Summary of the Citation Project

91% of examples showed that students did not understand the basics of evidence.
The Citation Project
– 20 researchers, 164 papers from “first year composition classes” in many types of institutions in 12 states, and 1,832 citations

Statement about the “stunning part” of the research:
91 percent [of the 1, 832 citations] are citations to material that isn't composing,” said Jamieson [one of the two main authors of the study]. “They don't digest the ideas in the material cited and put it in their own words.”

What did the researchers find about:

·         The 9 percent of successful citation

Those citations showed that the students had a “true understanding of a large portion, if not the entirety, of the original text.”
Successful citation showed that students “restated in their own terms the source material and compressed by at least 50 percent the main points of at least three consecutive sentences.”

·         The 91% of unsuccessful citation
These students did these things:

o   plagiarized

o   “patchwriting”[1]

o   paraphrased so poorly that the citation showed “comprehension of a small portion, perhaps a sentence, of the source material”

If You Want More:  For a link to an article on the Citation project, click The Citation Project



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[1]“Patchwriting” is also called “half-copy” plagiarism. The quoted terms are explained on page 746 in the ninth edition of The Bedford Handbook by Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers.