If You Must Plagiarize, Why Be So Blatant?

from the laziness-or-stupidity? dept

Over the past few years, we've begun to recognize that perhaps the issue of plagiarism is blown out of proportion, echoing a fascinating discussion about how Malcolm Gladwell came to terms with his own story being plagiarized for a play. However, what still is fairly amazing is just how blatant some plagiarists are. The latest is that the Harvard Crimson (yes, the same paper that broke the story that a Harvard student had plagiarized parts of her best selling novels) has suspended two staffers caught plagiarizing. What's amazing here is that people do this sort of thing and don't think they'll get caught. One of the cases involved a cartoonist who copied cartoons from well-known newspapers, and the other was a columnist who took content from the popular online magazine Slate. Why would anyone think that they could get away with copying the content from readily available, easily found sources? Perhaps it really is a case that, for some people, it's become so easy to do that they just can't help themselves, but you would think they'd at least realize that they should cover their tracks.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Mike, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 8:33pm

    Duh!

    Over the past few years, we've begun to recognize that perhaps the issue of plagiarism is blown out of proportion, echoing a fascinating discussion about how Malcolm Gladwell came to terms with his own story being plagiarized for a play. However, what still is fairly amazing is just how blatant some plagiarists are. The latest is that the Harvard Crimson (yes, the same paper that broke the story that a Harvard student had plagiarized parts of her best selling novels) has suspended two staffers caught plagiarizing. What's amazing here is that people do this sort of thing and don't think they'll get caught. One of the cases involved a cartoonist who copied cartoons from well-known newspapers, and the other was a columnist who took content from the popular online magazine Slate. Why would anyone think that they could get away with copying the content from readily available, easily found sources? Perhaps it really is a case that, for some people, it's become so easy to do that they just can't help themselves, but you would think they'd at least realize that they should cover their tracks.

     

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  2.  
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    wes, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Duh!

    dude, did you just plagiarise yourself??

     

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  3.  
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    wto605 (profile), Nov 1st, 2006 @ 8:50pm

    Re: Duh!

    YAH!!!!
    DARE TO BE CORNY!
    love the pun... (and the article)
    p.s. good job on first post ;-)

     

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  4.  
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    ASW, Nov 1st, 2006 @ 9:56pm

    now here's a subject I know.

    In the case of the Slate plagarism...maybe it was just a case of "everyone knows it's there" and they forgot that since it was practically common knowledge now that it NEEDED to be cited.

    I've done that few times, but come to find out, what's common knowledge to me is something the person looking over your shoulder may have never known. A line has to be drawn somewhere (famous quote) or will I have to cite that too?

     

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  5.  
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    WeePee Sherman, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 1:50am

    I remember back to undergrad days when people were routinely being busted for plagarism. Cribbing from the internet or widely known sources is DUMB. I did it the old-fashioned way by going to this place called a "library" and copied from these old things called "books". The older the better. Not that I'm advocating plagarism or anything. =D

     

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  6.  
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    MrPaladin, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 3:24am

    I have a dream...

    ... I dream of a world with no plagiarism. and a man is judged on his character, and not the words in his article!!!

     

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  7.  
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    mixlplix, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 6:32am

    Maybe it was so good it needed to be said twice!

     

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  8.  
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    Sean, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 8:46am

    Good to see legitimate reason.

    I attend a public Univeristy in Connecticut, and I have become so sick of the word Plagiarism. So many of our professors call it, "The theft of another's ideas and passing them as your own." Under this ambiguous definition, which they make no reference to print, few of them realize the theories and facts they have learned in their studies, and they are now teaching, would constitute plagiarism. In fact, using a word learned in the dictionary, since it isn't their creation, falls under plagiarism. I wish they understood it better, like when it is a blatant offense like these.

    This raises a question for TD Readers. If I write the same exact thing as Hemingway in one of my books, I mean word for word, down to punctuation and paragraph structuring, yet I have never read Hemingway, is it plagiarism? If I didn't know it existed, and yet it is my own, my professors would classify my original, yet identical work as plagiarism.

     

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  9.  
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    O Roome, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 10:19am

    Plagiarism

    In 2002, Georgetown University installed on all professor's suite of software a detection software that matches up student paper text with online material on WWW. Why? Widespread plagiarism across this *prestigious* university, one that everyone vies to get admitted to...

     

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  10.  
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    Dan, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 11:06am

    It's easier to get caught is all.

    Really, what this spate of plagiarism means is that with the advent of the internet and improved information technology, it's just a lot easier to bust someone that is plagiarizing than it used to be. 15 years ago, it wasn't possible that a professor or editor (or some random reader) could type a phrase into google and find that it had been cribed from another source.

     

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  11.  
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    Not Mike, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 12:45pm

    History Channel

    I see the History channel and Discovery channel use/reuse segments in different content topics... is that like plagiarizing or just like quoting for the significance of the topic?

    When writers write they research other authors work.

     

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  12.  
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    tek'a, Nov 2nd, 2006 @ 1:08pm

    re: history channel

    I think Discovery and History channel (and a load of others) are owned under the same large company somewhere up the line, so its not plagiarism because they are still using content that they own/created, even if its not exactly obvious to tv consumer.

     

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  13.  
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    soylentyellow, Nov 25th, 2006 @ 12:07pm

    I believe that the difference between reusing/recycling part of a TV episode (History channel example) and copying a text in a research paper is a difference between copyright infringement and plagiarism.

    If you don't hold the rights it's copyright infringement and you are liable for a fine.

    If you plagiarised a work, you don't pay a fine but you fail the course.

     

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  14.  
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    wow, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 7:00am

    Re: Duh!

    well aren't you just so cool...lol..got to amitt that was good

     

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