Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Dear plagiarist,

No.  No, I will not--cannot--reconsider. 

Considering that I explained many times, all semester, the difference between your work and someone else's, I do not believe that you didn't understand my policies on copying someone else's work and turning it in as your own. 

You fail the class. 

I understand that you feel you shouldn't fail the class.  I feel the same way. 

However.

You copied a medical journal article, and turned it in as your own.  That isn't accidental plagiarism that I can give you a zero on the paper for.  That is deliberate, that is against university policy, that is against departmental policy, and my hands are tied. 

You fail the class. 

There is nothing you can do about it.

There is nothing I can do about it, without getting fired.  I am not tenured faculty.  I am semester-by-semester, at-will, contract employed. 

No, excuses won't work.  No, plays for sympathy won't work.  No, sob stories won't work.  No, tears won't work.

I have an eight year old son, and a six year old daughter.  It doesn't work for them; it won't work for you. 

I cannot do anything other than follow university policy.  I am not tenured faculty.  I do not want to lose my job.

I will not hold this against you if you take my class next semester (but I will be a lot more wary of you doing it again, and check every one of your papers, line by line).  This semester will not affect your grade for the same class next semester.  The university doesn't expel white American students that do this until they show a pattern of behavior; they certainly won't expel you

No, I cannot give you a zero for the paper and a C for the course.  I cannot deviate from policy. 

I do not enjoy dealing with pleading students for fifteen minutes when there is literally nothing I can do, and no way for me to change things. 

You fail the class.  Be an adult.  Take it again next semester. 

Sincerely,

An adjunct.

6 comments:

  1. OH damn... NOT a fun time, but they broke the rules...

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  2. Gee, you mean that there isn't a "I promise to never do it again, and I admit nothing!" exception in the policy, nor even a "A teacher with a good heart won't get canned for allowing cheating in her classroom" exception?

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    Replies
    1. Nope. Neither.

      Thankfully, it's done with. And reported.

      Delete
  3. A couple of quote marks, a number and a footnote turns a class fail into a padded paper. Might knock the grade down for the minimal amount of original work, but its not a class fail.

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    Replies
    1. This got...handled. By higher. To wit: both plagiarists get to write a new paper.

      I'd already decided to do this, but being ordered to do it bugged me.

      Delete