psychology

Ethics:  The Case of the Plagiarized Paragraph

To prepare for this assignment, please read Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and “Journalism’s Summer of Sin Marked by Plagiarism, Fabrication, Obfuscation (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.”. Finally, review Instructor Guidance and Announcements.

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.

  • First, locate a scholarly article (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. in the Ashford Library.  This source can be on any topic you choose.  You may wish to utilize recommended articles for this course, or you may instead locate an article that includes information that aligns with your own interests.
  • Next, copy and paste either the abstract or one paragraph from the body of your selected article into your paper with the heading “Original Work”. 
  • Then, write a paragraph in which you paraphrase (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.under the heading “Paraphrased Paragraph”. 
    • Be sure to avoid the common mistakes outlined by Turnitin (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
    • Apply in-text citations (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. appropriately.
    • Remember to include a separate reference page with the full citation information for your selected article, formatted according to APA guidelines (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
  • Then, reflect on this topic using your own academic voice (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and applying in-text citations (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..  Relate your thoughts under the heading “Reflection”.  In your reflection (4-5 paragraphs), address the following:
  • Illustrate how plagiarism, even when unattended, violates the ethical responsibility of a psychology student or professional. 
    • Predict potential consequences to other persons (e.g., research participants, patients, clients, students, etc.) when this violation occurs. 
    • Apply this knowledge to your own personal area of interest as identified in the Introduction Discussion.  What additional ethical concerns are or will be especially relevant to you given your aspirations?

The Assignment

  • Must be at least two to three double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
  • Must include a separate title page (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (APA style) that includes the following:
    • A header
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must begin with an introductory paragraph (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. that has a succinct thesis statement (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
  • Must utilize academic voice (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
  • Must paraphrase (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.material, avoiding direct quotes. 
    • For more information about how to synthesize your writing, please visit the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
  • Must address the topic with critical thought (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
  • Must end with a conclusion (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. that reaffirms the thesis.
  • Must use, at minimum, the APA Code of Ethics and the chosen article as sources.  Additional scholarly sources are encouraged.  Be sure to integrate your research (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. smoothly rather than simply inserting it.  
    • The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types.  If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor.  Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
  • Must document all sources in APA style as outlined here (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and here (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
  • Must include a separate reference page (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. that is formatted according to APA style. 
  • Must be submitted to Grammarly (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. for review and correction prior to submitting

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