Anorexia: The Cheating Disorder, by Richard Murphy

853 Words4 Pages
“Anorexia: The Cheating Disorder” by Richard Murphy discusses two instances the author was suspicious of students plagiarizing their work, as well as the damage plagiarism can cause to everyone involved. Murphy was an associate English professor at Radford University (898) and has experienced many attempts at plagiarism, describing it as “a thin wood splinter in the edge of one’s thumb” (899). That feeling is irritating and can’t be ignored until it is removed, so the author is obsessive about discovering the sources of plagiarism. While his thesis that when plagiarism occurs there is a disconnect in the relationship between student and professor is true, his incessant drive to unearth the truth at the expense of understanding every…show more content…
The second story the author discusses is starkly different from that of the Anorexia paper, and makes an example of the type of trouble plagiarism can cause in an institution and those involved in it. In this instance, a male student submits a paper discussing the assigned topic in such a way that triggers the suspicions of the professor. Murphy eventually discovers the true origin of the paper, only to find the student had gone so far as to cut out the evidence from the book. Many denials and meetings later he was “Within the week . . . suspended from the University.” (900). An academic career over, and a weakening of a professors already tenuous ability to trust in his students, were all this case resulted in. Academic dishonesty, plagiarism, wastes the time of everyone involved. It wastes the time of the student because they aren’t learning anything. It wastes the time of the professor who has to search for the original sources of the plagiarized works. And it wastes the time of the committee formed to decide the fate of the student. The author mentions several times his distaste for having to search: “Though I should not have had time to play detective, I made room among all the duties of my life to pursue this student.” (900). Murphy was disappointed in his own inability to drop the case, needing to follow it to it’s conclusion despite his busy

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