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Plagiarism problems

Sargon
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8/14/2013 12:19:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
An opponent in one of my debates plagiarized virtually every thing he said. I am not interested in debating him anymore. Is it sufficient to point out plagiarism and leave it that, or do I have to rebutt copy and pasted paragraphs?
bladerunner060
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8/14/2013 1:09:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/14/2013 12:19:07 PM, Sargon wrote:
An opponent in one of my debates plagiarized virtually every thing he said. I am not interested in debating him anymore. Is it sufficient to point out plagiarism and leave it that, or do I have to rebutt copy and pasted paragraphs?

If you don't respond, you're leaving it open for voters to vote against you with valid RFDs for dropped points...whether plagiarism is sufficient is a fairly subjective standard.

Without seeing the debate, it's hard for me to give an opinion, but in general if it's truly all plagiarized, I know I award seven points (as you can't get sources for sourcing you didn't do, you can't get S&G for things you didn't write, arguments are forfeited and conduct is obvious). Others award points differently...I suppose it comes down to how certain you want to be that you'll win.
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lannan13
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8/14/2013 2:53:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/14/2013 12:19:07 PM, Sargon wrote:
An opponent in one of my debates plagiarized virtually every thing he said. I am not interested in debating him anymore. Is it sufficient to point out plagiarism and leave it that, or do I have to rebutt copy and pasted paragraphs?

Refute what he said but also point out that he plagerised in the debate and show Airmax1227.
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RoyLatham
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8/14/2013 3:43:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
You have to refute what was said. The arguments remain as arguments even though they are not original. Pointing out the plagiarism will get you the conduct point, that's all.

I think you'll find that people who plagiarize long arguments are incapable of defending them. Press your opponent on some important issues and also on some subtle points. Often, the plagiarizer will just forfeit rather tacitly admit he didn't understand what he copied.

If the quotation is acknowledged there is no harm in using your space to paste in arguments from others. It always sounds more impressive if you get some great person to say something trite rather than saying it yourself. But after the argument is in place, you then own it and have to defend it.
bladerunner060
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8/14/2013 3:53:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
And, for the record, I don't generally consider it to be plagiarism if it's cited. If it is essentially copied and pasted, I may still award conduct because you ARE supposed to make your OWN case, but if it's the debate I'm thinking it is, it was at least cited.
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F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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8/14/2013 3:57:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
You don't have to refute plagiarized information if you don't want to. Note that copy-pasting is not the same as plagiarizing. Plagiarizing involves presenting other's work as your own i.e. no citations. Just pointing out the plagiarism is enough to get you points for conduct, arguments, and sources.
Ragnar
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8/14/2013 4:25:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I believe in discounting information that's plagiarized, not to say things that were merely not properly cited, but the copy/paste without quotation marks.

But yeah, you still need to respond, even if to point to the error, and request they make an argument.
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wiploc
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8/14/2013 4:38:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
This
http://www.debate.org...
is a full forfeit: 7 points.

Your opponent never showed up to argue in his own words, and, while he did give citations indicating that he was getting ideas from WLC, he did not use quotation marks or block quotes to show that he was using WLC's words.
bladerunner060
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8/14/2013 4:50:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/14/2013 4:38:28 PM, wiploc wrote:
This
http://www.debate.org...
is a full forfeit: 7 points.

Your opponent never showed up to argue in his own words, and, while he did give citations indicating that he was getting ideas from WLC, he did not use quotation marks or block quotes to show that he was using WLC's words.

It is at least sort of cited. I'm a bit torn on it (that's the one I was referring to). Don't get me wrong, I'm tempted to just agree with you, but I'm trying to be as charitable as I can, and I have to admit that citations are present at least. Kinda.

I mostly want to see how it continues henceforth. A defense of poor conduct clarifies intent for me.
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Sargon
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8/14/2013 5:20:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/14/2013 4:50:06 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 8/14/2013 4:38:28 PM, wiploc wrote:
This
http://www.debate.org...
is a full forfeit: 7 points.

Your opponent never showed up to argue in his own words, and, while he did give citations indicating that he was getting ideas from WLC, he did not use quotation marks or block quotes to show that he was using WLC's words.

It is at least sort of cited. I'm a bit torn on it (that's the one I was referring to). Don't get me wrong, I'm tempted to just agree with you, but I'm trying to be as charitable as I can, and I have to admit that citations are present at least. Kinda.

I mostly want to see how it continues henceforth. A defense of poor conduct clarifies intent for me.

The intent can be proven. The text he copied and pasted from RF had reference numbers on it that corresponds to a reference page on the bottom. In order to have made his argument without the number seven or eight next to one of his paragraphs, he would have to erase the reference numbers from it. This proves that he copy and pasted the text, and then erased the reference numbers that were found on the source he was copying from.
Sargon
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8/14/2013 5:22:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/14/2013 4:38:28 PM, wiploc wrote:
This
http://www.debate.org...
is a full forfeit: 7 points.

Your opponent never showed up to argue in his own words, and, while he did give citations indicating that he was getting ideas from WLC, he did not use quotation marks or block quotes to show that he was using WLC's words.

The part that says 'Read more: [url]' wasn't even added by Con. It's an automatic feature with Dr. Craig's website.
bladerunner060
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8/14/2013 5:31:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/14/2013 5:20:44 PM, Sargon wrote:
At 8/14/2013 4:50:06 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 8/14/2013 4:38:28 PM, wiploc wrote:
This
http://www.debate.org...
is a full forfeit: 7 points.

Your opponent never showed up to argue in his own words, and, while he did give citations indicating that he was getting ideas from WLC, he did not use quotation marks or block quotes to show that he was using WLC's words.

It is at least sort of cited. I'm a bit torn on it (that's the one I was referring to). Don't get me wrong, I'm tempted to just agree with you, but I'm trying to be as charitable as I can, and I have to admit that citations are present at least. Kinda.

I mostly want to see how it continues henceforth. A defense of poor conduct clarifies intent for me.

The intent can be proven. The text he copied and pasted from RF had reference numbers on it that corresponds to a reference page on the bottom. In order to have made his argument without the number seven or eight next to one of his paragraphs, he would have to erase the reference numbers from it. This proves that he copy and pasted the text, and then erased the reference numbers that were found on the source he was copying from.

Oh, yeah, he definitely C/P'd. But was that stupidity or malice, I guess is the question.

It was sorta cited...if someone appropriately cited, with blockquotes and all, I don't think I'd necessarily consider it a forfeit, even if the whole thing was blockquotes and URLs. I'd consider it conduct and poor form, certainly, but I'm not sure it would necessarily warrant treating it as a forfeit. Of course, it's not really an issue since, usually, when people do this they give NO citation whatsoever. That's clear plagiarism, and a full forfeit.

Here, citations WERE given, though the formatting leaves much to be desired and it's certainly a conduct violation. So the question is (and this is a bit harshly phrased, but whaddayagonnado): is this a stupid person who is making a case with nothing but quotes and just also did a bad job formatting? Or is this a stupid person who thinks that they can steal others' work, and who so happened to give some sourcing?

THAT SAID, something about the way that "citation" was done pinged at me wrong, so I did a little experiment.

The information is pulled from reasonablefaith, which is coded as HTML5 (you can tell because of the pink highlighting of text...boilerplate FTW).

And when you paste from there?

It appends a "Read more: URL" to the end.

So now this person didn't even cite, no, the website did it for him as a way to PREVENT plagiarists like him. I wonder whether he even noticed.

That's sufficient to clarify intent for me, without hearing his own justifications of his behavior.

I'd do a 7 pointer as considering it a full forfeit.
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bladerunner060
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8/14/2013 5:32:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/14/2013 5:22:05 PM, Sargon wrote:
At 8/14/2013 4:38:28 PM, wiploc wrote:
This
http://www.debate.org...
is a full forfeit: 7 points.

Your opponent never showed up to argue in his own words, and, while he did give citations indicating that he was getting ideas from WLC, he did not use quotation marks or block quotes to show that he was using WLC's words.

The part that says 'Read more: [url]' wasn't even added by Con. It's an automatic feature with Dr. Craig's website.

Dang it Sargon! I was doing my little experiment and typing my reply when you WALTZ in here and say it already! Jerk...
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Sargon
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8/14/2013 6:02:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/14/2013 5:32:19 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 8/14/2013 5:22:05 PM, Sargon wrote:
At 8/14/2013 4:38:28 PM, wiploc wrote:
This
http://www.debate.org...
is a full forfeit: 7 points.

Your opponent never showed up to argue in his own words, and, while he did give citations indicating that he was getting ideas from WLC, he did not use quotation marks or block quotes to show that he was using WLC's words.

The part that says 'Read more: [url]' wasn't even added by Con. It's an automatic feature with Dr. Craig's website.

Dang it Sargon! I was doing my little experiment and typing my reply when you WALTZ in here and say it already! Jerk...

It's elementary, my dear Watson.
wiploc
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8/14/2013 11:35:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/14/2013 4:50:06 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 8/14/2013 4:38:28 PM, wiploc wrote:
This
http://www.debate.org...
is a full forfeit: 7 points.

Your opponent never showed up to argue in his own words, and, while he did give citations indicating that he was getting ideas from WLC, he did not use quotation marks or block quotes to show that he was using WLC's words.

It is at least sort of cited. I'm a bit torn on it (that's the one I was referring to). Don't get me wrong, I'm tempted to just agree with you, but I'm trying to be as charitable as I can, and I have to admit that citations are present at least. Kinda.

If you want to be charitable, you can focus on the fact that he said, "Read more at ..." and gave WLC's link. So he maybe wasn't trying to pass off WLC's words as his own. Possibly, he just didn't know how to present quoted material.

But he still didn't present a case; he forfeited the debate. So he loses conduct and persuasion at a minimum.

I mostly want to see how it continues henceforth. A defense of poor conduct clarifies intent for me.

Right, the important thing is that he learn from this. We want no repeats. If he defends instead of apologizing, then it's for sure a full forfeit.

I suggested to him that he ask his opponent to call this debate a tie so they can start over, so he can actually present his own case. But we don't have any idea of whether he actually has a case. He accepted a debate with no intention of debating himself. He may not have any intention of ever using his own words.
wiploc
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8/14/2013 11:40:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/14/2013 11:35:24 PM, wiploc wrote:
I suggested to him that he ask his opponent to call this debate a tie so they can start over, so he can actually present his own case. But we don't have any idea of whether he actually has a case. He accepted a debate with no intention of debating himself. He may not have any intention of ever using his own words.

In light of the new information that he didn't even provide citations, I wouldn't allow him a rematch if I were his opponent.
RoyLatham
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8/15/2013 12:33:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think people are thinking DDO is like school homework, where copying someone else's work is not only unethical, the work doesn't count at all because it's not yours. I think DDO is entirely about making valid arguments, and an argument can remain valid even if it is not original. It's plagiarism only if the source is not cited. That's the conduct point. But good arguments ought to prevail over bad ones even if they are not original. Heavy plagiarism is rarely successful because the person who copied them usually doesn't understand them, but they might be successfully defended.

If arguments are only valid if they are completely original, what are we supposed to do with repetitious religious debates? The cosmological argument has been repeated a hundred times. Paraphrasing it slightly differently doesn't add or subtract anything from the argument itself. It should be about the arguments, not their origins.
bladerunner060
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8/15/2013 12:36:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/15/2013 12:33:20 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
I think people are thinking DDO is like school homework, where copying someone else's work is not only unethical, the work doesn't count at all because it's not yours. I think DDO is entirely about making valid arguments, and an argument can remain valid even if it is not original. It's plagiarism only if the source is not cited. That's the conduct point. But good arguments ought to prevail over bad ones even if they are not original. Heavy plagiarism is rarely successful because the person who copied them usually doesn't understand them, but they might be successfully defended.

If arguments are only valid if they are completely original, what are we supposed to do with repetitious religious debates? The cosmological argument has been repeated a hundred times. Paraphrasing it slightly differently doesn't add or subtract anything from the argument itself. It should be about the arguments, not their origins.

If the argument is truly stolen, though, I think that's conduct unethical and bad enough so as to impact the other points.

If this had been just crappy sourcing, it would be different, but we've established that even the "sourcing" is simply an aspect of the plagiarism.
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RoyLatham
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8/15/2013 12:58:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/15/2013 12:36:55 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
If the argument is truly stolen, though, I think that's conduct unethical and bad enough so as to impact the other points.

If this had been just crappy sourcing, it would be different, but we've established that even the "sourcing" is simply an aspect of the plagiarism.

You are free to vote as you wish, of course. But suppose, for example, that the resolution is that some theorem of math is true. The original proof may have dated back to the Greeks. So would you disallow a proof that was true on the grounds that it has been done exactly that way before? I would say that the resolution is affirmed because it is proved true. Originality justifiable counts for a lot in a school assignment, but I don't think it can affect whether a resolution is correctly affirmed or not. If a debater can recognize a valid argument, that's good enough for the proof. Failing to cite it's origins is only the conduct point.
bladerunner060
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8/15/2013 1:03:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/15/2013 12:58:29 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 8/15/2013 12:36:55 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
If the argument is truly stolen, though, I think that's conduct unethical and bad enough so as to impact the other points.

If this had been just crappy sourcing, it would be different, but we've established that even the "sourcing" is simply an aspect of the plagiarism.

You are free to vote as you wish, of course. But suppose, for example, that the resolution is that some theorem of math is true. The original proof may have dated back to the Greeks. So would you disallow a proof that was true on the grounds that it has been done exactly that way before? I would say that the resolution is affirmed because it is proved true. Originality justifiable counts for a lot in a school assignment, but I don't think it can affect whether a resolution is correctly affirmed or not. If a debater can recognize a valid argument, that's good enough for the proof. Failing to cite it's origins is only the conduct point.

You disregard text added as an image to go over the character limit, right?

As a violation of conduct, you ignore the added arguments. In the case of true plagiarism, I ignore the argument the same way I would if it was added as an image way over the character limit, for the same kind of conduct-based reason.

Math theorems are different: they're supposed to be formulaic, and honestly I'm not entirely confident enough on high-level math to draw a line, though the text would be separate from the formulas.
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ClassicRobert
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8/15/2013 6:33:54 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
If a person plagiarizes and basically copy/pastes, they lose conduct and arguments. After all, they didn't make the arguments, so why should they get those points?
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royalpaladin
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8/15/2013 6:43:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/14/2013 12:19:07 PM, Sargon wrote:
An opponent in one of my debates plagiarized virtually every thing he said. I am not interested in debating him anymore. Is it sufficient to point out plagiarism and leave it that, or do I have to rebutt copy and pasted paragraphs?

Plagiarism is cheating. Just point it out (and prove it with evidence) and then you will win.
RoyLatham
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8/15/2013 10:57:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/15/2013 1:03:55 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:

You disregard text added as an image to go over the character limit, right?

Yes, the extra characters are ignored.

As a violation of conduct, you ignore the added arguments. In the case of true plagiarism, I ignore the argument the same way I would if it was added as an image way over the character limit, for the same kind of conduct-based reason.

Yes.

Math theorems are different: they're supposed to be formulaic, and honestly I'm not entirely confident enough on high-level math to draw a line, though the text would be separate from the formulas.

In a school assignment, the purpose is to test the students ability to do the work. Is that the purpose of a DDO debate? I don't think so. I think the purpose of the arguments is to determine the truth of the resolution, and if arguments prove it true then they are true, end of story.

Math is formulaic, but many philosophical questions have been around for more than 2000 years, with the same arguments used today. If someone has expressed the argument extremely well, I don't see any point in paraphrasing it. The reason the source should be acknowledged is so the context can be checked as well as to give credit to the author. For example, maybe the author went on to point out some flaw in the argument.

People seem to believe that a big advantage to copying arguments. Copying a long argument tells me that the debater really doesn't understand the subject. Poke him a little and he will deflate. In real life, people are fond of reciting talking points on subjects they don't understand. It's good to get used to deflating them.
wiploc
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8/15/2013 11:48:35 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/15/2013 10:57:13 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 8/15/2013 1:03:55 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:

You disregard text added as an image to go over the character limit, right?

Yes, the extra characters are ignored.

In fact, the whole image is ignored. I'm not going to count the characters in an image in order figure out where I'm supposed to start ignoring them. The image is an a cheat; the image is ignored.

In a school assignment, the purpose is to test the students ability to do the work. Is that the purpose of a DDO debate?

Yes, a debate is about which of two DDO members argues better in that particular debate.

I don't think so. I think the purpose of the arguments is to determine the truth of the resolution,

No, if you vote on the truth of the resolution, you are ignoring the debaters' performances. You are supposed to debate on which one of them debates better, not on whether the resolution is true.

and if arguments prove it true then they are true, end of story.

If you went to Carnegie Hall to see a local prodigy play, would you be satisfied if he just played a record of Yo Yo Ma?

Math is formulaic, but many philosophical questions have been around for more than 2000 years, with the same arguments used today. If someone has expressed the argument extremely well, I don't see any point in paraphrasing it.

"Resolved: William Lane Craig's Kalam Cosmological Argument is sound." If you do something like that, you can quote him a lot. But you still have to show up.

The reason the source should be acknowledged is so the context can be checked as well as to give credit to the author.

My impression is that DDO is, to a significant extent, a hangout for high school and college debaters who want to learn how to do it. Part of our job, then, is to teach them how not to get flunked or expelled or fired for plagiarism.

It's no big deal to lose one DDO debate because you plagiarized. Meatworld is different. The economic, social, and character consequences can be severe. We'll be hurting people if we let them think plagiarism is a minor boo boo, something you can get by with, even if you have to occasionally apologize for it or defend it by getting huffy at your accuser.

The only reasonable response to getting caught plagiarizing is to never do it again. As responsible members of society, that is the response we have to shoot for.
wiploc
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8/15/2013 11:56:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
We can be gentle with plagiarists, offering to show them how to identify and give credit for quoted text. But there should be no give in our position that plagiarism is unacceptable.
RoyLatham
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8/15/2013 12:34:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/15/2013 11:48:35 AM, wiploc wrote:
In a school assignment, the purpose is to test the students ability to do the work. Is that the purpose of a DDO debate?

Yes, a debate is about which of two DDO members argues better in that particular debate.


I don't think so. I think the purpose of the arguments is to determine the truth of the resolution,

No, if you vote on the truth of the resolution, you are ignoring the debaters' performances. You are supposed to debate on which one of them debates better, not on whether the resolution is true.


and if arguments prove it true then they are true, end of story.

It's proof in the context of the debate. If Pro has the burden of proof and he doesn't produce the evidence of truth in the debate, then he loses even though the resolution is true.

Suppose the resolution is "0.999... = 1." Then I go to a standard math textbook and copy the proof, saying "The proof is [ref] ..." Are you saying that I am required to somehow paraphrase "x = 0.999...; 10x = 9.999...; 9x = 9; x = 1." How? Why should I be required to do that? I think it is much better to quote the standard text, because the text has authority that the proof is correct.

The same goes for many classic philosophical arguments. Nothing gained by me paraphrasing Jefferson on the existence of a right of self-defense. I must then defend the argument, of course.

My impression is that DDO is, to a significant extent, a hangout for high school and college debaters who want to learn how to do it. Part of our job, then, is to teach them how not to get flunked or expelled or fired for plagiarism.

It's no big deal to lose one DDO debate because you plagiarized.

There is an active industry selling canned research, quotations, and arguments to school debaters. There are penalties for copying without acknowledgement, and that's the way it should be. But debaters sometimes do little but string together canned material. That usually fails, because the strategy doesn't respond to counter arguments. The lesson is that most of the time copying really doesn't accomplish much.

Meatworld is different. The economic, social, and character consequences can be severe. We'll be hurting people if we let them think plagiarism is a minor boo boo, something you can get by with, even if you have to occasionally apologize for it or defend it by getting huffy at your accuser.

Plagiarism that is acknowledged is research -- an old joke. If you research a topic and find something helpful in your job, that is highly regarded. The reward is for getting the job done, not for being individually creative. Of course, research doesn't solve every problem, so creativity is rewarded in cases where you solve things on your own.

I assigned a software guy to make a computer animation of ocean waves. He got a book that described the dynamics and programmed it. It worked great. He told me that's what he did. Do you think I should have warned him not to plagiarize? Of course not, he did exactly the right thing.

The only reasonable response to getting caught plagiarizing is to never do it again. As responsible members of society, that is the response we have to shoot for.

The error is not acknowledging. Maybe the rules should be that conduct counts for seven points, but it doesn't. It's one point.
wiploc
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8/15/2013 2:04:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/15/2013 12:34:27 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 8/15/2013 11:48:35 AM, wiploc wrote:
Suppose the resolution is "0.999... = 1." Then I go to a standard math textbook and copy the proof, saying "The proof is [ref] ..." Are you saying that I am required to somehow paraphrase "x = 0.999...; 10x = 9.999...; 9x = 9; x = 1." How? Why should I be required to do that? I think it is much better to quote the standard text, because the text has authority that the proof is correct.

When you say, "The proof is ..." you have shown up. You have offered your opinion. You have taken a stance. If you only quote the material, without taking a position on whether it is right, then you have failed.

I don't know that we even have a disagreement here.

The same goes for many classic philosophical arguments. Nothing gained by me paraphrasing Jefferson on the existence of a right of self-defense. I must then defend the argument, of course.

If you quote Jefferson and then defend the argument, you've done well.

There is an active industry selling canned research, quotations, and arguments to school debaters. There are penalties for copying without acknowledgement, and that's the way it should be. But debaters sometimes do little but string together canned material. That usually fails, because the strategy doesn't respond to counter arguments. The lesson is that most of the time copying really doesn't accomplish much.

Good point.

Meatworld is different. The economic, social, and character consequences can be severe. We'll be hurting people if we let them think plagiarism is a minor boo boo, something you can get by with, even if you have to occasionally apologize for it or defend it by getting huffy at your accuser.

Plagiarism that is acknowledged is research -- an old joke. If you research a topic and find something helpful in your job, that is highly regarded. The reward is for getting the job done, not for being individually creative. Of course, research doesn't solve every problem, so creativity is rewarded in cases where you solve things on your own.

I've got no problem with that.

I assigned a software guy to make a computer animation of ocean waves. He got a book that described the dynamics and programmed it. It worked great. He told me that's what he did. Do you think I should have warned him not to plagiarize? Of course not, he did exactly the right thing.

Good story. I agree.