Hangman Is Coming Down From The Gallows

gallowsI’m a little depressed, because tomorrow I’m going to have to confront a student who turned in a plagiarized paper.

At this level of college writing, I understand that some students will have difficulty in grasping MLA format, the importance of parenthetical citation, and the seriousness of plagiarism. I expect some students will fail to appropriately cite source information, and I deal with them has gently as possible. In most cases the student simply does not understand that they cannot cut and paste a line of text without citing it. In this “select all” age, the concept of intellectual property has gotten a little blurry, and I expect some transgressions.

But tonight I discovered that a student had simply taken a Wikipedia entry for Shakespeare, written his/her name on it, and turned it in. The sheer audacity of this little stunt amazes me.

Those of you that know me on a personal level know that within about ten minutes of talking to me it’s pretty obvious I’m a computer nerd. I’m sure my students know this as well, so the fact that one of them would think they could get away with cutting and pasting a wiki article really upsets me. Using Google to find particular strings of text isn’t really that big of a deal, and to further piss me off I explicitly told them that I could do that.

So tomorrow, I have to deliver some bad news. Make no mistake””I do not relish this impending confrontation.

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Comments

  1. Anniina says:

    Oh man, that sucks 😥 What a Jerk-Moron. Everyone knows that plagiarism is wrong – but for those people who don’t actually _want_ the education they’re paying for… I long ago put a paragraph at the top of each and every essay page stating that:

    “To take one of these essays, copy it, and to pass
    it off as your own is known as plagiarism””academic dishonesty which will
    result (in every university I’ve heard tell of) in suspension or dismissal from
    the university. Not only are your professors as technology savvy as you are,
    they will not tolerate theft of another’s intellectual efforts.”

    I know you feel crummy, but somebody’s gotta say “HELL NO!” *hugs*

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