Friday, June 10, 2005

A New Case of Plagiarism

Yesterday, I read an essay written by one of my students and I soon discovered sentences and parts of sentences I knew could not have been written by her. I checked with Google and only fractions of a second later I had proof. She had filled almost a page with sentences that had been copied from one of the major literary study guides on the Internet. No source references were given.

I think the main problem is that I, at the beginning of this course, really tried to be perfectly clear about the fact that copying someone else's text without giving proper credit is wrong. We have discussed it several times in class and the students had it in writing in the course document, which was available on the course homepage during the whole course. She just could not have missed it! It really bothers me that she has done it anyway, and I really do not know what more I could have done...

In a way I thought I would be mentally and emotionally prepared for it by now (I had four cases of plagiarism in December and early January) and my colleagues and I have almost finished our paper discussing these issues, but I react quite strongly nevertheless. To deal with this takes so much time and effort and I'm so tired! Strange how these things drain my energy! One thing that keeps me going, though, is the wonderful essay handed in by the other students.

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