The Punishable Perils of Plagiarism

As we've seen before (in a case in which a professor discovered a massive collective case of cheating), academic dishonesty is a serious and growing problem. What most cheaters don't always realize, however (especially those who engage in plagiarism), is the paradoxical nature of cheating: those who need to do it are usually not clever enough to know how to do it well enough to get away with it, and those who could get away with it are smart enough not to need to do it...

To paraphrase something I read in a fascinating article on anosognosia a couple of years ago: if you're too stupid to cheat, you're probably too stupid to know you're too stupid to cheat... The irony, of course, is that if you think you're clever enough to get away with it, you probably don't belong to the clever category...

Now, while the following video disavows the existence of our agency, those of us who, willingly or unwillingly, work for the Department of Plagiarism Investigation are familiar with lots of different versions and variations of cheating, and the disadvantage of any one cheater is that he/she is competing against the accumulated knowledge our agency has collected since its inception a long, long time ago...

Here is just a small sample of the many ways (both laughable and frustrating) in which students think they can get away with plagiarized work:



Of course, we can't divulge all the methods we have for catching instances of plagiarism, but even if you don't care about education itself or the value of honest work, it's still in your own self-interest not to cheat because if you get caught... well, let's not go there...
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