Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ethics in Research Blog Post, Due 10/26

Please post your reaction to the short reading about research ethics I gave you on Wednesday.

Some questions for you to consider in formulating your response include:

Have you thought about ethics in research, beyond avoiding plagiarism?

Do you think your morals or ethics in general shape how you write or what you choose to write about?

Why do these authors find it necessary to include this chapter in their book?


  1. The Ethics of Research
    Ethics is very important to these authors. They are pleading with writers not to plagiarize in their writings. Research is their social activity, “reporting research connects us not just to those who will use it, but also to those whose research we used and, through them, to the research that our sources used.” They believe that research challenges us to define our individual moral principles and then to make a choice to honor it or violate them. They pointed out famous researchers who have plagiarized and was caught for doing so. These authors strongly reinforced personal morals and in our writings and the responsibilities we have to our reader to be true to our research and give credit to those whose research we have included in our papers.

    I have never really thought much about ethics in research because I naturally assumed researchers would be true to their findings and give credit where it belongs.
    I know my morals shape what I write about. I would prefer to write about each child receiving a sound education as opposed to life in New York City.

    Why do these authors find it necessary to include this chapter in their book? To appeal to their readers and researchers morals, not to plagiarize them. To make sure all their hard work is protected and credit is given where it is due by appealing to their readers, conscience not to use the author’s research as the readers. Very convincing piece but it is hard to paraphrase sometimes.

  2. I have never thought about ethics in my writing other than plagiarism. I usually just do my best not to plagiarize so that I am not punished in any way. It never occurred to me that there was any other form of ethics than plagiarism.

    Ethics and morals don't necessarily influence my writing or what I choose to write about. I just have always done my best to avoid plagiarism. And that was always about it.

    I think the authors found it necessary to include this chapter to let the readers and possible writers aware of the things you shouldn't do and the things that you should do to uphold the ethics.

  3. Ethics is a difficult topic to tackle in any context. In terms of research, I think that ethics is key because when something is researched, it could sometimes go to an extreme. When it comes to the kind of research that we do, I never really though about it past plagirism. Research is about facts, and there is no real way to be ethical when it comes to facts. Research in terms of science can have a lot to do with ethics, because there are a lot of ways in which scientists can try to fool nature and play God.
    When it comes to my writing, I don't exactly think about being ethical. I don't think I write about topics tabboo enough to worry about that eitherway.
    Authors find it necessary to include a chapter related to ethics, and rightly so. Ethics is difficult, like I said before, because there are a lot of lines that could be and sometimes shouldnt be crossed. It is difficult to stay in neutral zones when an opinion comes through in writing or when a thin line is crossed. I think it is important to try and alert others to be more careful.

  4. I'd first like to point out what a great reading I thought this was. This has changed the way I think about myself as an academic, and as a student. Thank you for directing my attention to such a thoughtful and well written piece of material.

    I have indeed thought deeply about ethics beyond plagiarism in my work. In large part, this part of me has been developed through my work in the open source code community. In open source, the idea is that all work done on software is a contribution to the collective knowledge of the human race, much like research. Naturally, we make this contribution free and accessible to all, and infuse our moral principles of research into its license.

    In the passage, the writers mention that the ethical researcher does not destroy or conceal sources and data important to those who follow. This is key to open source ideology. When we write software, we make the source code available publicly so that those who follow will have access to our work, and be able to build off it. All the work we do is about progressing the quality of software for everyone, and helping those that come after us to further that quality as well.

    I was also intrigued by the bullet point that suggested "[ethical researchers] do not caricature or distort opposing views". I'm sure all of us have had extensive experience with this one. Whenever I argue politics with people, all they can do is try their best to make my views look silly. They do so largely by citing distorted data, and making exaggerated claims. It makes so much sense to avoid caricature of others views in research. If all we can do is make fun of a viewpoint, we clearly do not understand it, and thus cannot hope to rebut it in order to assert our own thesis.

    If everybody had the insight to hold themselves to this code, the world could progress so much faster than it currently does. If only the goal of every human was to further push the envelope of knowledge for the collective human race, our potential accomplishments would be endless.

    Though I expected this passage on "ethics" to be sappy and annoying, I was pleasantly surprised. The points these writers make are logical, and functional. They should be adhered to with the greatest diligence, and utmost devotion.

  5. The Ethics of Research was quite an interesting read. I really enjoyed the advice given by the author and how he followed his own advice throughout the piece. I will definitely consider the author’s suggestions and use them in my writing in the future.

    Beyond avoiding plagiarism when it comes to the ethics of research, I believe that a writer should stay true to his or her beliefs, and not go against it. When writing about something that I truly believe in, I think that my writing comes off more genuine and valid. I have also always thought that being factual is an important part concerning the ethics of research.

    My morals unquestionably shape my writing. Depending on what I am writing about, I am most likely going to have an opinion and stance on the subject matter. My ethics also affect the way I write. Plagiarism is not something I would disregard, especially if credit is not rightfully given. It is always easy to tell if someone is plagiarizing, so I try to avoid it as much as I can.

    I think authors would find it necessary to include this chapter in their book because as accomplished writers, I’m sure they do not condone or appreciate plagiarism. Therefore, to spread the word about how ethically wrong plagiarism is, they express their thoughts in books, hoping to end plagiarism all together.

  6. Being a college student, you hear teachers say all the time that students should always cite sources and should not plagiarize. This reading explained in great detail the importance of ethics in research papers.

    Besides avoiding plagiarism, when writing a writer should write about something based on what they believe and their opinion. Granted they should incorporate opposing opinions, but they also should not stray from their views and beliefs and should back it with supportive details and evidence.

    I would say that morals and ethics definitely shape how I write. If I do not really care much for something or I do not support it, it is very difficult for me to write about something. For example, the topic of abortion. I am pro-woman and I believe that they should do what is best for them. I will not say that I do not support abortion just because so many people oppose it. We all have our differing opinions and no matter how controversial they may be, we need to stick by them because if we don’t, who else will?

    Authors find it necessary to add this chapter in their books to give writers a valid reason as to why plagiarism is not unethical but immoral. Not giving credit to someone else’s works is wrong and inexcusable in any case.

  7. Apart from avoiding plagiarism, I always aim to be unbiased in my research and writing. Two of the ethics mentioned in the chapter I found to be important are that ethical researchers "do not misinterpret sources or invent results," and "they do not caricature or distort opposing views. A writer should be able to disprove an opposing viewpoint without having to alter the viewpoint itself. It is often evident when someone does this and it makes their writing weaker. Altering someone's work to fit their own need can be just as bad as plagiarizing it. This is an important chapter for the authors to include in their book to raise awareness of researching and writing with integrity. I found it to be informative and will definitely keep this passage in mind with everything I work on.

  8. Looking back at my own writing I see that the only ethical thing I did was just avoid plagiarism. I only did reasearch and just wrote about it. But after reading the short chapter I know that I could have done a lot better in my writing by explaining the research more accurately.

    When I write, I do not think that my morals shape my writing besides not plagiarizing. I just do my best to state the facts, do my best in explaining them, and give credit where it is due.

    I think the reason why the authors included the chapter "The Ethics of Research", to teach people who will be writing papers in the future that there is more to writing than just avoiding plagiarism. It also informs future writers that it is wrong to tamper with information that they got.

  9. Whenever I begin to write I always think about what facts I can use to really make my work interesting. When it comes to researching for these facts, it never crosses my mind to use other people’s thoughts as my own. I did not realize that there where so many different ways you can be unethical when you are writing a paper. Even though morally we as writers know not to do some of these this thing listed in bullets, but some just can’t seem to stop themselves from taking other peoples ideas. When it comes to writing I always think about research ethnics when I write a paper. I try not to use author thoughts to much without quotations. I also hesitate when I paraphrase someone’s work, fearing it may seem like a tool of plagiarism.

    I think that my morals in general do shape the way that I write because I try to write about what I think is right, and use other people as references to show that I am proving a valid point. I try to write about what I hold true to and believe in, because I want to stay true to my morals. I use people with background knowledge to support my facts to make my argument stronger and more effective. My ethnic does force me to rely more on myself when I write. It forces me to use my own ideas and come to my own conclusions.

    I thought that this chapter was very interesting and that the authors needed to put this chapter in the book because this points out with everything that is wrong with writing these days. It shows how easy it is to do research on your own today, and how much easier it is take other peoples work and pass it along as your own. You defeat the purpose if you use research that was meant for you to learn, and just use it as if you wrote the thing. I felt this chapter is necessary to evaluate the morals that we have within ourselves and to really think about what ethnics we go by in research and writing.

  10. This piece has opened my eyes on the value of ethics of research when you considerate it and apply it to your research. When one is told not to plagarize and to present both sides of the story, we really don't consider the value behind it. But as reading presents, one voice is so distinct from the billions of this earth and when you paraphrase or rephrase a line from a passage you are actually inputting our opinion in that passage you are not quoting it which drastically misinterpret the whole quote. Which is why we must always give the reader the chance to interpret the source themselves and refer back to it as they read a piece "about it" so they can conclude if you have analyzed it effectively or analyzed it "like" them.

    Besides plagiarism i have always wrote with respect to other morals and cultures ,unbiased because one does not know whats right or wrong evidently because on of unbiased know all the truths of the world so we can never claim something as is when we are ignorant to the other wonders of the world. It also brings me to a paper i wrote last night about the book of Genesis,I had to apart myself from religion and my vies of the bible and read it as literature and not an abiding scripture.

    Morals do shape how you write , if you are taught to treat others in respect then you present a claim with respect to others in a manner where it is not forced or said to be true and the only only idea is yours but that you state it is your opinion and present it considering the opposing. If one is idealistic and where taught to speak their mind and that it's a free country and that anything can be said because it's our mouth; that person's writing will reflect the ignorance of a self indulged character. But one can grow out of it, one for example can step out the box as I did as a christian reading the bible and question it's interpretation. It depends on what the question is and what the focal view of what you are writing is about.

    The reason why the ethics of research is so important is because everyone has an ideological view on everything around them. No one has the exact same thoughts on one thing so we need to consider how we interpret a writing and give reference so the reader has a choice to agree or disagree with your interpretation of the source you used. We also need to credit our knowledge because it didn't fall our of the sky into our conscience but we have took the knowledge of another and processed it into our own words and credit should always be presented in order to avoid plagiarism.

  11. The Ethics of Research has really caught my attention and has given me new, useful ideas to approach writing. Being a college student, we all have guidelines and restrictions when writing papers and the most important must be plagiarism.

    Beyond avoiding plagiarism in writing, one must be honest and truthful when using research. Simply copying another persons ideas is wrong and should not be tolerated. When researching a topic, the writer should use their opinion, which should be supported by facts. Using facts and citing facts is essential to make your argument strong.

    I do not think morals and ethics shape the way I write because when it comes to writing, personal beliefs should be left out and the writing should be more neutral. At the same time, opinions express the writers feelings and the writers opinions could potentially effect the reader in more than one way. I think in order to use opinion, the writer must support it with evidence and factual detail to make it relevant.

    Authors find it necessary to include this chapter in their book because it educates writers of what to do and what not to do. As accomplished writers themselves, it probably sickens them to see other writers plagiarize because it shows them that the writer did not grasp the topic and were not able to create new ideas about the topic.

  12. The Ethics of Research is a chapter every researcher should read. Ethics is something that needs to be taken in consideration while doing research paper. Personally I do think about ethics while researching. I avoid plagiriasm, and a search for accurate evidence.

    What I found very interesting was that not having Ethics when doing a research paper can affect not only the writter, but every researcher that wants to write a paper. It can affect your knowledge, since the information may not be accurate. That is why the best thing to do is search for scholarly sorces. If you don't how will you know the information you found is not a story from a janitor or something. To prevent these false information is best to know where the information is coming from. Also is best to give credit to the author or source since becuase you will get credit for someone elses work. you really would not want that to happen to you too. What comes around, goes around.
    The author includes this chapter as a message to all researchers. He wants them to open their eyes and realize why they should have ethics while researching. The best writters are those who have ethics, because that is your conscience.

  13. I've never thought about ethics in writing beyond plagiarism. I honestly feel that people who do plagiarize already know what they're doing is wrong. On top of that if someone were to ask them a quick question about their writing it would probably take them a while to answer back because they have no real knowledge on the topic.

    Your morals and ethics indeed do affect the way that you write. If someone is just stating straight facts and seems to have no opinion or feeling about a topic, something is up because no one in this world is emotionless. The way I see it morals and ethics are just a way to help you support your own ideas and to help the reader understand the point your trying to prove.

    I think the authors are including this chapter in their book to expose to some people the negative effects of plagiarism, and to help others start to write more in their own words. Plagiarism in my opinion is the same thing as identity theft because it's stealing another person’s idea straight from their brain. If a person is writing a paper and shows lots of expression and emotion while they write it is revealed through tone. To me it's almost as you can hear the writers voice as you read their work. The authors are basically trying to start a positive movement for writing.


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