Write Right in the Write Site: Teaching students about plagiarism in the Write Site
It very seldom if ever happens that a student comes to the Write Site with his or her assignment without some form of plagiarism. It has become clear that there might be a few reasons for this, among others: students plagiarise deliberately; students don’t know how to avoid plagiarism; students don’t know what plagiarism is; or students are simply ignorant about the rules of plagiarism. Apart from these, we have also noticed other interesting contributing facts, i.e. students struggle to paraphrase and summarise and put ideas into their own words. But even more concerning is the fact that most students don’t understand what they have ‘copied’ or plagiarised. They will copy and paste from a book, article, or sometimes blatantly from the Internet. When asked to explain what they have written, they are not able to do so. This implies that students don’t understand what they have read, if they have read it at all. In conclusion I can say the following, starting at the end: students don’t really read the original text; they lack basic reading comprehension skills; they don’t know how to paraphrase or summarise; they lack basic academic writing skills; they either deliberately resort to plagiarism or plagiarise because of ignorance.