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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: April ::
Re: Plagiarism and Update
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1016  Friday, 12 April 2002

[1]     From:   Edmund Taft <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 10 Apr 2002 12:53:25 -0400
        Subj:   Plagiarism and Update

[2]     From:   Al Magary <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 10 Apr 2002 14:57:04 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1001 Re: Plagiarism and Update


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <
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Date:           Wednesday, 10 Apr 2002 12:53:25 -0400
Subject:        Plagiarism and Update

Martin Steward writes:

"Goodness, isn't it shocking that students should be afforded the due
protection of the law against unjust and unfounded accusations, as is
their right and privilege? What is the world coming to?"

Martin supposes a situation where legions of instructors are dedicated
to making false accusations against students just to cause them trouble
and, if possible, ruin their lives. Does he really think that such a
situation exists? Did it ever exist?

Of course not. The real problem is that a high school or university
teacher grades hundreds of papers in the course of a semester or term.
It is literally impossible for him or her to ferret out absolute proof
for every case of plagiarism. What then should the teacher do?  What
would Martin or Sean recommend?

(1) Back off and let plagiarism run rampant? (2) Devote literally
thousands of hours, if necessary, to document every case?

Martin's concern for the poor students being put upon by evil teachers
out to destroy them bespeaks a fantasy world and a total unwillingness
to come to grips with a real epidemic of cheating in the real world.

In short, Martin is backing the wrong horse.

--Ed Taft

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Al Magary <
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Date:           Wednesday, 10 Apr 2002 14:57:04 -0700
Subject: 13.1001 Re: Plagiarism and Update
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1001 Re: Plagiarism and Update

Has the world become so topsy-turvy that students have become customers
(and always "right") and teachers mere providers ("Here are your A's,
sir.  That'll be $32,500 for this year's service")?

For education and its products, such as grades and credentials, to mean
anything, the teacher must be able to exercise authority in the
classroom and to say to the student, "You've got this wrong here" as
well as "You copied this here."  Both of the student's statements have
to be defended; so do the teacher's.  The first and perhaps only arena
for this exchange should be in the classroom or faculty office, not the
courtroom.

Al Magary

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