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LOEX Conference 2015: Two Information Literacy Concepts Walk into a Bar: Rand Paul's Plagiarism Problem

Video Link

"Rand Paul's Plagiarism Problem" (The Colbert Report, October 29, 2013) is available on Comedy Central's website:

NOTE: The portion shown at LOEX runs from 0:55-3:23

Pre-Clip Activities (from presentation)

Possible Activities: 

  • Define plagiarism
  • Research Rand Paul – who is he, and why is he important?
  • Research Rachel Maddow – who is she, and is she known for having any biases?

Post-Clip Activities (from presentation)

Possible Activities

  • Think-Pair-Share on how Colbert’s demonstration of plagiarism influenced your thinking about plagiarism
  • Debate: Show Rand Paul’s rebuttal (Fusion TV clip) and take a position on his argument
  • Research: Have students determine Wikipedia’s policy on re-using text from Wikipedia. Should that policy have any impact on the accusation of plagiarism?
  • Brainstorming: Work in small groups to brainstorm ways Paul could have used the content from Wikipedia and avoided accusations of plagiarism

Pre-Clip Activities (Brainstormed by Session Participants)

Notes from all groups at the session: 

  • Get the joke: define the reason for showing the clip; prime the students to look for the reason of the clip
  • Relating to own experience
  • Have them tell us who the individuals are
  • Background / context for Gattaca
  • Context governor's race candidates
  • Eugenics defined
  • Context Colbert Report
  • Frame depending on culture, region
  • Display/share campus plagiarism policy
  • Define plagiarism
  • Ask students to define plagiarism
  • Ask students "have you been accused of plagiarism"?
  • Inappropriate use of sources: should a politician use movies as a source
  • Establish baseline: Gattica, definition of plagiarism, the actual issue, Wikipedia, key players

Post-Clip Activities (Brainstormed by Session Participants)

Notes from all groups at the session: 

  • Define plagiarism
  • Visit the wikipedia entry
  • Source the issues / key things