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Tulane Honors Program

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

This is your brain on plagiarism.

Just don't do it! The Chronicle of Higher Ed reports on three cases of plagiarism. My favorite comes from a Harvard student who was found to have used text from another novel. The author of the Chronicle's news brief has a deft touch in reporting the author's (and agent's) response:



Meanwhile, the Harvard University sophomore accused of lifting material for her debut novel from a 2001 novel, apologized on Monday, and her publisher said it was investigating, The Boston Globe reported. The student’s euphemistic explanation: “I may have internalized” words from the other novel, and “any phrasing similarities” were “completely unintentional and unconscious.”


Her agent even topped that: “As a former teenager myself, I recall that spongelike ability to take popular culture and incorporate it into your own lexicon.”


Moral of the story? Don't plagiarize! Ever. It will not only cost you that class, it will also keep you from law school or med school, and make you the topic of humor on obscure academic blogs.

Update:
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