We are constantly being told plagiarism is a serious crime, however Kenneth Goldsmith would argue that it is not. This week’s on the media podcast on plagiarism grasped my attention in that it provided me with information that I think no college student would disagree with. An interesting point that Goldsmith mentioned was that all students does what he calls “patch writing” which is taking several sources and stringing them together, but as you string them together you change words to make it more “unique” but it is always done on the down-low. I would argue that this is very true. Now you might think I’m crazy for agreeing that plagiarism is not illegal, but Goldsmith makes a completely valid argument stating “there is so much information out there, so why add more?” The plagiarist who teaches at Princeton and UPenn allows his students to purchase a term paper from an online essay source and sign off that they wrote the paper and must present the term paper to the class as though they were the ones who wrote it. His emphasis on “uncreative writing” lets students take what is already out there and discontinue to add “new” information into a certain area of interest. Goldsmith states that plagiarism in itself is a “generational challenge” and that it is okay to use this tool from time to time. Again, I agree with Goldsmith. Plagiarism is something that has never affected me throughout my educational career, but this has opened my eyes into thinking differently. But if we look closely at the lessons Goldsmith is teaching his students, perhaps he is showing his students subconsciously that plagiarism is bad. If you think about it trying to pull off someone else’s work as your own could prove to be very difficult if you haven’t fully analyzed and remembered every statement in the paper.
Plagiarism, yay or nay?