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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Plagiarism

A well-known author in the poetry world plagiarized parts of her memoir from Wikipedia. It’s a very blatant thing, as you’ll see if you look at the copy-pasted passages. Even my freshmen know that, of all the sources to plagiarize, cribbing from Wikipedia is just too pathetic. I haven’t seen a student plagiarize Wikipedia for almost a decade.

But what’s really stunning is how many people support the plagiarist saying that it’s not a bit deal, it’s just a few quotes she lifted, she’s a good person overall, and why are people nitpicking over such small stuff. The author herself is saying that, with all the serious stuff going on in the world,why would anybody care about any of this. 

The whole thing is bizarre. 

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11 thoughts on “Plagiarism

  1. Anonymous on said:

    Strange. The thought that immediately comes to my mind is that perhaps she wrote the Wikipedia entry and asked someone else to post it there. If so, that would be a violation of Wikipedia policies, but not actually plagiarism.


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    • Jonathan Mayhew on said:

      Unlikely for several reasons… She copied from several Wikipedia articles, not one, and from other internet sites like the Poetry Foundation. It is inexplicable why anyone would put up material that they want to publish in a memoir, of all things, anonymously in the college freshman’s site of first resort. A memoir is supposed to be personal, after all. When she defended herself she did not claim authorship of those wikis either, or claim that they were written after the publication of her book and plagiarized her. If that were true I’m sure it could be proven… And it would still be plagiarism because she would not be acknowledging her source and the relation between the two texts would thus not be transparent to the reader. Her defense was that she slipped up in a few, very minor ways and that future editions will correct those mistakes.

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  2. David Bellamy on said:

    Sorry. The previous comment was from me. I am using a new computer and forgot to enter my information.

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  3. Can I drop a self-promotion link?
    A microfiction of mine (under a different pseudonym) is up and you might find it amusing.

    http://fiftywordstories.com/2017/10/06/maura-yzmore-wayward-willie/

    If yes, please click “like”on the site; it will help it have a chance to be the story of the week (stories of the week are in the running for story of the month, and those for story of the year…) Also, share if so inclined.

    Many thanks!

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  4. Shakti on said:

    ¯_(ツ)_/¯
    Honesty, originality and competence are quite out of fashion and what matters more than the message is the messenger.

    Rest assured she applies those high standards to the works coming across her desk, not to her own work.

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  5. In my opinion, honesty, originality and competence are quite out of fashion and what matters more than the message is the messenger.

    Further, I think we can rest assured she applies those high standards to the works coming across her desk, not to her own work, in my very original opinion.

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  6. Nothing under the sun is all that original, but one should still, at least, try to improvise a bit—at least put their own spin on something, even if it’s something from an outside source.

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