Senator’s Thesis Turns Out to Be Remix of Others’ Works, Uncited

7.26.14. NYT follow-up. First thought: if he’s “100% disabled” (see linked Bozeman article) then what’s he doing out there making laws?

Second: since when is a master’s thesis 14 pages long? That’s a term paper. And he can’t write even 14 pages himself?

“An examination of the final paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution.”

NYT

Do you discuss notorious plagiarism cases like this with your students? Do they lead you to reexamine the concept of plagiarism in your pedagogy?

Also:

“The sources of the material he presents as his own include academic papers, policy journal essays and books that are almost all available online.”

Do you find that the exclusive use of online sources favors plagiarism? Are you able to guide students away from mindless cutting-and-pasting by insisting that they incorporate some paper sources and do research in the library?

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About caesarc2019

Cheryl Caesar lived in Paris, Tuscany and Sligo for 25 years; she earned her doctorate in comparative literature at the Sorbonne and taught literature and phonetics. She now teaches writing at Michigan State University. She gives readings locally and has published poems in Writers Resist and The Mark Literary Review; and Poetry Leaves, The Trinity Review, The Mojave River Review and Total Eclipse (forthcoming).
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