Preventing Plagiarism...How?

I am in my first year teaching high school. I am currently using to prevent my students from plagiarizing, but I am beginning to think that the heavy disadvantages outweigh the easy advantages of saving time and less teacher work.

One of my student's papers was marked as plagiarized and yet she denied the accusation claiming that she was just using sources like I asked. Since the definition of plagiarism includes the intent of a student to pass off another's work as their own, there was no serious action taken against the student.

However, I would certainly like to avoid another situation like this again.

So I turn to my fellow teachers for guidance. What do you do to help your students avoid plagiarism?

Catalyst for change

The industrial revolution provides a change in class and home structure that makes society re-evaluate masculinity and femininity- male and female roles. People start migrated away from country and farming to cities and factory work. This change eventually created a middle class. Naturally this change lends to other change in the home, particularly male and female roles.    

What is a 'fallen woman'?

            A fallen woman is a Victorian woman with sexual experience. In almost every situation, a fallen woman has a "sexual trespass that produced her fall" (Auerbach 30). Fallen woman are popularly prostitutes, which were very common during the Victorian era. The fallen women is the opposite of the ideal women. However, the husbands of ideal women will still turn to fallen women for sexual experiences. Ideal women are regarded as innocent and angelic and society teaches that they need to be kept that way and often that excludes them from any sexual experiences, even after marriage. Although the majority of prostitutes' clients are "bachelors postponing marriage... middle-class youths... soldiers and sailors...and so on" (Tosh, "Historians with Masculinity", 182). Men also turned to homosexuality but although the "'gay life' was very remained firmly out of sight" (Tosh, "Historians with Masculinity", 182). Due to sexual promiscuity through prostitutes STDs spread through society. In 1864 the first Contagious Diseases Act was enacted. This law held women responsible for the spread of STDs; therefore, doctors could legally examine any woman, or mechanically rape her, upon suspicion.  

What is a 'new woman'?

            The Victorian new woman has multiple identities. She is a "feminist activist, a social reformer, a popular novelist, a suffragette playwrite, a woman poet" (Ledger 1). This feminine character was just rising in the Victorian Era- it becomes much more popular and developed after the Victorian era. She is often just a woman wanting to become independent of men and willing to step outside conventions of the ideal woman. Lady Audley in Lady Audley's Secret by Braddon encompasses elements of a new woman. Lady Audley is abandoned by her husband--he goes off to make a fortune in Australia, but we do not know if he will return. So Lady Audley takes matters into her own hands and decides to leave her child with her father and make a new life for herself. She changes her name and becomes a governess. She then advances through society using her beauty and masked intellect, eventually marrying a rich old widower. However, her first husband returns and discovers her so she pushes him down a well. Lady Audley is an ideal woman up front, but is willing to step outside those limitations to use her intellect and strive to make a better life for herself and become independent of her first husband and child--these are attributes of a new woman. (Braddon).

The Lady of Shalott

            "The Lady of Shalott" by Tennyson shows us an ideal woman trying to break away from conventions. The Lady of Shalott stays inside the house and is very innocent and delicate. In a painting rendition by John Waterhouse, she is with her knitting work in front of her while looking through the mirror, a very domestic activity. So she fits this ideal domestic and feminine role. However, she decides that she is "half sick of shadows" and breaks away from the confinement of the house and feminine role (Tennyson 71). In consequence of breaking away from this tradition a curse comes upon her and she dies before she ever gets to Camelot. Through "The Lady of Shalott" we see the tension of the limiting feminine ideal in society and women trying to break away from that ideal.     

Femininity: 'Ideal woman'

            Traditionally femininity equated a picture of a "fragile heroine, pure and innocent, more attached to virginity than to life" (Basch XV). In the Victorian era, there emerged three different types of women: the ideal woman, the new woman, and the fallen woman. Traditional femininity is representative of the ideal Victorian woman. The Angel in the House by Coventry Patmore became a defining poem for the ideal woman. An ideal woman pleases men and to please "is a woman's pleasure," she is also "too gentle even to force," and when the man does something wrong she is expected to give pardon before he asks and then weep as if "the sin was hers" when he asks for the pardon (Patmore 2, 9, 16). The home was supposed to be feminine, a place for "nurture and love" (Tosh, "A Man's Place", 47). 

One affects the other

            Sloan points out that the "fantasy of ideal femininity...also entails a very problematic fantasy of ideal masculinity, a fantasy which would have generated at least as much ideological tension for Victorian men as it did for Victorian women" (53). Therefore, as the roles of masculinity are being re-defined, the roles of femininity are being re-evaluated also. They do not act independently of one another.