Plagiarism Case Studies

In A Plagiarist’s Tale Prof Viola wrote:

To try to address this, a former colleague and I developed a set of case studies of plagiarism, all based on real cases, some involving faculty and grad students. I’d be glad to share these: PM me if you’re interested. It works like this: students rank the worst offenders and most forgiveable cases, then get into groups to adduce criteria for rankings. Then the group of the whole discusses the cases. Invariably, the fee for service issue rears its head. I’ve found thoughtful, hard-working students to react with fury when it does. One said, “OK, that’s like buying a painting, hanging it in your living room, and then telling guests that you painted it yourself.” Another commented that if college students collectively get the reputation of having cheated their way through school, the value of everyone’s degree suffers. One of the cases turns on a law student who buys a paper for a course, then ends up in a subsequent job assigned to cover a case on the course material. Most students see that both the clients and colleagues could be harmed by this. And that’s part of the point: to illustrate that plagiarism is not a victimless crime.

I think that the fact that the plagiarism case studies are based on real happenings would make that stronger. I think such a case study discussion day would be very useful.

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