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Wednesday, March 22, 2006


So, how much plagiarism is enough plagiarism? I'm sitting here with a damn-ass paper that weaves together a few words and phrases from various websites, always staying just on the windy side of the law: rephrasing, adding bits in between, dispersing the words from one sentence across two or three sentences, etc. What the hell do I do with that? I like a nice, open and shut plagiarism case: there it is, print out the websites, send that shit out to the academic judiciary. No need to meet with anybody, deal with any angry denials or tears. This amorphous, in between stuff is a hassle. Do I have to spend time now dealing with this student?

Can't I just let it go? I'm not paid enough for this nonsense.

  • At 3/22/2006 05:35:00 PM, Blogger Hieronimo wrote…

    Welcome, at last, Inkhorn!

    As for your plagiarism case: F.


  • At 3/22/2006 06:17:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    That's quite a first post, Inkhorn. As someone who learned the futility and inadvisability of indulging in discussions of shaky plagiarism cases, I'm inclined to let it go, especially if she's on the windy side of the law.

    Or there's this option: have her rewrite it, and before she does so talk to her about the importance of thinking for herself and not cadging ideas from the internet. That way you haven't accused her of plagiarism but have simply talked about better ways for her to write essays. You could even come across as the good guy, the professor who didn't nail her for plagiarism, if you point out to her what other professors (vaguely defined) might do with a paper like hers. Gah, this sounds incredibly idealistic (and hopefully a little Machiavellian), but I had a fair amount of luck this year with assigning rewrites, which is probably just that, luck, and nothing more.

    Nevertheless, with all due reverence for the esteemed blogger from U of U, I worry that an F would be the equivalent of a Molotov cocktail.


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