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SGarza: TeachingParaphraseSummaryAndPlagiarism

In the article, "Teaching Paraphrase, Summary, and Plagiarism: An Integrated Approach" Jane Lasarenko discusses an approach to teach the definitions of summary, paraphrase, and plagiarism in the classroom. This strategy has been used in a computer networked lab.

The Approach

1. Instructors should have students bring in definitions of what they think that "summary," "paraphrase," and "plagiarism" mean. This will get the students to start discussing and find similarites and differnces in their peers definitions.

2. Have the students paraphrase the first two sentances of a chosen text. Get students into groups and discuss each others paraphrases and discuss surface differences. Larsenko states, "Consequently, I always need to intervene and keep a close eye on the group responses, having students focus on the ways in which this paraphrase constitutes plagiarism in its choice of words and, particularly, in its sentance structure" (11).

3. As a whole class, discuss how the paraphrase differs from the original text. The instructor can stress that the ideas reflected in the paraphrase and the original are very different. Discss.

4. Students should summarize the text and compare summaries focusing on :"has the writer left out any of the important main points? Is the summary of appropriate length given the amount of information on the original? Has the writer used any of the original words, sentences and sentence structure from the orignial text?" (11).

5. Discuss with the entire class how paraphrase is differnt from summary. Instructors should emphasize how summaries restate the most important part of the texts.

6. Finally, the instructor should review with the class the various ways in which "paraphrase and summary remain instances of plagiarism without citing the orginal texts" (12).

  • Lasarenko, Jane. "Teaching Paraphrase, Summary, and Plagiarism: An Integrated Approach." Exercise Exchange: a Journal for Teachers of English in High Schools and Colleges. 41:2. (1996). ERIC. 12 March 2007.
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Page last modified on July 28, 2007, at 11:30 AM CST