Plagiarism, Professional Writing Discovered in Summer Course

Several "unprecedented" cases of plagiarism and professional paper writing have cast a shadow over term papers written for English S-170b, largest course in the Summer School.

The offenders, if they are caught and positively identified, will be subject to immediate disciplinary action, according to Director Thomas E. Crooks '49. "If I can find the individuals involved," he stated, "they will be excluded from the course and forced to withdraw from the Summer School."

Such breakings of University rules have not occurred in previous summer sessions. Some members of English 170b used the Archives for research, and plagiarized large parts of Honors theses without giving acknowledgement. Other members paid to have papers written, probably by a single person.

In marking the term papers, the grader has noticed "certain similarities of style," thus reinforcing the possibility of a single writer. The individual involved has not been identified.

Lack of Experience

Crooks felt that "lack of experience in writing papers" may have caused students to plagiarize. To prevent such problems from arising in the future, Crooks suggested increased attention to individual students, possibly by limiting course enrollment. Owing to this inexperience, he also proposed greater care in acquainting students with course requirements.

Howard M. Jones, Abbott Lawrence Lowell Professor of English and lecturer in English 8-170b, has decided to count the papers only slightly in the final grade for the course.