The Czar of Plagiarism Speaks

One of my less glorious roles in life is to be the Czar of Plagiarism in the Honors College—technically what is known as the First Hearing Officer.  This isn’t a large part of what I do, since in an Honors College we have, well, honor. But it’s important to follow through on the isolated cases of academic dishonesty that we do see.  It’s nothing I would talk much about normally…but then this isn’t a normal year.

So when Melania Trump cribbed a paragraph of her speech at the Republican National Convention, suddenly the whole world began to talk about plagiarism. This led to my sudden appearance on KHOU News:

I’m hoping at least this discussion will have a good effect on entering freshmen this fall. It really pays to do your own writing, particularly when you are talking about the values you learned as a child, how your word is your bond, etc.  On the other hand, I fear some students will take this example the other way, and think plagiarism has no consequences. Come to think of it, I better get ready for a busy year…

About richarda18

Associate Professor of Classical Studies The Honors College at the University of Houston
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