May 7th, 2007 (01:46 am)
current mood: nauseated
current song: Our Last Night, Better Than Ezra
I'm actually physically sick to my stomach over this. It's finals time, which means a bunch of paper grading. And lo and behold, I discover that one student's paper sounds *remarkably* similar to one I read only two or three papers ago. So I cross-reference, and yup, there are paragraphs that are virtually identical.
So first I check SparkNotes, the usual suspect. Nothing.
Okay...next up, Wikipedia, everyone's favorite source for (mis)information. Nope...but wait. What's this below? A link to a study guide? I click.
Ah, here we are. On Grade A Papers dot com. So I print it. And I compare the three. And I start highlighting lifted passages.
I have not one, but two plagiarizers in my freshman humanities class.
And they're such nice kids.
So it's tearing me up. Oh, not because I don't know what to do about it. Don't get me wrong; this is going to the higher-ups. As I said in my syllabus:
"According to University policy, “Any significant act of plagiarism, cheating, or other form of academic dishonesty will result in a grade of ‘F’ for the course and punitive actions by the University.”
Basically, I believe that plagiarism is a really bad idea. You don’t learn anything, it undercuts the hard work of the rest of your classmates, and it just wastes everyone’s time, especially yours and mine. So, just don’t do it. If you use outside sources in your writing, whether it’s another book, SparkNotes, whatever, CITE IT. I have absolutely no patience for plagiarism and I will be merciless if I discover it."
So I have to deal with this. I'm just really, really upset that it happened at all. I mean seriously, it's a five page paper. I only ask for three papers all semester plus one research report you have five months to work on. I know college life gets busy and people put things off till the last second, but really, it's so damn blatant. And it doesn't help that two of them went for the same material, so there was no way I could miss it.
And it just makes you wonder if anyone else has tried this stunt. And gotten away with it. And how much of an ass does that make me if they did?
I just hate to have to put them through this. But at the same time, they get what they deserve. Little buggers. I'm also insulted that they thought they could pull this one on me. I mean, why do an entire semester's worth of work only to throw it away at the last second like that? I would never plagiarize because I'd be TERRIFIED of what could happen to me. Where people find the nerve is beyond me. And all they had to do was paraphrase and cite the goddamn material.
Okay, okay. I've calmed down some now. And I still have two papers to grade. Hopefully those will be clean.