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What Plagiarism Looks Like

It makes it really difficult to have conversations with students about plagiarism when we know about incidents such as this one in which Jacksonville State University President William Meehan’s dissertation was found to have the highlighted passages copied directly from Carl Boening’s dissertation (and supposedly more that was not verbatim). Both received their doctoral degrees from University of Alabama, and to date, investigations of this were dropped when JSU spokesperson said “there was no substance to the accusations.” Apparently, someone else thinks there is substance to the charge and posted the What Plagiarism Looks Like website, which includes this image as well as the full text of both Meehan’s and Boeing’s dissertations as pdf files. To think I was giving students zero grades on papers for plagiarizing while Meehan was given a PhD and a presidency.

For more on the issue, see also The Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog and Michael Leddy’s blog Orange Crate Art.

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