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The issue of plagiarism among school students has become more prevalent these days. Many students have admitted to having cheated in schoolwork. In this video clip, some of them talk about the reasons for cheating and their views on plagiarism. This video program shows an open classroom discussion on the ethical behaviour of high school students.




Task A. Checking understanding

Plagiarism is about using others’ ideas or work as yours in school or business world. Which of the following situations constitutes “plagiarism”? (choose more than one answer)

Task B. Comprehension activities

Part I. Multiple-choice questions

Find the best answer for each question.

Part II. Cloze passage

Fill in the missing gaps of the paragraph with the following choices of words (can be used more than once).


Task C. Language activity-Expressions showing disappointment

Put each of the following in the correct sentence.

  1. Phrases 1 and 2 show a feeling of sadness at your own disappointment.
  2. Phrases 3, 4 and 5 are used to sympathize, show anger or sadness at your own or others’ disappointment.
  3. Phrases 6 and 7 tell the expectations that you had before knowing the undesirable results.
  4. Phrases 8 and 9 could be used formally for making complaints about the wrong information given.

Hide Explanations.

Video ©teachertube.com


Sean: “Hi. I’m Sean. And welcome to “In The Mix”. As all of you probably know, ethics is a hot issue these days. We hear about cheating frequently in the news, in big companies, in sports, with politicians, everywhere. And as students we feel the effects of cheating almost every day at school. One of the reasons that cheating is so common today is because the Internet allows us to share information so easily. Some students say they have to cheat because everybody else is. Some do it because they feel the pressure to succeed. And some do it just because they don’t have the time. After talking with some of my friends, I discover that there is a lot of confusion about what exactly is cheating and plagiarism.”
Narrator (Sean): At Bergen County Academies, freshmen are required to take an ethics course that covers human rights, business ethics, cheating and plagiarism and other various topics.
Richard Weems (in the middle of a class): “… and so for each of these aspects …”
Richard Weems (Teacher, Bergen Academies): “The idea was to make them understand ethics, you know, the idea of  … of making choices because it’s the right choice, not just because other kids are doing it, not just because it has been on TV, not because of the cool thing in the movie I saw last week, and to make them aware of the school policy and what that means. The project was also to bring kids into that process.”
Female student 1: “… like kids might feel that they have to cheat to get good grades …”
Male student 1: “Kids have to do well in school and everything and I don’t feel that…”
Narrator:  In the first activity, the students acted as the members of the plagiarism board. They had to discuss if each case they were given was considered in violation of cheating and plagiarism policy at their school.
Richard Weems: “These are the copies of the plagiarism policy. The main job is: Is this plagiarism? How? What policy and principles does it violate, if it does? Okay. And what your recommendation is onto the administration? Should we deal with this as a plagiarism? Or should we not deal with this as a plagiarism?”
Female student 2: She did not copy an essay word for word. She was kind of … but she didn’t copy it word for word. She took the ideas of each paragraph. It wasn’t like she was looking at it and re-wrote it. It’s like just each individual paragraph she like has the same structure as the thing … it’s totally like …
Female student 3: No. No. Not the structure. (Female student 2: Yeah, she, I mean, the paragraph …) … ideas.
Male student 1: “If … if the first paragraph has a general idea, she took that idea and used it as hers. (Female student 2:” I … I totally agree with that”) So really it’s pretty much the same thing as just copying it.”
Female student 2: “Yea, I think so.”
Female student 3: Yea … she’s not coming up with her own ideas. She could have done that herself.
Female student 3 “Yea so she doesn’t know what plagiarism …”
Female student 1: Yea she wasn’t clearly …? (Female student 3: “She has the feeling that she’s doing something wrong.”
Male student 1: Actually I think she feels like she knows she’s doing something wrong but she just …
Female student 2: She didn’t think that it was quite as serious as plagiarism you know.
Male student 1: Yea … she didn’t know that. What a shame.
Female student 3: Okay. So … it’s plagiarism because she stole ideas and she didn’t give credit to them …
Female student 4: Our situation was about a student who mentioned to her teacher that she had trouble finding a topic for her essay, and that she mentioned that she would use an online source for her essay. And when she handed it in, her teacher noticed that the essay was not word for word, but she used the ideas of each paragraph that she found on the online source and wrote them in her own words.
Female student 2: So we were saying that it was plagiarism because she used em … someone else’s ideas, on a much smaller scale, she …. and she could not cite the source. We don’t really think there’s any particular amendments that are necessary to the policy … maybe it’s like comprehensive, but we do have a recommendation because if we all kind of claim that … she … her definition of plagiarism was apparently misguided, and she did not think she had committed plagiarism . We think that the school should like publicize her policy more so that students might be more aware of what is an offence and what isn’t. And we think it should be fairly lenient because she admitted it and she apparently did not know that she committed a plagiarism.

Please visit “inthemix.org” for more information on this and many other programs about critical teen issues. You will also find resources, transcripts, discussion guides, video clip, how to get copies of our programs and lot more.

ETHICS: CHEATING AND PLAGIARISM - http://teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=264679
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