-Katie Owens

Out of all the boring repetitive things that professors have to put into their syllabi as per the university, there is nothing I roll my eyes at more than the section on academic honesty. This is mostly in part to my philosophy that if you’re going to cheat, why the hell are you in college, because no one makes you come here. Then I remember that not everyone is an English major and that writing papers is hard for other people. I then also remember how easy is it is to plagiarize on accident. These are things that were talked about in the interview with Rebecca Moore Howard and Sandra Jamieson that we read.

A lot of the points that were brought up in the study regarding plagiarism are ones that don’t surprise me. The more I thought about my own history writing papers, it was easy to remember times when I simply looked for sources because I had to, by consulting indexes and contents. Rebecca and Sandra studied papers to find out more about the ways in which students use sources, as opposed to strictly finding copy and paste, no citation incidents. Quote mining was another example of something that I think every undergraduate is guilty of at some point or another.

The Citation Project and its findings reminds me of a lot of the readings we have done this years. The actual information is different put the end point turns out to be similar. What we are trying to learn as humanities majors is to take the ideas that are presented to us and combine and use them to meet our own realizations. Whether these realizations are about a particular text or human relationships in general, they are ones that shape our understanding of the world. The Citation Project relates to this is the fact that what they contend that students should be doing, instead of paraphrasing and taking direct quotes, is showing how the research that they have done is in conversation with one another. This conversation is what helps to gain a better understanding of whatever it is that the student is writing about.

Overall, I think that this interview and what they have to say about plagiarism and citations made me think more clearly about what it means to ‘cheat’ both intentionally and not. You really are only cheating yourself in the longer run. *wink nudge*

 

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