march, 2021

25mar11:00 am12:00 pmAIM Research - Plagiarism, Ideological Dilemmas, and Fraudulent Identities11:00 am - 12:00 pm

AIM Research


Event Details

Join us on Thursday, March 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for AIM Research. While we may be apart, we plan to come together, virtually, to continue to grow the community of research, data, and learning analytics at the University of Michigan (U-M). Each AIM Research session will feature a 45 minute to 1 hour presentation followed by 30 minutes of Q&A. Register below to reserve your spot!


We are excited to welcome Dr. Steven Engel, Assistant Professor of English at Defiance College for this AIM Research talk. Details for Dr. Engel’s talk can be found below. 

Title: Plagiarism, Ideological Dilemmas, and Fraudulent Identities

Abstract: Universities often warn students against plagiarism using the metaphors of sin, theft, or intellectual laziness. These understandings of plagiarism focus on textual deficits and moral failings and often reduce the issue to a simple idea: plagiarists are frauds. There are many instances of plagiarism, however, that challenge this easy pronouncement: When students struggle with new genres and unfamiliar citation practices, are they frauds? Or, when instructors leave out citations in their PowerPoint slides, are they acting fraudulent? These are moments where our intellectual understanding of plagiarism and our lived practices collide.

Michael Billig et al.’s notion of ideological dilemmas, or the tension between these intellectual discourses and our common sense, offers a useful frame for thinking about how teachers and students understand and struggle with plagiarism and identity. Rather than seeing ideological dilemmas as examples of hypocrisy, Billig et al. argue that these dilemmas are what “enable people to discuss and puzzle over their everyday life” (3).

This presentation will explore the results of a study of the ideological dilemmas in high school teachers’ talk about plagiarism. Through a series of semi-structured interviews, the study explored the discursive moves that teachers made when talking about a series of scenarios about plagiarism. In addition, the presenter will highlight preliminary results from a follow-up study with college students in which they were presented with the same scenarios. Since dilemmas are inherently complex, approaches to encouraging ethical source use and preventing plagiarism require thought and debate. Kathryn Valentine argues that the “work of negotiating plagiarism is also the work of negotiating identity” (90). Ideological dilemmas offer a framework for identifying a way for this type of negotiation. 

AIM Research (formerly AIM Analytics) is a seminar series for researchers across U-M who are interested in research and learning analytics. The field of learning analytics is a multi and interdisciplinary field that brings together researchers from education, learning sciences, computational sciences and statistics, and all discipline-specific forms of educational inquiry.

The Center for Academic Innovation (CAI) is committed to ensuring that our meetings and events are accessible to all individuals. This event will be using Zoom. Please let us know how we can ensure that this event is inclusive to you. What accommodations or access needs can we help facilitate? Contact Trevor Parnell, Event and Marketing Specialist ( with any questions or access needs.


(Thursday) 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Virtual Event

Privacy Preference Center

screencap of Sean Swider using ViewPoint tool