Monday, October 31, 2016

Should Rough Draft Plagiarism Be Sanctioned?

A former Harvard Law School student lost her case against the distinguished university when a judge said that even plagiarism in a rough draft counts as an academic dishonesty infraction ("Court Backs Harvard in Plagiarism Challenge," Inside Higher Ed, October 25, 2016). In the court's opinion, it is mentioned that there were at least 23 occurrences of plagiarized material in the student's law journal work that provided a review of a patent case. The student was able to graduate although her transcript included a plagiarism notice, which seemed to prompt one law firm to cancel a job offer.

Discussion Questions:
  1. If you submit rough drafts with plagiarized material, should you face an academic integrity penalty? Why or why not? 
  2. Should only work you submit for a grade be reviewed for plagiarism? Why or why not?
  3. Once you are in graduate school, should the rules for academic integrity be more strict than rules for undergraduates? Why or why not?
  4. How can this student build back her reputation if her law school transcript includes a plagiarism note on it?

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