Sunday, November 15, 2009


What do you do when a student copies word for word from another source for a paper on integrity!?

Have we gotten to the point where earning high marks is more important than learning? Are we so afraid of not succeeding that we're willing to believe ourselves to be incapable rather than trying and possibly failing?

A friend said to me that she wants her children to go to medical school because, "You can't be a mediocre artist and put food on the table but
you can be a mediocre doctor and still have a job." I guess that was proven true this week.

This student is premed. Will she learn from the experience or will she try it again with a different teacher? I have no idea what her science skills are, and so have no idea if she'll be a mediocre or good doctor. Yet, at what point does someone say, "perhaps if this is so hard that you have to cheat, you're in the wrong place?"


  1. This is a deep problem of many drivers.. I firmly believe the behavior has to be addressed. I am assuming the student has not referenced the work from which she has been copying from.

    Could it be the student has no interest in learning the subject matter, but then why take the class?

    Regardless if he science skills are superior or mediocre, she will be a mediocre doctor. Integrity is part of the person, if she lacks integrity as a doctor, she might know the proper treatment, but instead suggest one that is more costly, or bring her more income and not necessarily in the best interest of the patient.

    A bad habit that starts with a slight angle off-tangent will eventually lead to a very different destination.

    Address it with her now, you might be saving a patient a bad diagnosis or unneeded operation. If she has a good heart, she will appreciate the advice, if she doesn't then she needs to be awakened.

  2. to follow up: I called her at home and re-explained the definition of plagiarism. She redid her paper and sent me a note thanking me for the chance to make it right.