Me: Your response to the homework assignment was taken from this website. You did not provide proper citation to give credit.
Student: But, I changed a couple of words, so it's OK.
Me: Just because you changed a "the" here and there does not mean you are safe from citation. Besides, you have taken English I and II, plus my Legal Research and Writing course. You should know better.
Student: But, I changed it. This is so stupid.
Since launching this blog back in 2005, I can't even remember how many posts I have written about plagiarism. And, I know many of my academic peeps have written enough posts about plagiarism in their college courses that all of us could have a series of books on the subject. Or, a contest to find the craziest case of plagiarism...anyone game?
Recently, a colleague and I were discussing how there seems to be a high degree of narcissism and entitlement on college campus today. I am not suggesting that such behavior did not exist back in the day when I was a young college student (I attended college in the 80's...draw your own conclusions about that decade). But, it seems as if plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty are more prevalent.
What is the reason for this? Do they really just don't know?
Perhaps, we can look to the Internet and how easy it is to just cut and paste something. Back in the day, one either found someone to write the paper or found and ad for papers in the back of Rolling Stone magazine.
Some would argue that there is a lack of morals, values and empathy on the part of today's students. Maybe. But, there were people like that back in the day too. Entitlement? It's possible. I've noticed many of the students at my college who think they should get an "A" because the showed up. Somehow, doing the bare minimum means you earn excellence.
So, what is it? And, why is it that even though students are taught over and over again, like my student, the still choose not to plagiarize or cheat. (And, I do believe it is a choice, whether it's a conscious decision or a decision based on laziness or whatever, it's still a choice.)
And, yet another question. How do you impress upon the student that doing things the right way, like citation of sources, not copying material, is not "stupid", as my student stated? Sure, I make examples of cases and the consequences of such behavior. But, I think for some students, it does not hit home until it happens to them. Or, perhaps some are so arrogant that they believe it won't happen to them because they won't get caught.
I guess that's the $64,000.00 question, isn't it?
- Seeking Solace
- I am a college professor who is fumbling through the chaos of academia, rheumatoid arthritis, working on my PhD and just being a 40 something woman. I used to be a lawyer, which made me a snarky little person. I have a wonderful Husband and a German Shepherd named Junior. They help keep me sane.