Patchwriting Coming to a Paper Near You

August 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: rhetoric, WAC 

Many students enter Cayuga with a simplified view of plagiarism: such as, It’s something only cheaters do.  Or  When in doubt, cite everything.

As Howard mentions in the following video, using sources is a challenge all writers face.  If the writer hasn’t written frequently for the disciplinary genre at hand, he or she can’t ignore patchwriting that results in intentional or unintentional plagiarism.  ELL and underprepared students, in particular, need to be aware that hoping not be caught or not having been caught in the past won’t master patchwriting.

Plagiarism is treated as an academic crime, and like any crime, being unaware of the criminal code or ignoring it is no excuse for breaking the rules.  Instead, acknowledging that we’re all at risk and taking more time to read, practicing paraphrasing, and studying what a paper demands through models or expert feedback are the better approaches to take.