Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey shuts down No. 8 Northeastern with 3-0 win -

January 19, 2018

Matt Murray hands Northeastern its first shutout of the season -

January 19, 2018

Minutewomen stunned by last-second free throw -

January 19, 2018

UMass hockey returns home to battle juggernaut Northeastern squad -

January 18, 2018

Slow start sinks Minutemen against URI -

January 17, 2018

UMass three-game win streak snapped in Rhode Island humbling -

January 17, 2018

Trio of second period goals leads Maine to 3-1 win over UMass hockey -

January 16, 2018

Small-ball lineup sparks UMass men’s basketball comeback over Saint Joseph’s -

January 14, 2018

UMass men’s basketball tops St. Joe’s in wild comeback -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s track and field have record day at Beantown Challenge -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s basketball blows halftime lead to Saint Joseph’s, fall to the Hawks 84-79. -

January 14, 2018

UMass hockey beats Vermont 6-3 in courageous win -

January 13, 2018

Makar, Leonard score but UMass can only muster 2-2 tie with Vermont -

January 13, 2018

Pipkins breaks UMass single game scoring record in comeback win over La Salle -

January 10, 2018

Conservative student activism group sues UMass over free speech policy -

January 10, 2018

Report: Makar declines invite from Team Canada Olympic team -

January 10, 2018

Prince Hall flood over winter break -

January 10, 2018

Minutemen look to avoid three straight losses with pair against Vermont -

January 10, 2018

Men’s and women’s track and field open seasons at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2018

Turnovers and poor shooting hurt UMass women’s basketball in another conference loss at St. Bonaventure -

January 8, 2018

Study finds plagiarism can be reduced through education

It’s not new knowledge that plagiarism is a growing problem in academia, but a study released last week may prove that plagiarism can be reduced through education, rather than through fear of repercussions

The study examined students who viewed a mandatory web tutorial on plagiarism. It found that these students were less likely to plagiarize than their peers who did not view the tutorial. The effects of the tutorial were especially significant among college students with lower SAT scores.

Published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the study was conducted by Thomas S. Dee, associate professor of economics and director of the public policy program at Swarthmore College, and Brian A. Jacob, the Walter H. Annenberg professor of education policy at the University of Michigan.

Dee and Jacob collected over 1,200 papers from undergraduate students attending a “selective post-secondary institution,” said the study. Half of the students enrolled in the courses participating in the study were required to complete the plagiarism tutorial before they submitted their papers. Those who did not complete the tutorial were in the control group. Dee and Jacob found that, according to the study, being required to complete the tutorial “substantially reduced the likelihood of plagiarism, particularly among students with lower SAT scores who had the highest rates of plagiarism,”

The students then completed a follow-up survey. Survey answers implied that the tutorial led to fewer instances of plagiarism because the students learned more about plagiarism, not because they feared punishment.

This study supports the beliefs that some academic professionals have long held.

“My contention has always lined up with what this study suggests,” said UMass Professor Nicholas McBride, who teaches a course on journalism ethics. “For me, fear is rarely a good task master. A better society in the broad sense is a society governed by aesthetics rather than edicts.”

The tutorial used in the study shows students examples of correct and incorrect uses of source materials. It also provides students with strategies for avoiding plagiarism. One topic covered by the tutorial is paraphrasing.

Using sources word-for-word, intentionally or not, is a mistake that many UMass students admit to making.

“Before I got to college I thought that paraphrasing wasn’t plagiarism,” said junior Erin Desrochers.

This tutorial helps to prevent unintentional plagiarism, but junior Tori Zopf, pointed out that unintentional plagiarism is not the only kind.

“There are some people that accidently [plagarize],”he said,  “but there are some people that know [what they’re doing].”

 Tyler Rocco-Chafee, a senior, agreed.

 “I think that people know what plagiarism is,” he said. “The idea of copying someone else’s work, people know what that is.”

 “It’s beaten into your head in every class,” added Zopf.

 While a tutorial may be effective for those who unintentionally plagiarize, there are still some those are inclined to plagiarize even knowingly.

 “The process of education is more than ‘this is plagiarism, bad,’” said McBride. “Education has to also examine why … why stealing ideas eats at the infrastructure of a just society, violates the humanity of others, and ultimately ourselves.”

 Elizabeth Murphy can be reached at emmurphy@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment