Assignment +plagiarism = harsh punishment: Assignment + plagiarism = Teaching oppotunity

I really enjoyed today’s class discussion (11/6/2013) on plagiarism.  I definitely agree that some plagiarism punishments are very harsh. Don’t get me wrong, if a student copied pages from a book ,slap it on Microsoft word ,then submitted it to a professor they should be definitely punished. If a student however merely incorrectly cites something, taking a situation like that to student conduct is ignoring a learning opportunity. Teachers can use plagiarism incidents to teach classes about the specific rules of plagiarism.  In depth conversations about plagiarism and how not to plagiarize is often quickly brushed over in the class room and never really spoken about in depth. Sure there is a student conduct website with a long description of the plagiarism rules, but how many students read there college student code hand book. I bet most students have no idea where the student conduct building is on campus much less where to find the behavioral handbook online.  This year I unfortunately have seen some students whose entire semesters have been consumed and ruined by a plagiarism charge. I just wish there professors had taken the time to just genuinely talk to them and teach them how to not make the mistake again. I also think that harsh plagiarism punishment makes people nervous to write, which makes students dislike writing.

 

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