Logical thinking education to combat plagiarism

Gengo bunka ronshu 36 (1):179-193 (2014)
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Plagiarism, which Indiana University’s Writing Tutorial Service defines as "using others' ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information", is often described as a major problem. However, standard definitions such as this one suggest only limited solutions to the problem: acknowledging sources or forbidding reuse. Since all scholarship involves engaging with the ideas of others and academic writing tends to reuse certain expressions, these solutions – though important – are of limited utility. This paper examines a type of plagiarism to which the standard solutions do not apply: the reuse of linguistic models without sufficient attention to the logic or thoughts the texts express. We present two cases of plagiarism, from which we can see that plagiarism shows a gap between the written texts and the thoughts of the author. In order to fill the gap, one needs to know how to integrate not only the texts borrowed from others into one’s writing but also the thoughts expressed by the texts. Thus a satisfactory solution to the plagiarism problem requires not only writing skills but also logical thinking skills.

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Chad Douglas Nilep
Nagoya University


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