My English units taught me a lot in school, but if there was one lesson constantly drilled into our heads, no matter the topic, it was this: plagiarising was considered the deadliest of deadly sins. Trying to get away with directly copy-pasting even one paragraph of someone else’s work was a death sentence. Which is why I truly believe that whoever passed this blatantly plagiarised paper must have had nerves of steel.
Having first appeared on a Reddit thread, the photo displays what is supposed to be a student-written review of the film An Education. Above the text is a note from the professor stating: “This paper was directly lifted, word-for-word from https://www.theguardian.com/film/2009/nov/01/an-education-review. It’s a review written by Philip French, critic of the year.”
Next to it is a damning stamp of Gandalf’s famous words, “you shall not pass”, as well as the equally damning grade of 5.0. A 5.0 is, of course, the equivalent of 0 or a failing mark in the UP system — which was only well deserved in this case. You need only check the article itself to see that the text was literally copied and pasted then submitted. The student didn’t even have the decency to remove the permalink under ‘Lynn Barber’.
Still, several people on Reddit argue that this particular student was very lucky. One failing grade on a paper would still allow you to pass the class, and maybe even get good marks. Whereas the standard punishment others were familiar with was a class failure or a disciplinary hearing. In the worst case, plagiarism has been known to act as grounds for expulsion.
Do you think the punishment given to the student was fair?