Readers' reactions

July 21, 2000

Last week in The THES. Frank Furedi suggested ways to tackle internet plagiarism among students.

* Mark Griffiths, Bob Rotheram, Roger Hopkins Burke, Richard Wood, Mark Davies, Andy Sutton, Hugh Miller, Jill Arnold Department of social sciences, Nottingham Trent University.

Frank Furedi says he does not know the answer to internet plagiarism. Here are a few ideas: be vigilant and monitor student performance over time, look for Americanisms and study bibliographies. Change appraisal strategies to include exams and oral presentations.

Students must be told in the strongest possible terms what plagiarism is, and they must be made aware that it is strongly disapproved of in academia because it is theft.

* Keith Flett

London

I agree with Frank Furedi that the best way to deal with plagiarism is by discussing with students why their own ideas and research are preferable to someone else's.

Plagiarism would be a lot harder if lecturers themselves did not keep using the same questions. That, too, is a form of plagiarism.

* Fintan Culwin.

Reader in software engineering education South Bank University

Frank Furedi suggests that one response to plagiarism is to assess the process whereby an essay is produced as well as the essay itself. This would include evaluating the sources on which the student had drawn.

One way to combat plagiarism is to introduce errors into secondary sources in order to detect if they have been used without citation. I presume that Furedi agrees with this suggestion - and has deliberately misspelled my name so as to detect fraudulent use of his own article.

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