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    Cliff Notes - CASE STUDY

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    Cliff Notes - CASE STUDY

    Post by Admin on Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:52 pm

    Cliff Notes

    Category: Academic ethics

    You are in tenth grade. Your school’s handbook prohibits “cheating, which includes plagiarism, academic dishonesty, copying the work of others, and other conduct that undermines the academic objective of the assignment.”

    A. Your English class is reading A Tale of Oedipus’ Scarlet Tempest, a long, difficult work of literature that has bored and puzzled generations of students.

    1.If the teacher does not say anything about the use of study aids, is it cheating to use Cliff Notes as long as you read the book as well?

    2.If the teacher does not say anything about the use of study aids, is it cheating to read Cliff Notes instead of reading the book?

    3.If the teacher specifically forbids the use of study aids, is it cheating to use Cliff Notes as long as you read the book as well?

    4.If the teacher specifically forbids the use of study aids, is it cheating to use Cliff Notes instead of the book?

    5.Should English teachers state that they prohibit the use of Cliff Notes and similar study aids, both in school and out of school? If so, how does the teacher respond when a student points out that the teacher was seen reading literary criticism in the library the day before teaching the novel?

    B. Assume your first paper on A Tale of Oedipus’ Scarlet Tempest is due next week. You must develop your own topic.

    “Write a piece of literary analysis; this is not a research paper,” the teacher said. Teacher has said nothing specific about the use of study aids. Without using Cliff Notes, you read the novel. You are proud of yourself for having identified water as a symbol of cleansing and rebirth. You prepare an outline and rough draft.

    Four days before the paper is due, you borrow a friend’s Cliff Notes. It contains a section on key symbols and themes, including “Water Symbolism.” You read it and realize that you made virtually all of the same points in your rough draft, but you believe the Cliff Notes analysis sounds more sophisticated. You tinker a bit with your rough draft and reword a few of your ideas, based on Cliff’s insights. You prepare a final draft and turn in your paper.

    1.Have you cheated if you cite Cliff Notes?

    2.Have you cheated if you do not cite Cliff Notes as a source?

    3.Assume the teacher is Brady Olson. He has been on the faculty since the Eisenhower administration.

    He reads your paper (cited or not, it doesn’t matter), and says, ‘This paper on water symbolism is right out of the Cliff Notes. It’s not acceptable.” What do you say? What should he do?

    Notes:

    Ethics across the Curriculum Workshop, Summer, 2000, University of San Diego

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    (c) Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE)

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