Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blog Post #1

My Thoughts on Plagiarism

After reading the many articles on plagiarism including Dr. Stranges "Is it Plagiarism Yet" and his survey of former students on "What Students Think About Plagiarism", I found that it may be rather difficult and confusing for an individual to determine if they are plagiarizing. This means that students and others are plagiarizing and are unaware that they are. They are definitely not doing it on purpose because that would generally mean rather undesirable consequences. They are doing it because they don't know how to cite their work correctly. This happens all of the time by individuals in several capacities but no harm is meant by it but that doesn't matter. If you use someone else's work and don't cite it properly, you are guilty of plagiarism and thus, must be held accountable for it. Well, that is the belief of many people, when it should not be. You should be allowed to go back and correct a mistake if indeed it was one and not be punished for it, especially if you weren't taught how to properly give credit where credit is do.

Plagiarism has too many rules. You can't do this. You have to do that. It is just all too much and one little thing you do, unaware, could cost you your career, your educational goals and dreams, or even a lawsuit if one so chooses. But don't you think that this is going a little to far for a minor mishap? Most believe so, but who will be the one to say, I understand you messed up, I forgive you, please go back and fix your mistake. I would. Would you? It's all about a forgiving heart and a willingness to allow for those that erred in judgment to be given the opportunity to correct what was done wrong. That is, at least, what I believe.

Black and White Picture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
An unfortunate outcome of plagiarism, probably unintentionally, that I am still saddened about today is that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s doctorate was discredited after his death for alleged plagiarism. Because he was dead, he was not given the opportunity to defend his dissertation or his honor. How do you do that to someone, knowing that they cannot defend themselves? I am sure he was not trying to cheat to get where he was, he was probably only working with the tools that he had available at that time. It was a tough period and we don't know how or where he got his information. But don't accuse someone of plagiarism if you don't know all of the facts and you can't if they are not there to confirm or deny. Thus, I will continue to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and not be subject to just calling him Martin Luther King Jr. like many today. 

Plagiarism is a bad thing to accuse someone of doing. If you must do it, be sure that they have plagiarized and allow them to defend themselves and if something is simply done wrong, correct their mistake. It's the least we can do in a society that puts so much stress on individuals to be perfect in everything they do!

1 comment:

  1. Very thoughtful. You raise a number of issues that should be addressed as well as "what are the best techniques to end plagiarism through these of the heavy hand." Well written, Interesting.