Sunday, June 18, 2006

Handy tips for effective cheating

Alex Halavais offers some useful tips on cheating (via Savage Minds):

I would prefer that students don’t cheat. Yes, they really are mostly cheating themselves, so fine. But it also reflects poorly on the community. Rationally or not, what particularly irks me is that it is disrespectful: of me, of their fellow students, of the university, of the institution of learning, and of themselves. And—did I mention—of me? It is particularly irksome when their cheating implies (reminds?) that I am a fool.

So, to help students across the country cheat better, saving themselves both from easy detection and from incurring the wrath of insulted faculty, and leading to a much more harmonious school environment, I offer the following tips, based on recent experience.

Here's one of the tips:

7. Borrow from someone who writes as badly as you do.

Don’t do what one of my graduate students did, and steal a text on Korean feminism from someone who wrote slightly better English than he did. I’ll notice the slightly better writing, even before I notice that you have expressed no interest in or knowledge of feminist perspectives in the past. (Once kicked out of our program, he applied to the English department. No kidding.)

Over at Savage Minds (from where I got the link to Halavais' post), Oneman recounts this incident:

Last semester I had my crowning glory as a catcher of plagiarism. I’m reading this paper, and it’s so good, I’m stunned. I feel so proud; I’m actually thinking “wow, this student gets me!” At the risk of sounding immodest, the paper was so good and so spot-on about what anthropology is all about that it was like I had written it myself.

Of course I had written it myself—it came straight off of my Intro website. Not only was it plagiarism, but a violation of my Creative Commons “Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike” license—no attribution!