Scaffolded Plagiarism

Scaffolded plagiarism involves using key points (including ideas) or structure of another person’s work as the framework of a student’s own submission without acknowledging the source/s.

Xavier has noticed that one of his students is presenting precedent studies as their own work, without citing the original source/s.

  • How can I detect scaffolded plagiarism?

    In the past, staff have suspected scaffolded plagiarism in submissions where students:

    • Appropriate original sketches created by tutors or peers during a design review of their work (i.e. student includes the sketch as part of their project development without acknowledging the input of others).
    • Appropriate original ideas prepared by their peers in previous semesters.
    • Are too literal when applying precedent studies to their design.

    NB: Understanding precedents and engaging in feedback loops are important parts of built environment education. Students should acknowledge the source of any ideas and be supported by staff to participate in an iterative design process where another person’s idea takes on a new identity / purpose.

  • What steps should I take?
    1. If you are a Tutor, advise the Senior Tutor or Subject Coordinator of your suspicions about the authenticity of a submission.
    2. Collect evidence of the suspected misconduct, without accusing the student of engaging in misconduct. This should include:
    • A copy of the student’s submission that highlights the suspicious content, and
    • The original source* and / or
    • Notes from a meeting with the student where they were asked to explain the formation of ideas and/or conclusions.
    1. The Senior Tutor or Subject Coordinator should contact the ABP Academic Support Office, with evidence, for advice on next steps. Please refer to this page for details and links.

    *Via Google search / reverse image search