Friday, April 01, 2005

The story of a plagiarist

Well, it seems I'm late to a party that everyone else has already blogged about and left, but what the hell. The title above links to the start of a story by Nate Kushner about his being contacted by a stranger to write a paper for her to hand in for an assignment in a college course. To make a long story short, idle hands are the Devil's workshop, and Nate writes her a bogus paper, gets her name and college information, and then rats her out.

I, unfortunately, have experience with plagiarism from the receiving end. The method used by this student may have been unusual -- it's an unfortunate fact that there exist web sites that cater to matching plagiarists with people to do their work for hire. (Note to my students: I know about these sites, and troll them for solicitations for my own class assignments.) While I sympathize with the stress that a student may feel (though, in the case here, it seems more likely that this was S.O.P. for the student in question), there is no getting around the fact that plagiarism is as much theft as robbing a convenience store.

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