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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: April ::
Re: Plagiarism and Update
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1064  Thursday, 18 April 2002

[1]     From:   Graham Bradshaw <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Apr 2002 23:46:01 +0900
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1051 Re: Plagiarism and Update

[2]     From:   Bill Arnold <
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        Date:   Thursday, 18 Apr 2002 04:47:55 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1033 Re: Plagiarism and Update

[3]     From:   Hardy M. Cook <
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        Date:   Thursday, April 18, 2002
        Subj:   Re: Plagiarism and Update


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Bradshaw <
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Date:           Wednesday, 17 Apr 2002 23:46:01 +0900
Subject: 13.1051 Re: Plagiarism and Update
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1051 Re: Plagiarism and Update

I'm puzzled. Isn't "composition" what is called, outside God's Own
Country, "remedial English"? Would somebody explain the difference?

Graham Bradshaw

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Thursday, 18 Apr 2002 04:47:55 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 13.1033 Re: Plagiarism and Update
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1033 Re: Plagiarism and Update

Martin Steward writes, "Here's an example for the contributors to this
debate to mull over.  In the course of my PhD (and in the course of
contributing to SHAKSPER, come to think of it), I have relied heavily on
such reference books as The Hutchinson Chronology of World History; The
Oxford Companion to Eng Lit; The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare; The
History Today Companion to British History; The Chambers Biographical
Dictionary; The Oxford Companion to the Bible; various collections of
quotations; etc. All of these are resources designed to get information
to me as quickly and painlessly as possible, with the minimum of real
research or thinking. I have never acknowledged a single one in any
footnote. Have I been 'cheating'?

Well, are you asking me?  It depends.

If you say Will Shakespeare was born in 1564, which is common knowledge,
and which any reader can find in any reference work: no.

If on the other hand you borrow _enough_ words taken together from
someone else's work _verbatim_, then, indeed, yes.

In the latter case, you are guilty of plagiarism, if you do not put
_their_ own created words into "quote-marks" and cite the source, at
least in name or in title.  If in a _formal_ paper, required by certain
forms such as MLA, even more in citation is required.

If you did the latter in a course of mine, and I _found_ the prior
written words _verbatim_ I would have you in case of plagiarism.  The
penalty would be up to me.

In an honors class I taught in a high school, once, I found at least a
half dozen students guilty, and oh, what delicious fun it was to see
them squirm for weeks wondering _what_ I might do as a result of my good
detective work. I had asked them to write about Esme as a character
sketch, the wise one from "For Esme: With Love and Squalor." After the
assignment, I put all the papers face up on the floor and moved them
around, reading opening lines to paragraphs. I found _verbatim_ entries
of twenty to thirty contiguous words in half a dozen papers by different
students.  And these were _honor_ students, last semester high school,
taking a _college_ course!  Golly: what to do?

I had discussions with colleagues, the high school guidance counselor
who was coordinator with the college, and even with my own Soul.  Well,
I kept them on pins and needles, by writing in red ink on their papers,
with encircled plagiarized words, "this sounds like...[the other name,
doing the same]."

For several weeks, till the end of the semester, students would come to
me or avoid me with downcast eyes, wondering?  Well, I let them _wonder_
and learn a marvelous lesson in _honesty_ and _fairness_ about doing
your own work and owning up to your responsible acts.  As these were top
students, according to record, and already accepted to major
universities in America, I did _not_ feel I could flunk them and trash
their careers.  But I did, individually, and most privately, lecture
each and every one of them--and made them pay _royally_ for their stupid
acts, with my reproving looks and parental attitude, of you did done
bad.  One hopes they never think they can out-think their professors
again.  Understand, there were remarks about plagiarism from DAY ONE,
openly in class, and STILL plagiarism happened.  My way of handling it
was that this was an education environment and I hoped I educated a few
minds to think for themselves and _not_ steal someone else's words and
pass them off as their own, which in addition to being plagiarism, is
also lying.

If you did the latter in a journalism environment, where I have worked,
in the past, and am occasionally called upon as a newspaper stringer,
even now, then you would be un-employed by your employer and, if caught
publicly in a much-publicized case, roundly rousted in the press as
certain recent cases in American journalism in the state of
Massachusetts attests to, involving Pulitzer Prize authors.

Bill Arnold

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:           Thursday, April 18, 2002
Subject:        Re: Plagiarism and Update

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

Please allow me to break one of the cardinal rules of being a moderator
and that is responding to a post before the membership gets a chance.

I agree with Bill Arnold

 

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