Theresa, there are plenty of examples, of course. The thing is the 
majority of students who choose to copy know that what they're doing is 
wrong, but hope it'll work somehow.  They don't have enough time, 
couldn't care less, find it really difficult/unnecessary to paraphrase, 
etc. In my experience, students who want to learn don't copy for the 
sake of copying.

I'm sure that people that Rob interviewed for an academic position knew 
very well what plagiarism was and were prepared to teach their students 
how to avoid plagiarism. Nevertheless, they plagiarized themselves. In 
other words, I don't think one can stop somebody who wants to copy from 
doing it.  If they don't do it for your class, they'll do it for 
another. (Please note that L2 students' plagiarism may be a totally 
different story).

I don't want to sound confrontational, I just thought we might start 
looking at different kinds of copying from different perspectives.


Theresa Hyland wrote:

> Natasha, I had exactly the same experience this term in my EL2 writing 
> class.   I had a student who had been a regular attender at classes, 
> who had handed in all of his assignments on time, and had obviously 
> done all the readings for class. In my class we had developed a 
> research essay using sources we had discussed in class, and that had 
> been developed after the students had done an annotated bibliography, 
> a critical review on one of the sources from the annotated bib and 
> then, two drafts of the research paper which were peer reviewed!  I 
> was very upset when I read his paper which was just patch-written from 
> the various, unacknowledged sources.  I gave the paper a "0" and 
> called him in to talk to him.  I explained that the purpose of the  
> research paper was to show that he had learned something in the class 
> and this paper could have been done in exactly this way before he had 
> ever taken the class.  He knew what he had done and asked if he could 
> take it away and redo it.  I allowed this because I wanted to see if 
> he had truly understood the class content.  He came back with a much 
> better paper that reflected the methods of incorporation that we had 
> practiced in class.  I got two things out of this experience:  (1) 
> students do stupid things when they run out of time (2) the classes 
> had at least given us a shared vocabulary and shared assumptions about 
> what good incorporation of research entails.  Thus my chastisement was 
> one that he could acknowledge as valid and could act upon in rewriting 
> the assignment.  I don't think my meeting with him  would have had the 
> same effect if this student hadn't taken the writing course.  I was 
> also very glad that he was the only one in the class who had done 
> this.  Perhaps there are similar lessons to be learned from your 
> experience?  Theresa

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