Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: December ::
Re: Plagiarism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1253  Monday, 7 December 1998.

[1]     From:   Christine Gilmore <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 06 Dec 1998 11:44:31 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1242 Re: Plagiarism

[2]     From:   Mike Sarzo <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 6 Dec 1998 11:54:51 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1242 Re: Plagiarism

[3]     From:   Marilyn A. Bonomi <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 06 Dec 1998 19:51:35 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1233 Re: Plagiarism

[4]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 7 Dec 1998 07:16:13 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 9.1242  Re: Plagiarism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Gilmore <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 06 Dec 1998 11:44:31 -0500
Subject: 9.1242 Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1242 Re: Plagiarism

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

Gabriel, you ought to pay the $6 as you promised.  But the sample of the
paper does not deserve even a C, as it merely catalogs occasions in
which race is at issue and then merely retells the plot, as if the
writer is speaking to his/her buddy.  I suppose the writing could be
worse.

Here's a question.  With the amount of work involved in determining the
source of plagiarism and in charging a student with plagiarism
(administratively), is the awarding of a deserving grade (presuming that
most plagiarized papers are poorly written) or taking the administrative
steps required by the university preferred?

Just wondering, cg.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Sarzo <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 6 Dec 1998 11:54:51 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 9.1242 Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1242 Re: Plagiarism

It seems that, without knowing the conditions under which you promised
the $6, that you should indeed send the money. Then again, reading the
suggestion of another SHAKSPER reader, I wouldn't mind you "stiffing"
them on the money.

As for the paper itself, the paragraph I read was indeed wanting. I
believe I would have commented that our hypothetical undergraduate
(assuming, of course that an undergraduate might write such a paper and
turn it in) did not bring interpretations from research into account.
I'd be interested to see the rest of the paper, but I think I'd agree
with your assessment of a "C" in American academic currency.

Andy White wrote:

> 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.

As an undergraduate English student, I'd be curious to find out what you
consider to be red flags for possible plagiarism. Fortunately, the only
time I was even remotely questioned for that was in a media writing
class.  The instructor dropped any inquiry when another student told her
I didn't lift a breaking article from a newspaper, and I made it up. In
that class, making up a story wasn't as problematic as it sounds. The
focus of the class was to work on writing skills more than it was on
doing journalistic research such as obtaining quotes and going to the
scene of news stories.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marilyn A. Bonomi <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 06 Dec 1998 19:51:35 -0500
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?>>

Just about every year I and my colleagues at an upper-middle-class
suburban Connecticut high school get at least 2-3 papers about which we
are dubious.  In fact, at times we do web searches looking for the
source of the paper.

But these papers are a small percentage of the total we receive each
year.

Most of what gets plagiarized is general ideas.  And the most common
source of plagiarism still is the old stand-by Cliff's Notes.  (I met
Cliff Hillegas at a conference once and told him what I thought of him.
It wasn't pretty!)

When veteran teachers read a lot of a given student's writing, including
both in-class and outside writing, we tend to recognize pretty quickly
when something seems too good to be true.  Sometimes students admit it
when confronted; often they offer a rationale that smacks of "I didn't
have sexual relations with that young woman."  In other words, we
recognize by their weaselly evasions that they're actually admitting to
inappropriate behaviors.  I've sometimes had students rewrite papers
under my personal observation; they never seem to be able to reach even
a portion of the eloquent heights that caused me to suspect the original
paper.

Many school districts are moving toward a much wider range of assessment
models, including many non-essay "performances."   When students have a
number of different ways to earn grades, they are less likely to feel
the "need" to plagiarize on essays.  And we as teachers have a wider
range of sources of information on what students actually have learned.

And of course the writing process, where teachers are privy to the idea
generation and paper gestation, provided not only many fewer
opportunities to pass off as one's own a stolen idea or paper, but also
encourages and ideally even requires students to make their own meanings
from the text.

But for people who teach 5 classes of 35-plus students each day, such
writing process is an unaffordable luxury.

Marilyn A. Bonomi

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 7 Dec 1998 07:16:13 -0500
Subject: Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        SHK 9.1242  Re: Plagiarism

The $6.00 essay looks like a straight 'A' to me.  Not a trace of
'theory'. No 'isms'. Drained of history and politics. Lots of
character-analysis.  Much motive-hunting. Piety a-plenty.  I could
almost swear I recognised the style.

T. Hawkes
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.