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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: October ::
Plagiarism and Purpose
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1907  Tuesday, 19 October 2004

From:           L. Swilley <
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Date:           Monday, 18 Oct 2004 08:15:15 -0500
Subject: 15.1901 Plagiarism and Purpose
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1901 Plagiarism and Purpose

L. Swilley wrote,

 >>A better plan is to build a research paper in class, assigning
 >>individual topics each with its own limited and named articles or essays
 >>to be used as sources. Otherwise, even if the work the student hands in
 >>passes the test of an internet search, the teacher cannot know whether
 >>the student himself has done the work.

To which, Rick Jones responds,

 >"Better"?  Not in my book.  If students are limited to sources I know
 >intimately, they're hardly doing a *research* paper.  I'll take my
 >chances that I can catch plagiarists... I've built something of a
 >reputation for doing so, and the consequences aren't pretty.   Of
 >course, I have the advantage of working in a Theatre Department where
 >all the students know each other, despite our 175 or so majors: my
 >reputation precedes me, and I like it that way.

Doesn't it depend on the *purpose* of the assignment? If the purpose is
to exercise the student in the proper use of referenced material and the
fair judgment of that, wouldn't the assignment of particular references
better serve the English Professor's purposes, since he would have a
close knowledge of the sources? Although it is profitable to the student
to know how to seek out information in the library, isn't such activity
more appropriate to the library-science student than to the student of a
subject of research?  Perhaps the library-research aspect of
other-subject training in looking up references could be limited to the
students' creation of bibliographies.

L. Swilley

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