The American people and some of the rest of the world met Melania Trump in Cleveland. We are getting a first glimpse of a potential first lady and, by extension, her spouse. And who did we see? A plagiarist? Or a liar?
[Read below, or on Huffington Post]
Rand Paul plagiarized, as did Fareed Zakaria, and Doris Kearns Goodwin, as have done some of my students and probably yours. Maybe you plagiarized, too. Survey statistics suggest that up to three-quarters of college students plagiarize, whatever that means to them.
But what is especially noteworthy in this week’s case, after a series of reports of Paul’s using others’ work as his own, is his response: “I will now footnote everything, just like in college.”
This is a signal. It signals that he will comply with the fussy norms of academic citation—but only because we are making him do it. He is exaggerating the expectation, in a kind of lampoon.
Read on....or read it on Huffington Post.
[Originally published in China Daily, November 9, 2012]
If the goal of scholarship is to get published, rather than to contribute in a meaningful and substantial way to the growth of knowledge, then any method is acceptable. Academic life is not usually so lucrative that people enter it to get wealthy. Usually people have some drive to know and learn.
Until this has been accomplished in China through a combination of structural and cultural changes, the fight against misconduct and corruption will remain with us.
We can keep calling for morality, but just as arguments to share the ball don’t make any sense in football, the stakes of the education game compel students and faculty and administrators to compete win in the perceived zero-sum game.
Also published in Huffington Post
You have probably heard that a teaching assistant grading final exams in a large Harvard class noticed suspicious similarities among the responses. That assistant notified authorities, and now a full-fledged investigation is underway—scrutinized by public attention. As someone who has studied college cheating and plagiarism, I find this case, like so many before and yet to come, provocative. Here are some of the things I wish to say about it.