rusq: Vol. 51 Issue 2: p. 207
Sources: Plagiarism Education and Prevention: A Subject-Driven Case-Based Approach
Meagan Lacy

Meagan Lacy, Assistant Librarian, Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana

Plagiarism remains a perennial issue on college campuses, makes for popular fodder in the media, and appears regularly in the scholarly and professional literature. With so much already said about it, one wonders, not without irony, whether anyone can truly add anything new to the discussion. Bradley does. In keeping with the trend toward teaching information literacy skills in the context of discipline-specific research problems, Bradley gives practical guidance on how to tailor anti-plagiarism education to specific scholarly communities. Expanding on a chapter in Lynn Lampert's Combating Student Plagiarism: An Academic Librarian's Guide (Chandos, 2008; reviewed in RUSQ 49, no. 3), Bradley complements her theoretical claims with usable examples for stimulating discussion and debate about plagiarism with students in the classroom.

The chapters are organized by subject and focus on discipline-specific issues in the arts and humanities, social sciences, sciences, and professional disciplines. Each section begins with a brief explanation of the discipline's citation practices and its attitude toward plagiarism. This overview is then followed by an actual case study that illustrates the complexities and nuances of the issue as they relate to that particular community. Sharing these examples with students will help them understand that plagiarism has real consequences (outside of school) and can impact their professional futures—making the ethical use of information a more relevant topic. The discussion questions based on each scenario are truly interesting and help stimulate critical thinking.

Each section is essentially a complete lesson plan; one can easily imagine incorporating the examples and questions into a presentation on plagiarism. Although Bradley advocates for a subject-driven approach, she also includes general examples that could be used for discussion in First Year Experience courses. She accommodates several different teaching scenarios so that instructors can easily create an entire session on plagiarism. In other words, she invents the wheel so librarians (or teaching faculty) don't have to.

Those serving international students might wish that Bradley had included some discussion of how plagiarism is relative to culture, but instruction librarians, especially those new to teaching, will not be disappointed.

Article Categories:
  • Library Reference and User Services
    • Sources


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ALA Privacy Policy

© 2021 RUSA