Using Microsoft Excel
Plagiarism, whether intentional or unintentional, is a big problem for universities. Not only is it an issue of unfair use of copyrighted material, it speaks to an ethical issue of cheating.
(Please refer to the Microsoft Excel tutorials in the appendices of the Constellation text.)
Consider the following statistics. According to the Plaigairism.org (2013), a survey conducted by Donald McCabe between 2002 and 2005 that included 63,700 US undergraduates and 9,250 graduate students revealed the following data:
- 36% of undergraduate and 24% of graduate students admit to “paraphrasing/copying few sentences from Internet source without footnoting it.”
- 38% of undergraduate and 25% of graduate students admit to “paraphrasing/copying few sentences from written source without footnoting it.”
- 14% of undergraduate students and 7% of graduate students admit to “fabricating/falsifying a bibliography.”
- 7% of undergraduate and 4% of graduate students self-report copying materials “almost word for word from a written source without citation.”
- 7% of undergraduate and 3% of graduate students self-report “turning in work done by another.”
- 3% of undergraduate and 2% of graduate students report “obtaining paper from term paper mill.”
In Excel, create a worksheet that addresses the following:
- In cell A1, enter the following title for this worksheet: Student Plagiarism Statistics.
- In cell A3, enter the following: Form of Plagiarism.
- In cell B3, enter the following: Undergraduate.
- In cell C3, enter the following: Graduate.
- In cell D4, enter the total number of undergraduate students that participated in the study 63,700.
- In cell E4, enter the total number of graduate students that participated n the study 9,250.
- Beginning in cell A5, enter each of the six categories of plagiarism identified by this report, one in each row. (These categories are found under the “Academic Integrity in College and Graduate School” section showing the results of the survey done by Donald McCabe.)
- Beginning in cell B5, calculate the number of students that admitted to each offense. To do this, you will need to calculate the number of students based on the percentage provided.
- For example, if there were 63,700 undergraduate students that participated in the survey and 36% admitted to paraphrasing/copying a few sentences from an Internet source, then that would mean that 22,932 students admitted to the offense (63,700 * .36). Complete these calculations for all six categories. Be sure to enter formulas and use proper cell referencing, e.g. = D4*.36
- Calculate the same data for graduate students beginning in cell C5.
- Format all cells with the appropriate data types. Set numeric fields with no decimals.
- Once you have completed the calculations, select the data cells in the table to create your chart.
- Create a chart that will visually depict the data, in a way that makes it easy to see the largest areas of plagiarism problems. A good example might be a column chart that shows undergraduate and graduate data side by side. The choice of chart is your own.
Finalize your worksheet by making sure all columns are formatted to accommodate the size of the data. Format your chart as needed to assure that the chart looks clean and neat. Be sure that your worksheet looks professional and polished.
- Save your workbook.
See excel worksheet, and chart example here.