Wednesday, June 22, 2005

"to live outside the law, you must be honest"

From my students, I get a lot of internet plagiarism -- mostly due to ignorance of proper methods of citation, I hasten to add (thus my hastening dash). Sometimes, however, I encounter premeditated theft of internet material.

One time, a student wrote his own introductory and concluding paragraphs, then inserted six paragraphs from Wikipedia and handed in the 'essay' as his own work. When I confronted him with the incontestable evidence of his plagiarism, he contested it anyway, claiming that the work was his own because he had written the introduction and conclusion before adding the long 'quote' in between as his 'research.' He wanted to maintain that his only error was in neglecting to add a footnote.

He had a point.

"Okay, add a footnote," I told him. "Then, you can get an honest F."


At 6:02 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Headline Footnote:

Bob Dylan, "Absolutely Sweet Marie," Blond on Blond (Nashville: Columbia Records, May 16, 1966) (

At 8:44 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I don't get many comments, and even fewer of this sort.

La Bona has a blog:


"DivineTalk ... got something to ask God?"

La Bona signs himself (yes, himself) as:

"Divine Representative, Chapter Planet Earth"

The first blog entry (June 16, 2005):

"I have been appointed by God (in my dream dated June 14th, 2005 Timed 01:00 AM EST) with effect from June 15th, 2005 as His official mouthpiece or if you like, I am His messenger, agent, representative, spokesman, secretary or just about any other civilized name you may think of ... It all means I am the link between the earthly and the heavenly."

That could prove useful for the conference in Singapore that I'll be attending. The earthly and the heavenly are directly relevant to both of my presentations.

"This first task God has asked me to accomplish is establish a basic communication link so that all His Children can talk to Him freely and directly. And here it is ... post anything here and I'd try to get God to response to you ASAP."

Tough job. You'll be busy.

This "DivineTalk" blog sounds tongue-in-cheek, but the abortion question sounds serious enough.

La Bona, I hope that you get people to respond. Unfortunately, I'm pretty busy these days.

Best Regards

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:02 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Gibber_17 suggests that I give the plagiarist another chance.

Well . . . that was about a year ago, so it's too late to change that.

But I did, in fact, give him another chance at the time. He had to rewrite and do extra research.

This part of the 'history,' however, doesn't make for an interesting 'story.'

At 4:15 PM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

You've hit the big time, Jeff: you're getting comment spam!


At 5:15 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Not only that, Big Ho, but I have cyborgs like you posting comments as well!

At 2:02 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Bill, I do -- after they've come to understand precisely what plagiarism means. A lot of Korean students just have no idea.

But with me . . . they learn.

At 4:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wikipedia 'absolutely sweet marie':

The song contains the phrase "To live outside the law you must be honest." Jonathan Lethem points to a very similar line in the 1958 film The Lineup: "When you live outside the law, you have to eliminate dishonesty" and that Dylan "heard it…, cleaned it up a little, and inserted it into" this song.[1]

dylan never used footnotes...

At 6:19 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Anonymous, thanks. I hadn't realized that Dylan plagiarized that line.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:57 PM, Blogger My Boy said...

Oh c'mon Horace. Saying Dylan plagiarized for paraphrasing a film quote is absurd. It's a great lyric, and the slight alteration makes it his own. If that's plagiarism, then what isn't?

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Re-read with an ear tuned to ironic humor.

By the way, I prefer "Jeffery."

Jeffery Hodges

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