Just why is plagiarism bad?
I saw this story on Yahoo just a day or two ago and I was surprised by what I think is the story’s message:
The point the author seems to make is that the quality of papers bought online is remarkably poor compared to what students expect. Is the most disturbing thing about buying papers online the idea that the papers themselves are not very good? Nowhere in the article does the author even hint at the concept of academic dishonesty and the ramifications of plagiarism as an academic ethics problem. The real danger, the author points out, is that if you buy papers online, you might get caught and get a bad grade. Even worse is the author left out anything more the instructor at Sarah Lawrence College had to say about the “awful��? paper. Would the instructor really be more mortified by a poorly written paper (yet still original) rather than by one that was plagiarized or simply bought online? Shouldn’t the author have really warned about the dangers of academic dishonesty and how it cheapens the very fabric of a college education? Pipe dreams, I guess. Yahoo is just the place where many students get their news and stories like this help perpetuate rather immature attitudes towards higher education. Unless the subtext of the story is simply meant to be understood that plagiarism is bad. But I’m afraid the author does a poor job of explaining why it’s bad.
Dear readers, what do you think?