Thoughts on Plagiarism

The Chronicle of Higher Education had an interesting article on Monday about what colleges should be doing to educate students about plagiarism (here’s a link to the original article–Should Colleges Do More ). It baffles me that more colleges don’t see discussing plagiarism as a major part of freshman orientation. Even at Kenyon where we have a whole lecture during the first week first years are on campus there seems to be a general lack of knowledge on what constitutes as plagiarism. I’ve never been able to see how someone can believe that rephrasing SparkNotes for a paper is doing your own work but as a former member of AIB at Kenyon I’ve seen some seriously dumb decisions.

Plagiarism, especially when it isn’t addressed, devalues the work of all other students in the class. If one person is turning in work that they found on the internet and it wows the teacher, the expectations are set unreasonably high for other students. By the same token, when the majority of students in a class are choosing to cheat the curve for the few who don’t is thrown off.

Ta for now,


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