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Unintended Lessons: Plagiarism and the University


by Carol C. Thompson — 2006

Plagiarism, like other ethical problems, flourishes in atmospheres with few consequences. The finding by one survey that only 27% of college students thought cutting and pasting someone else's work was "serious cheating" is troubling evidence of student inclination to cut corners ethically. Papers are easily copied from the Internet, and adult role models in the larger world are equivocal. Academic settings themselves may subtly encourage such behaviors if they think of their students as customers and outsource teaching to adjuncts. Plagiarism detection software, though helpful, is not without its own problems. Colleges and universities that carefully outline consequences, particularly if these are part of an honor system collaboratively run by students and faculty, can reduce plagiarism.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 12, 2006, p. 2439-2449
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12848, Date Accessed: 10/23/2017 10:12:38 PM

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About the Author
  • Carol Thompson
    University of Pennsylvania
    E-mail Author
    CAROL C. THOMPSON, Assistant Professor of Foundations of Education at Rowan University, received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania (2006). Her dissertation focused on the relation of technology, social language use, and frameworks of participation in one urban youth organization. Her most recent publication is ‘‘Hopeworks: Technology, Youth Identity, and Youth Organization’’ in Digital Generations, edited by David Buckingham and Rebekah Willett (2006).
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