Plagiarism 19 October 2016

untitled-presentationThe power of denial runs so strong in some students and people, that I am baffled by it. When you turn in an essay that you took in its entirety from a web site, and the language is much more sophisticated than your usual work and you make reference to different readings that no one within a hundred miles has read, including your teacher, what do you expect to happen?

I’m all about second chances, but own it-what you did. Don’t come at me with:

“What?! But I wrote that. How could someone else have used my very same words?” or

“I only had a little help from some friends, but I wrote it myself.” or

“Well, yah, I checked out a couple of websites, but I wrote it myself.”

Just own it. Say something like,”I’m sorry. I panicked because I waiting until the last-minute to do the essay and I ran out of time. I did take it from X source, but at least I changed the order of the paragraphs.”

This way, we can have a conversation about integrity, honesty, and being trustworthy. But untitled-presentation-1when you still deny and wrap your whole body around the “I wrote it myself’ tree to save it, there is nothing I can do but let you have the grade you’ve earned. If you just own it, whatever it was, we can work through it and you can have a second chance to show me your own amazing thinking.

I don’t know what it is that drives us to defend our own “cheating” in whatever form it takes, but I do know it is much easier to own it, fess up, deal with the consequences, find forgiveness, hopefully healing, and move on with some shred of dignity to rebuild.

About Sally Gerard

I am a writer, runner, teacher, singer, guitar player, mom, lover, coffee drinker, hunter, antique tractor driver, horsewoman, sister, and lover of the outdoors. Did I mention that I love lighthouses?
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