Monday, March 17, 2008

Smirking Seth Vs. Plagiarizing Padraig.

Student: I want to speak to you about my grade.

Me: Ok, what's up?

Student: It's unfair for you to give me a zero for plagiarizing.

Me: How is that unfair?

Student: I didn't plagiarize.

Me: Yes, you did.

Student: No, I didn't.

Me: Yeah, you did. Show me...

Student: You say I plagiarized here *points to paper wherein I found a sentence taken from online*

Me: You didn't use quotation marks.

Student: It's not fair. It was an accident.

Me: It's perfectly fair. You didn't use quotation marks. That's plagiarism.

Student: No, it's not.

Me: Yes, it is. And you know the code, and all the rules, and you know it's plagiarism.

Student: But it was an accident.

Me: It's still plagiarism. It perfectly fits the definition of plagiarism.

Student: But I had the quotation marks in my draft. They were here *points to paper* and here *points to paper*

Me: But they aren't there now. That's plagiarism.

Student: But this grade is gonna hurt me.

Me: Then you should have been more careful not to plagiarize on an assignment about plagiarism.

Student: How can you stand there and smirk?

Me: How should I act? All concerned? *feigns concern* Aw, that's too bad. I'm really sorry you did that. *ends feigning, resumes uncomfortable smirk* I'm not sorry. You plagiarized and got a zero for doing it. You were taught not to do this and you did it anyway.

Student: But it's not fa....

Me: *interrupts* You know the code. We've gone over all the rules

Student: Can I talk?

Me: No, you've stated your case. And you have none. If you don't like your grade, file a grievance.

Student: I won't do that.

Me: Good. Because you won't win. You plagiarized.

Student: But you can see I cited the source. And I did it right everywhere else. You know it was an accident.

Me: People get arrested and fined for accidents all the time. If you have a traffic accident, your insurance still has to pay.

Student: It's not the same.

Me: Sure it is. It's a perfectly acceptable resemblance argument. We've spent the whole semester talking about the types of arguments. You should understand how they work.

Student: But I can't have a zero in my grades. With the other scores I have, I can't have this 3 weeks before the end of the semester.

Me: Then you shouldn't have plagiarized. We spent plenty of time going over the rules and how to avoid plagiarism.

Student: But it was an accident. It's not fair. *leaves room disgruntled*