Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Plagiarism Policy as An Object Lesson in Customer Service

Plagiarism From Rate Your Students:
My university's policy on plagiarism is nothing short of ridiculous ...
I brought with me the student’s paper and the online article from which vast paragraphs were copied verbatim. It was a slam-dunk case. I expected to be told something like, “Well, when it’s this obvious, you don’t even have to come see us. Just nail the sucker.” Instead, I was met with questions about my integrity as a teacher: “How thoroughly have you covered the rules about plagiarism?” “How much of your class is devoted to in-depth discussion of citation?” “Did you offer the student the appropriate help with these difficult, taxing citations?” “Have you asked the student if he perhaps simply forgot to cite properly?” In short, “How are you to blame for this?”
I now enact my own plagiarism (yes, I use the word) code. But I know that if a student ever complains, no one upstairs is going to back me.

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