouldn't be considered plagiarism, especially given the fact that you'll be writing an original paper with your own original thoughts...right? Voice your opinion and chime in if it's ok to modify a quote to support your argument. 

http://poll.fm/4gbbt

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OK or not? Citing a source incorrectly

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Published on by kennethb.

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This week's poll addresses the need for students to look at their citations (MLA, APA, etc.) critically. It may be the case that teachers will deduct points or ask students to redo their citations if they see any errors.  Are these teachers being too demanding? Is this even plagiarism? Voice your opinion and chime in if it's ok to accidentally cite incorrectly. 

http://poll.fm/4f3cd 

Also, stay tuned for our poll series review in a couple weeks where we'll revisit the previous polls and provide thoughtful answers to these situations.

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Ok or not? Citing the first paragraph and paraphrasing the rest

Ok or not? Citing a source without an author

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Surveys

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Published on by kennethb.

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 In the last poll of our "OK or not?" series, we asked whether it was OK to cite a source without an author. This week, we are challenging you with a dilemma that students commonly face as they write papers, especially around the need for citation if they've already paraphrased and changed "enough" of the text. What do you think?

http://poll.fm/4e3wo 

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"OK or not?" A new poll series about plagiarism

Paraphrasing

 

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Surveys

Published on by kennethb.

1 Comment