Tuesday, May 06, 2008

exciting new wrinkle in cheating!

So, many of my students this semester did poorly on their first papers, around mid-term. I invited them to re-write papers, spent some time discussing what had gone wrong, had written notes on them to try to help guide the re-writes.

And yes, one of the re-written papers was plagiarized. For this particular student, the basic problem with the first version of the paper was that the student pretty much completely failed to follow directions. Consequently, it was low, even for an F. I noted as much on the paper: actually responding to the questions I asked in the midterm assignment is probably going to be important, after all.

Did this student take this opportunity to go back to the assignment and answer the questions? Nah, cheated.

I've mentioned before (time after time, I suppose) how incredibly irritating cheating is to me. I'm offended, I'm angered, and I resent the disrespect and disregard that egregious cheating seems in part to be motivated by. To me it's clear that if you're cheating in a philosophy class, you are not going to be getting anything out of the class, and so you're wasting my time and yours.

Plus, it's not as though I don't inform people, at the beginning of every semester, that cheating is easy to spot. I also tell them that every semester, someone does it anyway. Perhaps I should stop saying that. Maybe it's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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