Saturday, May 18, 2002

Plagiarism

My first post!

I have been doing some reflecting on plagiarism in my journal. It is a subject that has been in The Chronicle of Higher Education a lot recently, with articles about both students and faculty. It has even received some attention in other places, because of the allegations about the works of "popular" scholars (Stephen Ambrose, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David McCullough, Joseph Ellis, etc.)

I have always found it very disturbing, and now it has become personal. At the end of the week, just before grades were due, I discovered five current students, teamed with five former students (all graduating seniors) cheating in my class. I won't duplicate my many thoughts on this difficult episode here, but there is one thing about it that might concern gender.

First, a little background is needed: the five current students handed in term papers that were identical to papers submitted by students last semester, and two of the students also handed in midterms and final exams that were identical to former students' work.

Four of the five current students are male, and four of the five former students are female. That might be completely unrelated (this ordeal was so painful that I am sure of nothing right now, plus I am so very tired), or it may say something about power, relationships, manipulation, roles...?

1 comment:

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