Friday, May 08, 2009

Bible Plagiarizer Confronted

"Look, you didn't write these poems. This one is a famous limerick. It was written well before you were born. Did you write it in a past life? And this one, this one is from the Bible! It's almost two thousand years old. Don't even try to tell me you wrote this."

"But miss, I wrote those other poems."

"I don't care if you wrote some of the poems, although I don't believe you did because I didn't see you write them in the class. Look, here underlined in red, 'any instance of plagiarism will result in a zero.' Zero. That's what you are getting."

"Miss, miss, can I resubmit? I will email it to you."

"No. I told you clearly that you must write the poems yourself, and that if you did not, you'd get a zero. If you email me I will not read it."

You think by now the girl would have some dignity and either confess or give up. She stayed around for 20 minutes begging me to let her re-do the assignment. Two former plagiarizers who had changed their way were also there to witness the scene. They had learned their lessons and handed in excellent work. One of them even earned 97% on her assignment.

I was adamant with the newest plagiarizer.

"Look, would you take verses from your Holy Qur'an, and put your name on them? Would you say that you had written them? This is exactly what you've done. You can not steal other people's work and lie and say that it is yours. This is not acceptable."

Finally, she gave up. The sad thing is that she'll surely try it again with other teachers.


Smorg said...

Good on you for standing your ground, Heather. Plagiarism is sadly a popular short cut to writing these days. :o( I recently found 2 of my opera reviews posted without citation on another website (though the webmaster was pretty good about erasing them along with the account that posted them right away). It is a frustrating thing to see.

You know, there was actually a case in Missouri a few years ago where the teacher was the one that got fired when a bunch of parents complained to the school because she had flunked half her class for having turned in plagiarized essays. It was a big scandal and the eye-opener was that a lot of people actually thought the firing justifiable. :oP

Anyhow. Keep up the good work, prof! :o)

Abdul Sami said...

that be horrible!