It is sad but true that there are always one or two knaves who plagiarize work at the end of any given semester. It is a terrible thing, a violation of the school honor code, a deeply stupid thing to do, and etc. But mostly it is a time consuming black hole for me, because as soon as it is clear that a student has plagiarized something it inevitably launches me on an intensive evidence gathering operation. This used to mean going to the library and paging through books, but technology changes everything. Google is the best tool for ferreting out the clowns. And, to be fair, most students are stunningly lazy in their style of plagiarism. It doesn't take much to find where they lifted information, it usually the first thing that comes up.

It occurs to me that a border collie might be better at plagiarizing.

Today I had an easy one--a student copied language directly from a webpage...and didn't even bother to strip the hyperlinks out of it.

But my personal favorite is still the freshman I had several years ago who copied a full speech from a State Department under-secretary or some such rank, including the verbatim phrase "As I mentioned in a speech in Berlin last month..."

Comments

Will Baynard said…
To be too lazy to even read/slightly edit what one has stolen is really something amazing.

"For those of us that remember the Cold War..."

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