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Don't Plagiarize Writing...Not Ever!
I truly believe if you invest the time to teach writing authentically and well, then state tests will take care of themselves. Writing skills create strong, independent thinkers.

This page is for my students out there who are considering not writing original words down when completing their assignments for my class. To copy another's work and try to pass it off as your own is a very serious offense; it's called plagiarism. It is both wrong and it demonstrates a lack of respect towards education that you all know I don't tolerate.

I will teach you not to put others' ideas into your own words. I will teach you not to plagiarize. It takes a bit of knowledge and lots of practice to learn to do it in your actual writing assignments, but we will get there.

You're actually lucky. When I was in school, our teachers didn't really take time to teach us how to put research into our own writing without plagiarizing. In elementary, I wrote a lot of reports that had sentences in them that were copied right out of an encyclopedia. We didn't know any better back then. In today's world with so much information right at our fingertips, learning to "put it in your own words" is a much more important skill than it used to be.

For your amusement, I have posted pages from two reports I wrote in grade school. Keep in mind, we weren't given much instruction on how to write about research. Feel free to send me some advice on how I might have made my work sound like it didn't come right out of an encyclopedia.

Wow! Do you kids today even know what an encyclopedia is? I wonder about such things...

My Fourth Grade Report on George Washington:

I received an A+ on this report, and I'm not sure why. I copied too much from the encyclopedia to call this writing my own. My title on the cover could have certainly been more interesting as well.

If you are up for a challenge, I dare you to click on, then print out the "Washington's Decent" page from my report. Bring it to class and show me how you'd change some of the sentences to put them in words that don't sound like they came directly out of the encyclopedia.



My Fifth Grade Report on Argentina:

I received an A- on this report, and it is clearly the most plagiarized piece of writing any fifth grader ever turned in! My husband shows this to teachers he works with when he teaches workshops on writing across the curriculum. I think it's so funny that my decorated cover has nothing to do with Argentina at all.

If you are up for the challenge, I dare you to click on, then print out this page from my report. Bring it to class and show me how you'd change some of the sentences to put them in words that don't sound like they came directly out of the encyclopedia.

 


WritingFix is the best website ever. And not just because they have several of my lessons posted! This site covers every writing topic out there!



If you're not a member of the NNWP's Writing Lesson of the Month Ning, change that fact right now! Click here and create a profile to begin receiving the monthly lessons!



The NNWP's Going Deep with 6 Trait Language Guide is a great teaching resource. You can order your own copy by visiting the NNWP's Publications Page.



Creating Writers through 6-Trait Writing
by Vicki Spandel. A really great teaching resource!



The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins. My three classroom copies see no dust as they're passed from reader to reader.



My husband also keeps a webpage of his lessons and his professional development resources. Click here to visit his site.



Click here to see some of my past students who are "famous" because they were published at the WritingFix website.

 

 

 

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