The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Colloquium Archive

James P. Purdy

Name: James P. Purdy, the Center for Writing Studies and the Department of English

Presentation Title: "Calling off the Hounds: Technology and the Visibility of Plagiarism"

Date: March 18, 2004


This presentation will address the results of an investigation I conducted to determine the value of plagiarism detection services for faculty in LAS. On the whole, results of this study reveal that these fee-based services appear to cause more problems than they solve. Specifically, they raise not only ethical concerns, but also questions about their functional effectiveness as compared to free and readily available online search engines, such as Google. More importantly, these plagiarism detection services direct our attention to the larger concerns of the role of the instructor and the definition of plagiarism in a writing classroom where available technology both changes the writing practices of students and makes some of these practices, particularly those associated with plagiarism, more visible. In this talk, I detail the study and its results within the context of plagiarism scholarship to explore how new technologies affect our understanding of plagiarism and writing instruction.