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Othello and Race

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Othello and Race

Plagiarism

It was a Thursday, the school’s basketball team had its biggest game of the year. Earlier that day the English teacher gave the class a two page paper due the next day and Dan didn’t know what he was going to do. He didn’t have anytime to do it before the game because of a pep rally after school, so he figured he would do it later on that night after the game. Dan arrived at his house at about 10:30 p.m. after his game and didn’t really feel like doing anything, but he realized he had to write a paper for the next day. So Dan started to write his paper, when he had about a page done, he went on the internet to look up some facts about Edgar Allen Poe and he copied and pasted them to his paper. There, done just like that, little did he know that his future would change after plagiarizing that tiny effortless paper. This is happening in high schools and colleges today, and as a result plagiarism is a crucial topic that many schools are cracking down on, such as the University of Connecticut. UConn has created the “University of Connecticut’s Freshman English Plagiarism Policy” to help incoming freshman learn about plagiarism and to not do it. However, UConn’s Freshman English Plagiarism Policy is too harsh for first time offenders. It’s also not fair to the students, so there should be revisions made to it to make it better.

Plagiarism has been clearly defined in the University of Connecticut’s Freshman English Plagiarism Policy. The University of Connecticut’s Freshman English Plagiarism Policy states that “plagiarism is the theft of another’s ideas, specific language, or other media, and the presentation, for the purpose of evaluation, of that material as one’s own, at any stage of this writing process.” It also states that plagiarism can occur while you’re writing a journal entry, drafts of a paper, or the final submission of a paper. The University of Connecticut’s Freshman English Plagiarism Policy gives several scenarios for plagiarism, which is good because people sometimes don’t know they are plagiarizing when they really are. Some of the examples include cutting and pasting from the internet, consulting the internet to get ideas, put others work into your own words without giving credit to the person the information was taken from (a.k.a. paraphrasing), submitting a paper that was written by someone else, or submitting a paper that has been written for another course. These examples of plagiarism give people a good definition of what constitutes plagiarism.

The definition of plagiarism is clear, as are the penalties. If students read the University of Connecticut’s Freshman English Plagiarism Policy they will clearly understand the penalties and policies about what will happen if they get caught plagiarizing. It states in big bold letters, “Any student who commits plagiarism will receive a grade of “F” for the course in which he or she has committed the act.” However, this penalty is too steep for several reasons. If students get caught plagiarizing they should get into a lot of trouble, but they shouldn’t automatically fail the class. If you get caught plagiarizing your name is kept in a permanent record for students who have committed plagiarism.

The University of Connecticut’s Freshman English Plagiarism Policy is not fair when it comes to the plagiarism policy. But, the misuse of sources section in the plagiarism policy is fair. The misuse of sources is extremely less severe then plagiarism. Plagiarism is the “theft” of someone else’s ideas, while the misuse of sources is the failure to acknowledge the source of an idea. Examples of the misuse of sources would be when someone just cites something wrong or forgets to cite something in their paper. If a student fails to use a source right, the severity of his penalty will depend on the instructor’s assessment of the problem.

On the other hand, The University of Connecticut’s Freshman English Plagiarism Policy is not fair. My biggest concern is that if a student gets caught plagiarizing, they will get an automatic “F” for the whole course. I think that if a student gets caught plagiarizing, and they knew what they were doing, then they should get an “F” for that assignment and have to write the paper over again with only the teacher present. Students shouldn’t get penalized for plagiarizing if they didn’t do it because plagiarizing is the worst action that someone can do while writing a paper, and if someone gets caught they could get thrown out of school. If a student gets thrown out of school for any reason, especially plagiarism, that student will have trouble finding an education elsewhere which could ruin their entire life.

Finally, the last revision I would make to the University

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