Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Woes Not Over For Harvard Plagiarist

Our little cheater at Harvard -- and no, I feel no obligation to be understanding to a 19 year old who took a $500,000 advance for two books and copied dozens of passages from other chick lit books -- is in more trouble. Now some passages she cribbed from another author have cropped up. This time she ripped off Sophie Kinsella, another very well-known YA author. [YA stands for Young Adult.]
In one scene in [Kinsella's] "Can You Keep a Secret," which was published by Dial Press, the main character, Emma, comes upon two friends "in a full-scale argument about animal rights," and one says, "The mink like being made into coats." In Viswanathan's book, Opal encounters two girls having "a full-fledged debate over animal rights." "The foxes want to be made into scarves," one of them says.
In one way, I find this the most damning example of all. Why? Because the Harvard cheater's version makes absolutely no sense. Foxes want to be made into scarves? She clearly copied the passage and tried to change the comparison to make it her own. But it makes absolutely no sense. Gosh it's hard to cheat.

1 comment:

Ed Sikov said...

The thing that gets me is that colleges drum into their students the fact that plagiarism is such a serious offense that it's grounds for expulsion. And yet every time a college student plagiarizes, they come up with some excuse for it. "I didn't know that was plagiarism," is of course the most common one. The fact that the student has cut and pasted from an internet source is generally not a cue to that student that he or she is plagiarizing, in that case by literally using the "copy" command. Grrrr.

Sign me, Disgusted Visiting Professor in NYC