Ethics

Adapted from http://www.english.udel.edu/wc/handouts/plagiarism.html, http://www.geneseo.edu/~brainard/plagiarismtypes.htm,
www.cxc.pitt.edu

Plagiarism
• Definition: the presentation of others’ words or ideas as though they were your own
• Types: Global, Patchwork, Incremental, Paraphrasing

Below, is an original quotation by Damien Pfister, followed by examples and explanations of the various types of Plagiarism

Original Quotation:
"A nuclear explosion can readily ignite fires in either an urban or rural setting. The flash of thermal radiation from the nuclear explosion, which has a spectrum similar to that of sunlight, accounts for about a third of the total energy yield of the explosion. The flash is so intense that a variety of combustible materials are ignited spontaneously at ranges of 10 kilometers or more from a one-megaton air burst detonated at a nominal altitude of a kilometer. The blast wave from the explosion would extinguish many of the initial fires, but it would also start numerous secondary fires by disrupting open flames, rupturing gas lines and fuel storage tanks and causing electrical and mechanical sparks."

Global Plagiarism
• Copying whole chunks of text / speech without attributing authorship to another
• Example: “A nuclear explosion can readily ignite fires in either an urban or rural setting. The flash of thermal radiation from the nuclear explosion, which has a spectrum similar to that of sunlight, accounts for about a third of the total energy yield of the explosion.”

Incremental Plagiarism
• A type of Patchwork Plagiarism in which one fails to give credit for snippets of word-for-word text stolen from others
• Borrowing phrases or clauses from another source without attributing credit
• Example: “An explosion from a nuclear bomb can start fires in either an urban or rural setting. The light from the explosion, which has a spectrum similar to that of sunlight, makes up about 1/3 of the energy produced. The light is so intense that a variety of combustible materials are ignited spontaneously at ranges of 10 KM or more from a one-megaton air burst detonated at a nominal altitude of a kilometer. Although the wave of air produced by the blast would put out many of the first fires, it would also start many other fires by disrupting open flames, rupturing gas lines and fuel storage tanks and causing electrical and mechanical sparks.”

Patchwork: Word Switch
• Switching the arrangement of words is a type of plagiarism; not as obvious, but just as bad.
• Example: “An explosion from a nuclear bomb can start fires in either a rural or urban setting. The light from the explosion, with a spectrum like the sunlight, makes up about 1/3 of the energy produced. The light is so powerful that a variety of combustible materials are ignited spontaneously at ranges of 7 miles or more from a one-megaton air explosion detonated at a nominal altitude of a half a mile. Although the wave of air produced by the blast would put out many of the first fires, it would also start many other fires by disrupting open flames, rupturing fuel lines and gas storage tanks and causing many sparks.”

Paraphrasing
• Definition: Putting someone else’s ideas in your own words; borrowing something from someone else’s work that is not general knowledge.
• Example: “Fires could readily be ignited by a nuclear explosion either in cities or in the country because heat radiation from the nuclear explosion is equal to about 1/3 of the total of the energy yielded. The flash of light from the heat is so strong that many materials would catch on fire immediately as far as 10 kilometers away from a one-megaton burst which exploded at around a kilometer in the air. There would be a large wave of air from the explosion which would put out many of the first fires, but it would also start many other fires by breaking gas lines and storage tanks and causing electric and mechanical sparks.”

Tips:
• Do not merely right-click to replace a word with its synonym
• Metaphors, similes, and other figures of speech are a critical element of an author’s style; borrowing such stylistic ornament requires attribution.
* e.g. “A nuclear explosion produces heat and light similar to the sun; blinding and destroying all things within a certain vicinity of the
explosion.” (borrows sun simile)
• If possible, start work on the project early to avoid last-minute temptation to plagiarize later on down the road
• Do your research, then give yourself time to think about the research; if you write your paper as you are doing research, you are more likely to attribute statements incorrectly to yourself whereas if you take the time to think about it you can better form your own opinions
• Proofreading is always the last step of any paper! Check for areas that you may have accidentally (or intentionally) plagiarized

Appropriate Usage #1
“In the event of a nuclear explosion, several severe consequences would follow. For example, there would be immediate loss of life, destruction of property, and emissions of radiation. But another effect which is not readily apparent is the creation of a huge conflagration which would spread for many miles in all directions. As Richard Turco observes: "The blast wave from the explosion would extinguish many of the initial fires, but it would also start numerous secondary fires by disrupting gas lines and fuel storage tanks and causing electrical and mechanical sparks" (37). Such a holocaust would continue to spread unchecked creating an inferno of unimaginable propositions. It is this sort of nightmarish scene that reinforces the idea that humankind must seek ways to prevent nuclear catastrophe.”

Appropriate Usage #2
“In the event of a nuclear explosion, several severe consequences would follow. For example, there would be immediate loss of life, destruction of property, and emissions of radiation. But another effect which is not readily apparent is the creation of a huge conflagration which would spread for many miles in all directions. As Richard Turco, a nuclear physicist at Stanford, observes in last month’s Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: "The blast wave from the explosion would extinguish many of the initial fires, but it would also start numerous secondary fires by disrupting gas lines and fuel storage tanks and causing electrical and mechanical sparks". Such a holocaust would continue to spread unchecked creating an inferno of unimaginable propositions. It is this sort of nightmarish scene that reinforces the idea that humankind must seek ways to prevent nuclear catastrophe.”

Key difference: citation of qualifications & publication venue

Bias
• Definition: a particular tendency or inclination, esp. one that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question; prejudice. (www.dictionary.com)
• Types: Propaganda, Marketing, Class, Ethnocentrism, Ignorance, Confirmation Bias, etc.
• involves the goal of objectivism, wherein texts use descriptive terms to talk about subjects rather than feelings or judgments
• texts can NEVER be without bias

Propaganda
• information is selected and constructed to convey one idea and to crush opposing ideas
• propagandist tactics tend to include appeals to emotions (such as dreams and most often fear), partial truths, exaggeration, etc.
• often found in totalitarian governments, but aspects may be found in more "free" societies, too
• e.g. Hitler and his Aryan race

Marketing
• information is created or conveyed in order to sell a product or an idea
• tends to appear in capitalist societies and tourist areas
• e.g. false advertising

Class
• unintentional bias based on our place in society
• e.g. a rich aristocrat may think his/her city is very safe whereas a member of the working class might say differently

Ethnocentrism
• bias towards one's own culture
• one society may feel superior to another
• e.g. the subjugation of the Jewish people by the Germans (and a lot of others too!)

Ignorance
• stems from a lack of information
• can be involved if the speaker does not do enough research
• solutions are education and experience
• e.g. blogs can be written by anyone, even those with no qualifications whatsoever

Confirmation Bias
• aka selective thinking
• one tends to look for confirmations of what one already is predisposed to believe
• e.g. if you believe that teenagers will steal more from your store, you are more likely to monitor them and hence catch them stealing when other groups may be stealing just as much or more

Bias:
-can be founds in words as well as ideas; certain words have certain connotations and may gradually lead the audience to think either favorable or unfavorably upon a subject
-these connotations can be culturally dependent; e.g. "pride" can be a good or a bad thing depending on who you ask

Before Making a Speech:
1) Examine your goals
-can you defend your goals on ethical grounds?
-would I want others to know my motives for my presentation?
2) Fulfill ethical obligations
-have I thoroughly researched the topic?
-am I slanting the information with bias?
3) Get rid of plagiarism
-does this speech reflect my own work, thinking, and language?
-if I use outside help, did I cite them correctly?
4) Power of Language
-am I resorting to language that unfairly elevates or abuses the subject?
-am I respecting the right of free speech and thus the ability of others to disagree?

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License