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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: December ::
Re: Plagiarism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1242  Sunday, 6 December 1998.

[1]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Friday, 4 Dec 1998 09:23:14 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Plagiarism

[2]     From:   P. Dolan <
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        Date:   Friday, 4 Dec 1998 09:35:05 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1233  Re: Plagiarism

[3]     From:   Jamie Brough <
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        Date:   Friday, 4 Dec 1998 12:12:44 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1232  Re: Plagiarism

[4]     From:   Carol A Cole <
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        Date:   Friday, 4 Dec 1998 12:55:15 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1233 Re: Plagiarism

[5]     From:   David Maier <
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        Date:   Friday, 04 Dec 1998 10:36:19 -0800
        Subj:   Plagiarism

[6]     From:   John V Robinson <
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        Date:   Friday, 4 Dec 1998 17:02:32 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1233 Re: Plagiarism

[7]     From:   Andrew Walker White <
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        Date:   Friday, 4 Dec 1998 20:34:48 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1233 Re: Plagiarism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Friday, 4 Dec 1998 09:23:14 -0500
Subject:        Re: Plagiarism

This morning I received my $6 essay "Othello-A Racist Play?" from the
plagiarism website. I wouldn't give it above a 'C' if an undergraduate
turned it in. (Roughly a lower second in British academic currency.)

Here's a taste, being the whole of the second paragraph:

Most racist comments in the play are said by people that are angry or
upset. For example, when Emilia found out that Othello had killed
Desdemona she was extremely mad and she called Othello a "Blacker
devil", this was the only time in the play that she had said anything
racist about Othello. The main characters that have racist attitudes are
Iago, Brabantio, Roderigo and Emilia, with the hatred of Othello as the
basis for their racist actions and comments towards him. Iago is the
most racist character in the book as he has it in for Othello right from
the start. What sparks off Iago's hate towards him is the fact that when
Othello chose his lieutenant, it was Cassio who was chosen instead of
Iago. What made Iago angry was the fact that Cassio had no experience in
war when he did and Cassio was chosen instead of him. Iago does not say
anything racist to Othello's face but he has a lot to say against him
behind his back. He schemes to destroy Othello and anything in his way
including Cassio and Desdemona. The first time we hear one of his racist
comments is when he's talking to Brabantio about Othello and Desdemona,
"Even now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe".

Should I send them the $6 I promised? Is it worth more than a 'C'? (More
probingly, is a 'C' worth $6?)

Gabriel Egan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           P. Dolan <
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Date:           Friday, 4 Dec 1998 09:35:05 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 9.1233  Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1233  Re: Plagiarism

As several of the responses note there are any number of things that we
as teachers can do to make it difficult to fulfill our assignments with
plagiarized material. Extensive in-class writing, working with drafts
and, in general, getting to know the students and their intellectual
interests and style, for a start.

It also helps if our assignments go beyond the mind-numbing as well.

But the whole problem does point to a larger issue, worth thinking
about. Education and Shakespeare are both commodities-we can't do
anything about that in the short term. So how do we deal with them
without completely, as we used to say, "selling out" at the same time as
we take account the real desires and concerns of our (sometimes)
economically and socially terrified students.

Especially in a world where ronin scholars may be economically and
socially terrified ourselves.

Cheers,
Pat

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jamie Brough <
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Date:           Friday, 4 Dec 1998 12:12:44 EST
Subject: 9.1232  Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1232  Re: Plagiarism

 >I must be very old-fashioned but I find this letter on plagiarism
 >unbelievable. How any true academic could use someone`s essay under
his
 >own name and reply to such an offer is inconceivable to me.
 >Perhaps I am naive,
 >Yours Simon.

Quite. Although I assure you, there will be nothing there of _true_
academic value anyhow-especially if, as I suspect, it's an American
site. Besides, this site is almost certainly a very bad example. I
suspect the best work's to be found on those that deliver _after_  VISA
payment. I direct you to www.cheat.com (or something similar). What do
you know? You must have a BA (Lit) or higher to submit work for sale!
Very interesting. The majority of cheat sites used by undergraduates are
these, which suggests that such plagiarism is actually sponsored, to
some extent, by professional academics.

How much do you think they'll pay for hot essays? To be quite frank with
you, I would have little objection to someone paying to distribute my
work. Let's be realistic, here. Just suppose I sell a highly stylised,
ultra-chic, modish Shakespeare paper for a few pounds, any kleptomaniac
that uses this service to plagiaristic ends will only be doing myself a
service. Any illiterate schmuck that attempted to claim authorship would
busted by any discerning teacher, discrediting him or herself and hence
forwarding my own ideas which, although admittedly anonymous, would
still be acknowledged. If it were really good, I'm sure they'd visit the
site after torturing the URL out of the little pilferer and hunt down
the genius responsible...

The idea that you need this SHAXICON invention seems strange. Although
it will likely be able to analyse individuals word usage mathematically,
it will have no capacity to understand abstract reasoning. Any good
teacher will recognise the stylistic tags and quality of ideas specific
to their individual students without having to feed the work into some
silicon number-lumberer.

I will be putting all my A grade A-Level essay on the web shortly. All
are welcome to read them, print them, distribute them, feed from them
and live for them. Just keep the copyright notice intact-that's all I
ask. URL to follow.  Have a good one! J.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol A Cole <
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Date:           Friday, 4 Dec 1998 12:55:15 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 9.1233 Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1233 Re: Plagiarism

All the discussion about plagiarism on this and other lists has got me
wondering:  Those of you who are teachers, about what percentage of the
student papers you receive do you know or strongly suspect to be
substantially plagiarized?

Carol

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Maier <
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Date:           Friday, 04 Dec 1998 10:36:19 -0800
Subject:        Plagiarism

For those who did not see it, this thread feeds very nicely into a quite
well written article on intellectual property in the Atlantic a couple
of months back.  The author presented interesting viewpoints on the
nature of intellectual property, and on whether creation should be owned
at all.  The article articulately pointed out the drawbacks of a policy
which is either too restrictive, or too lenient with respect to the
ownership of a creation.

The spawning of the Internet and the increasing number of sites such as
the one under discussion in this thread, is causing quite a hubub in the
halls of Congress, and it would behoove anyone who isn't aware, to start
reading up on the debate so some informed legal policy can be enacted.
The Atlantic article is a great place to start.

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John V Robinson <
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Date:           Friday, 4 Dec 1998 17:02:32 EST
Subject: 9.1233 Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1233 Re: Plagiarism

<< I wondered whether the academic community generally is taking any
action
 on these sites. I understand that there are complex issues of net
 censorship involved. But even if these sites are not to be driven off
 the net, shouldn't the academic community at least be filling up their
 email inboxes with messages telling them how we feel about what they
are
 doing? >>

Well...the most obvious answer is for everyone who feels this way to
e-mail the site and request several essays then stiff them on their fee.
Since it seems to be based on the honor system, that will drive them out
of business faster than e-mailed complaints. no?  I think I'll start
today.

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <
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Date:           Friday, 4 Dec 1998 20:34:48 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 9.1233 Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1233 Re: Plagiarism

Since we regularly ask students to write, for an Introduction to Theatre
course, on the subject of the Renaissance, I would greatly appreciate it
if we could start sharing lists of web sites where these papers can be
bought.  I've already received several papers that were suspiciously
well-crafted, and hesitated to call the students on it because I didn't
have the time to check their work more fully.  There are other means of
testing them in our class, the essay is one small portion, so for this
semester I let it pass.  Next semester, however, I hope to be prepared.

Thanks in advance for any more tips,
Andy White
 

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