Ethics: The Case of the Plagiarized Paragraph

The American Psychological Association has adopted a code of ethics, the  Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. . In addition to governing the behavior of professionals, the five general principles and ten specific ethical standards contained in this code of ethics extend to all those who study or practice psychology.  In academia, perhaps the most relevant ethical breach occurs in the context of plagiarism, which involves taking credit for someone else’s work (thoughts, words, etc.).  Unfortunately, this practice can and does occasionally occur outside the classroom too (See the chronology in “ Journalism’s Summer of Sin Marked by Plagiarism, Fabrication, Obfuscation (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.”). Although most people recognize word-for-word copy and paste presentation of work constitutes an act of dishonesty, a variety of additional practices may be construed as plagiarism as well.  Review “ The plagiarism spectrum:  Tagging 10 types of unoriginal work  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. ” and watch the video “ Plagiarism 2.0: Information Ethics in the Digital Age”.

 

A common mistake concerning ethics is the application of  paraphrasing (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..  When a writer, researcher, or student paraphrases, (s)he is expressing the meaning of what (s)he has read using his or her own words.  It is an especially important skill for students to acquire.  With accurately applied and properly cited paraphrasing, students and other writers can avoid the consequences of plagiarism.  Learning how to paraphrase correctly can also help one avoid the appearance of presenting a series of direct quotes.  This important skill builder is designed to help you achieve success in this area throughout your academic experience, as well as in your current and future careers.

Thus, in this activity, you will apply ethical considerations by relating course content to a realistic scenario.

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