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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: June ::
Re: Plagiarism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0616.  Monday, 2 June 1997.

[1]     From:   Ron Dwelle <
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        Date:   Friday, 30 May 1997 09:34:14 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0612  Re: Identifying Plagiarism

[2]     From:   Kimberly Nolan <
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        Date:   Friday, 30 May 1997 11:28:26 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0612  Re: Identifying Plagiarism

[3]     From:   Hugh Davis <
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        Date:   Friday, 30 May 1997 11:32:48 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0612  Re: Identifying Plagiarism

[4]     From:   Karen Krebser <
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        Date:   Friday, 30 May 1997 09:05:54 -0700
        Subj:   Re: Identifying Plagiarism

[5]     From:   David H. Maruyama <
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        Date:   Friday, 30 May 1997 12:25:17 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0612 Re: Identifying Plagiarism

[6]     From:   John V Robinson <
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        Date:   Friday, 30 May 1997 17:48:33 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0612 Re: Identifying Plagiarism

[7]     From:   Susan Mather <
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        Date:   Friday, 30 May 1997 20:11:28 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0612  Re: Identifying Plagiarism

[8]     From:   Valentin Gerlier <
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        Date:   Friday, 30 May 1997 21:49:33
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0612  Re: Identifying Plagiarism

[9]     From:   David Mycoff <
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        Date:   Sunday, 1 Jun 1997 17:58:55 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Plagiarism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ron Dwelle <
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Date:           Friday, 30 May 1997 09:34:14 -0400
Subject: 8.0612  Re: Identifying Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0612  Re: Identifying Plagiarism

Wasn't Shakespeare himself a pretty good plagiarist?

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kimberly Nolan <
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Date:           Friday, 30 May 1997 11:28:26 -0400
Subject: 8.0612  Re: Identifying Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0612  Re: Identifying Plagiarism

Our policy here at IAAY assumes that the first offense is
unintentional.  Instructors  confer with their Dean and then try to
create a learning experience rather than a punishment. We ask them to
"create an assignment that shows the student how to incorporate outside
sources into a paper that abides by the subject area's discourse
conventions while speaking in the student's own voice" (IAAY Handbook
24).

In my experience as teacher, tutor, and administrator *most* student
plagiarism is a result of the student not knowing how to properly cite
sources.  I think that many students have difficulty grasping the
concept of paraphrasing and need a thorough demonstration/discussion in
order to understand that they must cite the source of the material when
they paraphrase.

I don't think this approach undermines concepts of academic honesty or
integrity.  It merely provides us with an opportunity to reiterate their
importance to our students.

Perhaps some of us in Shakespeare studies have read about so many
cunning villains who speak eloquently that we've become jaded and
suspicious.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hugh Davis <
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Date:           Friday, 30 May 1997 11:32:48 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0612  Re: Identifying Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0612  Re: Identifying Plagiarism

I appreciated David Dyal's recent comments on plagiarism and the need
for honor and integrity.  I read with recent chagrin that NC State's
Board of Trustees overturned a ruling on cheating (determined by the
student court and upheld at every level through the chancellor, then
overturned when the trustees said they would not trust a faculty member
or his t.a.); the faculty member who made the accusation was apparently
warned by his colleagues not to even try to catch these students (he was
quoted as saying he now agrees the system does not work).  Now I read
with chagrin as I see that this forum (for the main part) has chosen to
ridicule someone who believes he has detected plagiarism.  I was
especially shocked to read that the teacher has supposedly failed to
teach if plagiarism has occurred.  When I have had trouble with an
assignment, I have always talked with my instructor; when I have felt my
instructor was not doing the best job to make things clear, I have
gotten through assignments and classes.  I have never seen plagiarism as
any answer other than a wrong and unethical one.

Hugh Davis

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Krebser <
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Date:           Friday, 30 May 1997 09:05:54 -0700
Subject:        Re: Identifying Plagiarism

Greetings, all. No advice, but grad. school plagiarism story ahead:

I was in a grad. Shakespeare seminar and I heard through those wonderful
departmental grapevines that my professor was convinced that a fellow
student had plagiarized an ENTIRE paper on "Romeo and Juliet," but that
he was getting too old to go chasing down sources. He questioned her,
she denied it, and he let it go, but spent the rest of the semester in
(visible) disgust. The student in question eventually dropped out of the
program entirely and moved to another state... claiming all the way, of
course, that the professor who "drove her away" was completely
insane....

I know this is a serious subject, but I can't help but laugh when I
think of this story. The student was a certified twinkie, a mental
lightweight, and the professor was, by all accounts except hers, a
brilliant teacher.  (I wouldn't dare plagiarize own my name within ten
feet of this guy...)

Speaking from the (former-Just Graduated) student's point of view, I
have no pity for the plagiarizers.  Shoot 'em all with Nerf darts and
send them on to other careers....

Every puny whipster gets my sword,

Karen Krebser
San Jose State University

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David H. Maruyama <
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Date:           Friday, 30 May 1997 12:25:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0612 Re: Identifying Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0612 Re: Identifying Plagiarism

Greetings,

Plagiarism is obvious if you know the resources that have been allocated
for students to search through.  I think you can set up the assignment
with markers for any sign of plagiarism.

I am surprised that no one here has mentioned the small cottage industry
connected to papers-the purchasing and sale of papers.  When I was a
student, I knew many undergraduates who purchased their papers for the
related subject on hand.  This bothered me since they playing field was
now skewed.  I also know that some places will buy papers from
students.  You can scale them according to the grade you want from them
and everything.

d maruyama

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John V Robinson <
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Date:           Friday, 30 May 1997 17:48:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0612 Re: Identifying Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0612 Re: Identifying Plagiarism

<< Let's see if I've got this right:  A student lies, cheats, and
 steals-all essential elements of plagiarism-and something's wrong with
 the teacher or subject.  Just another of the many wonderful fruits our
 brave new world, I guess.  I figured out that concepts like honor and
 integrity were cultural constructions when I was in high school, long
 before the current critical jargon co-opted the obvious and acted as if
 they had discovered something new, which in itself is a form of
 plagiarism.  But that doesn't change the fact that concepts like honor
 and integrity are essential.  We have to act as if honor is an
absolute,
 even it's not.  My student evaluations consistently tell me that I am
an
 engaged, fair teacher.  But woe be it to the student who gets caught
 plagiarizing in my class.
  >>

Lies...cheats...steals?  We're still talking about a freshman paper that
MAY have SOME plagiarized ideas in it.  The best way to avoid this
problem is teach the students how to acknowledge sources. i.e., it's a
good thing that a student as done more than the minimum required
reading.  Unfortunately it is very fashionable in English depts these
days to lament students lack of compositional skills. Nobody ever thinks
it's their responsibility to teach these things...."you should have
learned that in freshmen comp., high school, Jr. high, grammar
school"....in an infinite regression back to the beginning of time.

[7]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan Mather <
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Date:           Friday, 30 May 1997 20:11:28 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0612  Re: Identifying Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0612  Re: Identifying Plagiarism

Hello!  Fellow Shaksperians-

I thought I'd jump in-I can't remember who it was who first brought
plagiarism up!  Recently, I turned back papers to three of my students
because of plagiarism.  I wrote them each a lengthy letter and gave them
an incomplete.  I don't want to think plagiarism is always intentional.
Some people just missed class on a number of occasions or weren't paying
attention because, well, documentation is rather boring.  I think that
an incomplete is sometimes the best one can do-since we are supposed to
be teaching them something afterall.  Teaching honesty-integrity and the
like perhaps-or just the college basics-Think on your own-don't let
others do the thinking for you.

Am I right?  Take Care, Susan  
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[8]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Valentin Gerlier <
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Date:           Friday, 30 May 1997 21:49:33
Subject: 8.0612  Re: Identifying Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0612  Re: Identifying Plagiarism

In response to David Dyal, about plagiarism.

Dear David,

I am glad to hear that your students think of you as a good teacher.
What I was trying to say in my last mail is that I believe it doesn't
help to use fear as the power which will get students to do the work.
You mention honour and integrity and I very much agree with you that it
must come from the student as well as from the teacher. But what I also
see is that it doesn't help, but rather tremendously hinder one's
education if there is this sense of "fear" in the classroom. Fair
enough, some students will think "will I get caught? Should I cheat?"
even though the teacher is caring and responsible. But punishment
doesn't help: if a teacher says: "if you cheat, you will be punished",
the student may avoid cheating out of fear and not out of understanding
of honour and integrity, which as you say, are fundamental. Isn't more
important to understand that than to just avoid doing things because one
is afraid of the authority ?I am not trying to say it is the student's
or the teacher's fault, but I firmly believe this issue of fear needs to
be looked into. For the sake of student and teacher alike. I hope I am
making some sense...

Ever yours, Valentin Gerlier
<
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[9]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Mycoff <
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Date:           Sunday, 1 Jun 1997 17:58:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Plagiarism

On plagiarism-like Prof. Dyal, I used to take the hard line on
plagiarism-the inheritance of the honor system at my undergraduate
college-until I discovered in the course of several inquisitions that my
students had not indeed ever been taught better, and that there were
colleagues (NOT in the English, Theatre, or History Departments, to be
sure) who are telling students not to worry about "that stuff"
(documentation) because "nobody cares about it." If I have doubts about
intention, I simply make the student do the paper over and over until
there is no plagiarism.

It is also true, as someone in another posting implied, that
documentation requirements in science, technology, and social science
are usually less fastidious, even in professional journals, than what we
in the humanities have probably been taught, so if one's students come
from "outside" they may well have quite honestly obtained a different
sense of the protocols.

Another discussion list to which I subscribe found that it had to ban
plagiarism inquiries, not exactly because they are inappropriate but
because they quickly began to consume too much space on the list.
 

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