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Professor Gans is a Professor of Chemistry at NYU. Like all professors he has experience with students who plagiarize. Sometimes the plagiarists are particularly inept in their choice of papers to copy.

The case of the unfortunate plagiarist
by Paul J. Gans

I had a TA some years back who stormed into my office with a physical chemistry lab report in her hand. She said that the paper was totally plagiarized and that she wanted to give it an A.

Now I could believe the plagiarism part. There are many places on campus where a file of old papers and reports exist. But the "A"?

The answer was simple: She had written the original report as an undergraduate and had gotten a B. She'd always thought that it deserved an A and wanted to give it one.

I thought about it for a bit and told her to go ahead, but that she should attach an explanation to the report.

Two days later I had an abject student in my office, too embarrassed to say anything.


This page was last updated Jan 1, 2011.

Richard Harter's World
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