Monday, December 13, 2010


For people like me who teach at the college level, plagiarism is a common topic of discourse.  In the case of most of my students, they commit plagiarism because they have not yet learned difficult language skills such as paraphrase and summary.  For that reason, most of the time I see plagiarism as a teaching opportunity.  But there are of course, a few people who know what plagiarism is and do it anyway.

Today I happened to be searching the Internet while preparing an activity for my ESL students and ran across a book, called English for College Learners.  This book appears to have been copied practically verbatim from another book called Refining Composition Skills.  Only a few of the exercises (which depend on a video) appear to be missing.  I am very familiar with Refining Composition Skills because I have used it multiple times as a text in ESL classes I have taught.  You can use the links in this sentence to compare the table of contents from English for College Learners to the table of contents of Refining Composition Skills.  As you can see, it appears that only the video activities have been removed.

The ultimate irony: Refining Composition Skills includes an activity teaching students about a legal case dealing with plagiarism and the consequences with intent to educate students not to plagiarize.  This, of course, was one of the activities that has been removed in English for College Learners.

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