It is wrong to suppose a student essay is plagiarized because of gender or race, but it is NOT abnormal to suppose a student essay is plagiarized WHEN IT IS WRITTEN BY A STUDENT! I had 6 out of 16 papers flagged by Turnitin Originality Scores this week - junior students. My hope is gone.
The linked article is showing a tiny snapshot of the evidence behind this story. The professor could very well be racist, sexist, or simply a grammar Nazi. Alternative possibilities behind this story:-The professor ran the paper through a plagiarism checker and it was flagged, and their comments were taken out of context.-The previous essays by this student have been utter shite and this one is too good to be true.-The student, masquerading as a "professor," wrote these comments themselves and posted it on Facebook because they are a narcissist looking for attention.-The Huffington Post made up the whole thing.
Like Patty said, it's not uncommon to read writing that sounds like a 1950's courtroom drama from a student whose speech sounds more like an MTV veejay, if they still have those. But I usually assume that that's because they think this is what educated writing sounds like, not because they've plagiarized. And unlike what usually happens in that case, this student's work made perfect sense. She was using the elevated language correctly. Why accuse a student of cutting and pasting without any evidence to back up such a serious charge? If they have plagiarized from Dr. Google, it's usually easy enough to prove.
This instructor was totally out of line. The only way to bust a plagiarist is to find the original text and show it alongside the plagiarized text, for side-by-side obvious comparison.One word can't possibly be plagiarism. As Wernher von Braun observed, "When I steal from one source, it's plagiarism. When I steal from many, it's research."Sometimes, I get a paper that I think can't possibly be written by the student. Try as I may, if I can't find the original source, it ain't plagiarism. And who knows: sometimes, they do learn.
I'm only seeing a small part of the student's paper on the post so maybe there's more to the story but it seems overly harsh and very personal to say, "That is not Your word." How the heck can one word, "hence" be plagiarist? It's one word and it seems to have been used correctly. (Which, okay maybe it's best to suspect all students of plagiarism--but given this student's past academic output it looks like she puts genuinely hard word into her papers.The second things I don't like is the request by the professor to indicate where the student cut and pasted. I think the burden is on the instructor to identify the passage and author that the student plagiarized from. The thing thing that worries me a bit is how quick the student wants to blame it on racism or sexism. It may be so, but that would be hard to prove. It might be the professor had a bad day or is too judgmental. Regardless, I hope she just fights back. I feel sorry that's she hurting, but it's better to fight back in my view.
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