Friday, April 13, 2012

Note to an Underegraduate Student

Dear Undergraduate Student,

I realize that you're not pursuing a career in philosophy, and that you're most likely taking a philosophy course simply because it fulfills some curricular requirement and my course in particular fit in well with the rest of your schedule. (The circumstances through which I came to teach the course you're in are not much different.)

But the fact that you're not planning to go into philosophy as a career is no excuse for cheating. Moreover, you should know that the fact that the internet makes cheating relatively easy means that it also makes cheating-detection even easier. The sentence containing a pithy aside about a figure/idea that we hadn't discussed in class simply was put into Google, and the source from which you plagiarized came up as the first hit. Good job.

Sincerely,
Spiros

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Students don't seem to realize the point about how easy detection is with the internet. It's a simple enough inference.

Underegraduate Student said...

Dear Spiros

Are you sure you should be publishing your plagiarism allegations against me on the internet?

Sincerely,
Undergraduate Student

Anonymous said...

Dear Undergraduate Student,

The internet's second most important function, after porn, is to allow professors to share stories of clueless undergrads. And laugh.

Sincerely,
Go Fuck Yourself, That's Who

Underegraduate Student said...

Dear Go Fuck Yourself, That's Who

I thought the internet's 2nd most important function, after porn, was to allow give obnoxious blowhards a safe place to sound off.

Sincerely,

Undergraduate Student

Anonymous said...

I don't care much myself for watching porn on the internet.

CTS said...

I'm not entirely sure what the previous comments are after/about, but I do have thoughts about the OP.

First, I am ... conflicted about giving the likely-cheater a heads up. Why? Because s/he will try harder to avoid detection. But, I also think it is preferable to scare students off cheating than to wait to pounce on them when they do.

Second, while I understand that the 'just for a credit' students are more likely to cheat [in phil class] than others, I'm concerned that they are the ones directly addressed in the 'memo.' I'm assuming this memo would be circulated - imaginatively - at the start of a course. But, then, we are insulting many students who do not deserve to be insulted.