Plagiarism And Academic Integrity

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Academic Integrity

According to Professor Ebony Thomas, plagiarism is “every English teacher’s dream turned nightmare.” (Thomas, 2011). Professor Thomas described a fictional scenario in which an unsuspecting student wrote a paper that appeared to be vaguely familiar to the teacher. In due time, the teacher eventually came to the realization that the original work had already been published in a New York Times article. Though the student implemented modifications to the paper (tweaking of words, change in sentence structure, etc.), the teacher noted that the majority of the paper was copied verbatim. The teacher affirmed that she had found incriminating evidence of the plagiarism and thus, scheduled to meet with the student. When confronted, the student alleged that he was uncertain as to how cite the passage. By choosing to do so anyway, the student demonstrated poor judgment. Professor Thomas outlines this particular scenario to demonstrate the difficulties in discussing and teaching about academic integrity in school.
Because plagiarism can be effectuated with such ease, it often poses problems that many educators dread. Teachers utilize Google, and Safe Assign in order to end the cheating which has reached epidemic proportions.” (Thomas, 2011). However, there are intellectual property issues in using these sites and the Conference on College Composition and Communication advises against the use of plagiarism detection services as a policing tool.

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