Plagiarism: a Social Problem

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PLAGIARISM: A SOCIAL PROBLEM It's four in the morning, and you're just one page into a 15-page term paper that's due at ten, and the professor isn't giving extensions. A few years ago, that would have been it: You would have passed in the paper late, if at all, and dealt with the consequences. But this is 2007, and so, in your most desperate hour, you try a desperate ploy. You log on to the internet… enter "term papers" into the search engine, and find your way to There, you scroll down past the big red disclaimer ("All work offered is for research purposes only"), find a paper that fits the assignment, enter your credit card number, and then wait until the file shows up in your email account. You feel a little…show more content…
2. Fail the paper, but allow the student to remain in the course, on the condition that he/she signs an acknowledgement of plagiarism that will remain in their file until graduation? 3. Give him/her the opportunity to rewrite the paper and penalize the final grade by a full letter? (Lang). He eventually went on to say that he would have gone with the third alternative. Some could argue that by giving students "benefit of the doubt", second chances, and small consequences may actually hurt them in the end by not sending the student the right message about how serious plagiarism really is. Another example of a professor's reaction to plagiarism is of Weber State Chemistry professor Dr. Spencer Seager. Having taught for 47 years he reported "running into it" and his reaction was that of letting the student know there were "suspicions" of plagiarism on their papers, but did nothing else (Seager). Most teachers see reporting plagiarism as a "laborious process" (Groark) and so they do not go to the trouble of trying to find where it came from and bring it up to the head of faculty. Many wonder why students would even commit "literary theft" in the first place. Because large consequences aren't usually very common, students see cheating as a way of getting the easy "A" in class. "Society's leaders do it, so why can't I?, everyone does it, even professors and administrators tolerate it" (Whitley) are many of the rationalizations of students participating in
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