Sunday, October 17, 2004

The "Plagiarism" responses

I've posted a few of the responses to the questions about the "Plagiarism" chapter on my Research Methods site. I have to admit I was a little surprised that most of the students expressed agreement with Gibaldi's moralistic language regarding plagiarism. Maybe I should have told them they were allowed to question him...?

1 comment:

Jonathan Benda said...

I think I see a bit of irony there.
Clyde A. Warden | Email | Homepage | 10.25.04 - 2:26 am | #


Why would it be surprising that students agree? I realize it's widely believed that plagerism is more widespread in Taiwan than in our countries, and this is probably true, but there are very real reasons for this. This is just another more evidence to see a fundamental difference between moral reasoning and moral action.
Scott Sommers | Email | Homepage | 11.03.04 - 12:14 pm | #


I was surprised (though upon reflection, I probably shouldn't have been) that students would readily accept his view that plagiarism is a crime (comparable to murder) despite the fact that many of them admitted committing this "crime" in the past. My issue is with Gibaldi's framing of plagiarism (in what is supposedly a pedagogical text); he uses heavy-handed moralistic language ("pity," "scorn," "shameful," etc.) when writing about something that is not always a moral issue.

In other words, I don't see plagiarism as always being an issue of moral (or immoral) action. Certainly there are times when a student tries to sneak an essay by me that s/he copied out of a book or downloaded from the Internet. But usually it's more an issue of the student not completely comprehending when/how to cite sources or how to put complex ideas in any other terms than those that were used in the sources in which s/he found those ideas.
Jonathan Benda | 11.05.04 - 12:16 pm | #