More updates from the War on Cheating. Poor Blair Hornstine - her name doesn't come up just in articles about litigation-happy students, but also in articles about plagiarists:
Eric Wellington, dean of business and computer information systems at Delaware County Community College in Marple, agrees that plagiarism has long been a plague of the academic community. "I donít think it is anything new. I think itís easier to do it because of technology. Itís easy to go to a Web site and copy and paste," said Wellington.
Last year New Jersey teenager Blair Hornstine, who drew national attention when she successfully sued to be the sole valedictorian at Moorestown High School, testified to just that fact. Hornstineís admission to Harvard University was revoked after it was discovered she had plagiarized the writings of several sources including President Bill Clinton in student columns she had written for the The Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, N.J.
In an explanation printed in The Courier-Post June 3, 2003, Hornstine said she did not properly attribute her sources because she was not a professional journalist.
"When finalizing my thoughts, I, like most every teenager who has use of a computer, cut and pasted my ideas together. I erroneously thought the way I had submitted the articles was appropriate," she wrote...
In a plagiarism survey conducted in 2003 on 23 campuses across the country, 38 percent of students said they had engaged in one or more instances of "cut-and-paste" plagiarism using the Internet in one year, including paraphrasing or copying a few sentences of material from the Internet without citing the source...
In a similar survey in 2001, 10 percent of students or 28 percent less than in 2003, said they engaged in "cut-and-paste" plagiarism using the Internet. The 2003 survey also showed that 44 percent of the students considered such plagiarism trivial or not cheating at all.
Emphasis mine. I'm glad the universities are doing all they can, but if these kids are reaching college age without ever learning that plagiarism is wrong, something is wrong with the K-12 system, too. Hey, maybe everyone should have to write a book in fourth grade. Once they see the hard work that goes into writing, and once they realize how mad they'd be if someone stole their words, perhaps they'll be less likely to pilfer the works of others.Posted by kswygert at August 10, 2004 10:05 AM