Research Paper Blog: What Plagiarism Looks like in Today’s Digital World

I chose to research plagiarism in the new digital world with a specific focus of plagiarism in the art room. I wanted to do this topic because I feel plagiarism is becoming a huge issue in our new digital world and our professors and teachers are not doing anything about it. Our teachers wonder why we cannot cite properly and as students, we always get frustrated when we try really hard to cite properly, but always become disappointed when our teachers return our papers. I think that the reason for this is there are two editions of APA formatting that teachers are requiring us to use, not specifying which one, and when we try to accomodate those styles, in my own experiences, it is the teachers that have their OWN styles on how APA should be done. For an example, last semester, I wrote two research papers, using the same style APA formatting. Both teachers had gone over the style prior to the paper being due, and I made sure to fit in their guidelines. When I got both papers back, I was very frustrated and upset to find that both of the teachers did not stick to what they had instructed us to do, and they both had opposite views on where the running head goes for example. 

I think it is instances like this that have students frustrated and not caring about citing, because sometimes, its worthless if you are going to get points off on a paper for it. In the art room, I wanted to focus on images that people are pulling from Google. most times people do not cite where they got their images from, and if in an art room students are using them as part of their projects, then this is for sure plagiarism, and teachers are allowing it. Students should be taking their own pictures or drawing out sketches, not using someone elses image from the Internet. Same thing goes for Microsoft Clip Art. Those are premade images and should either be cited as so, or teachers/students should make their own images to use, especially if related to the art field. 

There are various ways to avoid plagiarism but I think it should start number one with the teacher in the classroom going over very specific guidelines about exactly how and what to cite and sticking to it. Second students should be able to give a voice in their research papers. Yes, being able to research is important, but writing a paper based on other people’s findings and opinions is boring and irrelevant to students. We should all be able to write about something we feel is important and then research information and statistics, or whatever it may be to back our arguement up. In my findings, other authors backed me up with this idea, because it just makes sense that if students are interested in what they are writing about and have an opportunity to voice their opinion, they are more likely to do the research and give credit to the other sources, so as to show, yes this is who backs me up.

Ok I have said my peace…until next time….

Breaking down the four walls…

I thought skyping in class was a really cool way to show us not only how to do it, but that the opportunities are endless. Being able to bring other people, experts, into the classroom is an amazing opportunity that every teacher should be taking advantage of. As an art teacher, I think it would be so awesome to allow my students to not only skype with other students from different schools to show their artwork and have discussions, but to be able to talk with contemporary artists. That type of learning is priceless. I know from my own experience, attempting to do a research paper on a contemporary artist right now, I am finding it very difficult to gather information, especially when the artist said he does not have time to answer my questions. Perhaps if I asked to skype with him for a couple minutes, he would have been more obliged to answer. I never thought of using skype to analyze and discuss artwork either, but when that was mentioned in class, I thought what a great way to take away the personalization of projects so that students are not embarrassed to talk about their own work. We can switch work and share and the ideas are really endless! I also thought about how skyping with a class from across the country, or from a different country to really give the students some first hand perspective would be amazing. Especially if they are places we are learning about in art history, the students would be able to ask questions and interact, and possibly “visit” a place they would otherwise never be able to see / interact with people from.