Avoiding Plagiarism Workshops, Spring 2015

AntiPlagiarismMilne Library is again offering a series of workshops to educate students on what constitutes plagiarism and strategies to combat it. Students will…

  1. learn how citing correctly can help avoid unintentional plagiarism.
  2. learn how to write a paragraph that successfully and clearly distinguishes paraphrases and quotes from original ideas and language.

Milne Library is offering 14 workshops this semester on Avoiding Plagiarism at the following dates and times:

Spring 2015 Plagiarism Workshops

Wednesday, February 4,  3:00-3:50   Room: Milne 104
Thursday, February 5,   6:00-6:50   Room: Milne 104
Monday, February 9,   7:00-7:50   Room: Milne 104
Thursday, February 12,  5:00-5:50 Room: Milne 104
Tuesday, February 17,  2:30-3:20   Room: Milne 104
Wednesday, February 18,  6:00-6:50   Room: Milne 104
Friday, February 27,  2:30-3:20   Room: Milne 104
Monday, March 2,  7:00-7:50   Room: Milne 104
Wednesday, March 4,  4:00-4:50   Room: Milne 104
Tuesday, March 10, 5:00-5:50   Room: Milne 104
Thursday, March 12,   4:00-4:50   Room: Milne 104
Wednesday, March 26,   4:00-4:50   Room: Milne 104
Wednesday, April 1,  7:00-7:50 Room: Newton 214
Thursday, April 2,   5:00-5:50   Room: Newton 204

New this year: Registration is required!

The plagiarism workshops are now part of the GOLD Program. To register for a plagiarism workshop, students must visit the GOLD Program web page to open a GOLD account, and then register for one of 14 plagiarism workshops in the listing of GOLD Workshops. (To see the complete list of plagiarism workshops, use the search box on the left, using the keyword plagiarism.)

8th Edition of Turabian

turabianHold the presses! Students writing papers using Turabian citation style (and the faculty grading such papers) should be aware that there are changes in the conventions recommended by the new edition of the Turabian manual.

The devil is in the details. The 8th edition of A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (commonly knows as Turabian) was published in March 2013. Some of the changes involve how you cite web pages and articles you read online. For instance, the new edition flips the URL of a web page with the access date.

The older editions have you doing it like this:

“Breast Cancer Disparities.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/DataStatistics (accessed December 6, 2013).

But the new 8th edition recommends this:

“Breast Cancer Disparities.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed December 6, 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/DataStatistics.

Small change, but one that could elicit points off if the student doesn’t know the new form (or might cause the professor who doesn’t know the new form to grade incorrectly).

Another change involves the use of DOIs (digital object identifiers) instead of URLs when citing a journal article read online, or a web page. DOI’s are more stable than URLs, and usually shorter. Another 8th edition recommendation: “If no suitably short and direct URL exists, you may substitute the name of the database for the URL.” So if you have a URL or DOI, you do not need the name of the database.

Talk about it with your professor! Keep in mind that there are many professors who deviate from the Turabian manual in the way they want you to cite an article that you read in PDF form. They feel that if you read a journal article as a PDF (either downloaded from the web or via IDS), you can cite it as though you read it in print, since it is an exact copy of what appeared in the journal. There are many optional recommendations in the Turabian manual (for instance, there is a chapter recommending an author-date style of citation reminiscent of the APA and MLA style manuals), so it is really important that students and professors talk about exactly which chapters of the Turabian manual should be followed!

Short cuts don’t always work. Many citation generators or online citation guides still have not updated to the new 8th edition changes, so be wary when using “Cite This!” in a database or citation manager. And don’t forget, you can always stop at the Reference desk to ask a librarian for assistance with your citations.  “A Review of Turabian 8th Edition Changes from Turabian 7th Edition”Turabian Quick Guide 

Embracing eBooks in the Classroom

OAebooks.SliderThe high cost of textbooks is making some professors think outside the box. Rather than require students to purchase copies of books that are freely available online in their entirety — think Hamlet, Pride and Prejudice, or de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America — some professors are embracing eBooks.

While instructors may want the ease of being able to refer to a page number during discussions, or may want students to read the additional material that is in the version of the book he or she has, there are ways to work around these problems. Some instructors, for instance, have begun allowing students to use the online version of the book, or a cheaper version than what is listed in the syllabus, and then asking the class to number the paragraphs in each chapter so that, in class discussions, they can refer to chapter and paragraph instead of page numbers. (Obviously, some works are already bifurcated by acts, scenes, stanzas, etc.) Additional materials, such as introductory essays, can be scanned and placed in MyCourses (subject to copyright laws) for those students who did not purchase the same version of the book the professor has.

Some instructors actually find eBooks useful in other ways. Programs such as Diigo allow you to add an electronic post-it note to a web-based document, allowing students to comment on specific lines of text and respond to questions posted by the professor. Keep an eye out for new apps like this that add value to using eBooks in the classroom. Saving money for students will be just a bonus!

Some free eBook providers:

Project Gutenberg

HathiTrust Digital Library





Faculty Bookshelf: Rachel Hall

Professor Rachel Hall in Holland.

Rachel Hall, Professor of English, Director of Writing, and award-winning author, is an avid reader of fiction, especially short stories. As a young woman, she became enamored of the short story, and continues to read them for inspiration and enlightenment. The stories of Alice Munro were especially important to her, in particular, Munro’s exploration of characters and their psychology.

Many of Professor Hall’s favorite short stories are by Alice Munro: “Dimensions” and “Free Radicals” from the collection Too Much Happiness; “My Mother’s Dream” from The Love of a Good Woman; “Friend of My Youth” and “Differently” from Friend of My Youth; “Labor Day Dinner” from The Moons of Jupiter; “Miles City, Montana” from The Progress of Love; “Carried Away” from Open Secrets.

Finding a Girl in America
Finding a Girl in America

She also enjoys Andre Dubus’ stories collected in Separate Flights and Finding a Girl in America, Robin Black’s If I Loved You I Would Tell You This, Jean Thompson’s Throw Like A Girl, The News From Spain by Joan Wickersham, and Siobahn Fallon’s You’ll Know When The Men Are Gone. And when she wants something new, literary magazines keep her well supplied.

Professor Hall says, “My philosophy on books and reading is that you can never be bored if you love books. I grew up in a family of readers and that is one of the best gifts my parents gave me.  I’m always reading something.  I read for many different reasons–for pleasure, or inspiration, or research or for models (how was this story built?) especially when I’m rereading.”

If I Loved You I Would Tell You This
If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This

Next on Professor Hall’s reading list is Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings, The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien’s collection of related short stories about Vietnam, and two books by Philip Caputo, Rumor of War, which is a personal narrative of a soldier in Vietnam, and 13 Seconds: A Look Back at the Kent State Shootings.

Not surprisingly when you look at her “to do” reading list, Professor Hall’s next writing project will be a novel set in the 1960s-70s, so she is set to enjoy researching for that book. Another future project is the Rochester Jewish Book Festival. She is on the committee that sponsors the festival and she will be traveling to New York City soon to recruit speakers for that event.

When asked what her favorite books were as a child, Professor Hall reveals a fascination with The Endless Steppe, by Esther Hautzig, spending hours imagining herself as the protagonist in frozen Siberia. Additionally, she enjoyed The Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the Little House on the Prairie series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and biographies of women such as Helen Keller.


Professor Hall shares her love of reading with her daughter; the two are members of a mother-daughter book club. While this gives her the opportunity to explore some new books with her daughter, it also means she has to read some books she’d rather not (Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson comes to mind).

The author Professor Hall would love to meet and talk to? Alice Munro, of course! If such a meeting could happen, Ms. Munro would undoubtedly enjoy the conversation with Rachel Hall immensely.


History Professors Weed Milne Garden!

What’s going on with all the books? WEEDING!

SUNY Geneseo History professors spent some time recently “weeding” the history books on Milne’s top floor. Weeding is the kinder, gentler word librarians use for discarding books!

The reality is that every library has to discard books from time to time, to make room for new books and to rid the collection of old, outdated, and possibly misleading books. In the science and medical section, for instance, a book from 1950 could be dangerous, with information that has long since been proven wrong!

Weeding the history section, however, can be tricky because a book whose information is out of date still has use for historiography purposes, in other words, to study the changing interpretation of historical events over time. So, for instance, a book published in 1962 that mentions Malcolm X might not be accurate in light of recent research about Malcolm X, but that 1962 book may be extremely useful as a primary source when studying changing attitudes about race in this country.

The history professors, then, had to determine the worth of each book as an information source, as a classic historical text, and as a primary source, as well as considering the condition of the book, how easy the book would be to obtain on interlibrary loan, and if students at Geneseo are studying the topic or not. If a book doesn’t meet the criteria, out it goes! Since January, 522 books have been weeded from the Milne history collection, and 129 new history books have been ordered so far to replace them.BWB

But don’t worry, the books we “weed” aren’t tossed in a garbage bin! We send them to a company called Better World Books, which re-sells them for us and sends us a portion of the profit, which we use to buy new books.  A portion of Better World Books’ profit also funds high-impact literacy projects in the United States and around the world.

The End of the World — Jeeze, Again?

The current Mayan Calendar “end-of-the-world” prophesy is only the latest in a long line of doomsday predictions.  Here’s a very abbreviated list:

Papal Prophesy–– Pope Innocent III launched a crusade in 1213 to wrestle the holy land from the hands of the Islamic infidels, which he saw as the anti-Christ.  He also proclaimed that the Second Coming would be in 1284. The year passed without major notice, but not, of course, for those killed by the Christian crusaders.

Artful Apocalypse —  Painted by Italian Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli, the painting Mystical Nativity includes a prediction that the “loosing of the devil” would be in A.D. 1504. Fueled by the teachings of fanatical preacher Savonarola, Florentines quaked at the apocalyptic references.

Botticelli’s Mystical Nativity

It’s Just A Little Rain Shower – Despite the drought that plagued Europe in 1524, German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Stoeffler declared, after careful calculations, that floods would engulf the earth on February 1st (or 20th by some accounts) of that year. Thousands in London and elsewhere built arks, creating an economic boom for boat-builders. When it started to drizzle on the appointed day in Germany, crowds stormed one three story ark, killing several people, including the builder and owner of the ark.  The rain stopped soon after.

Credit: chris24w via Flickr

Halley’s Comet — The 1910 occurrence of Halley’s Comet sparked panic when an astronomer named Camille Flammarion announced that when the earth passed through the tail of Halley’s, the toxic gas cyanogen would penetrate the atmosphere and kill off all life forms on earth. Gas masks were purchased and silly remedies sold well since the same newspapers that quoted scientists explaining that there was no danger also carried tales of the end of the world.  A good time was had by all, and a lot of money was made by some.

The End – Again — Using numerology and the Bible, California-based Family Radio host Harold Camping has predicted the end of the earth numerous times, including September 15 or 17 of 1994, May 21, 2011, and October 21st, 2011. His followers continue to give him millions of dollars to pay for billboards that encourage the public to prepare their souls for the newest “last day.”

Y2K — Due to short-sighted computer programmers, the change from the year 1999 to 2000 was predicted to throw a computer-dependent world into complete chaos. Millions of people stocked up on food, weapons, flashlights, batteries, etc. What happened on January 1? The same major clean-up of confetti, party-hats, and vomit (depending on the maturity level of the revelers) that happens every January 1!

Year 2000
Credit: http://www.plim.org

Large Hadron Collider — Scientists built a 27 kilometer-long particle accelerator on the border of France and Switzerland in an attempt to recreate the Big Bang. In the months before it was due to be turned on (on September 10, 2008), many people (including scientists) expressed concern that it could generate a black hole that would envelop the earth! In the end (pun intended!), the project went forward without destroying the earth. But then again, it isn’t due to be turned off until… 2014!

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider via Google Maps
Credit: SmartDraw.com

And if we survive the end of the Mayan calendar, some scientists believe that the sun will reach the next stage of its development in one billion years, rendering the earth either completely scorched or burned to ashes. But there’s plenty of time to create Plan B!

Faculty Bookshelf: An Interview with Meg Stolee

Professor Meg Stolee and Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers

The line between pleasure reading and research interests is blurred when it comes to Professor Meg Stolee from the History Department: prison camp memoirs top her list of favorite genre for pleasure reading!  An avid reader of memoirs by women, mysteries, and biography, Professor Stolee typically reads between 5 and 7 books a week, a fact her students find astonishing.

While current research interests surround the book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder, and The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn, currently on her nightstand is The Cloud Atlas by Liam Callanan (not the book Cloud Atlas that was recently made into a film!). She’s also reading Kiev, 1941 by David Stahel, which offers a new assessment of Hitler’s Barbarossa campaign in the USSR.

Professor Stolee’s favorite books about women include the elegant and poignant book Hope Against Hope by Nadezhda Mandel’shtam, whose husband was a prisoner under Stalin. She also favors Where She Came From by Helen Epstein, and Under a Cruel Star by Heda Margolius Kovaly.

When asked what book changed her life, Professor Stolee mentions a Dorothy L. Sayers mystery called Gaudy Night, read while she was a student at Bryn Mawr College. The book explores women and higher education, women’s full acceptance in male-dominated academic life, and the tensions that arise when women try to balance love and marriage with careers in academia. It gave the undergraduate a lot to think about while attending lectures and writing papers. Students who think they don’t have time for “light” reading while in college take heed: Like Meg Stolee, your life might be influenced the most by a book not listed on a syllabus!

AOP Summer Program

Students with puppets!

Milne Library hosted over a hundred AOP students this summer for various classes and workshops. During one workshop, the students did a self-tour of the library, taking photos of library staff and materials. Take a look!

Students with puppets!