August 12, 2005

Plagiarism disorders

Just a brief entry: Margaret Soltan today discussed the plagiarism by Judith Kelly in her "memoir" Rock Me Gently:

Again with the uncontrollable memory! What shall we call this? Incontinent mnemonism?

Ah, yes, the "I wasn't aware I was copying words" excuse I've heard a few times from some of my enrollees (which is different from the "I wasn't aware that copying words was plagiarism" excuse). (I wouldn't call a plagiarist a student.) I think I have a slightly better term: eideticitis.

  • Hint to the budding enrolled plagiarist: you might get away with explaining that half a sentence just stuck in your memory. Half a page? Nah...
  • Hint to the budding professional plagiarist: If your excuse wouldn't pass muster with a college professor, don't think it'll sound better coming from you.
  • Hint to the caught-red-handed professional plagiarist named Judith Kelly: Getting your representative to say that you are "rewriting those passages for the next edition of the book" sort of puts the lie to the claim that the book is a memoir, doesn't it?

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Posted in Teaching on August 12, 2005 2:02 PM |