In my last post, I re-blogged Microsoft Word Gets a Plagiarism Checker — Plagiarism Today. When I first start college a long time ago, there were no plagiarism checkers. The professors could check the various articles you cited. However, many of them knew your work well enough they could spot when you tried to pull a fast one and plagiarize something without actually citing the article. They were used to your style of writing and if a student started going outside their style in ways that didn’t fit the student’s writing style, that was a clue to the professor to do some digging.
Can’t say about today, but colleges and universities tended to have academic honesty requirements where you agreed not to plagiarize, cheat, or do other things that were violations of the school’s code of conduct. That didn’t mean everyone followed the rules, but if you chose to be academically dishonest, you would get a grade that indicated you had violated the school’s academic honesty policy. Back then, parents tended to support the schools a lot more than parents do today. I know people who would support their children over the school even when they knew their children were in the wrong.
My parents would support the school if my siblings or I were in the wrong. However, they would hold the school accountable if the school was in the wrong. My middle brother was collateral damage in a fight between two other students on the school bus. The principal went after him even though he was not involved in the fight, other than wrong place, wrong time. Let’s just say Mom went off on the principal. I wasn’t there for the outburst, but I could have probably have gotten away with a lot after the incident. I didn’t because I believed school was for learning.
Likewise, my parents expected us to be academically honest although I don’t know if the term was around back then. We were supposed to do homework as soon as we got home. Then we could play. Shame too many parents don’t follow the same principles. I am glad my parents held us to those standards.
I have too many friends who let their children do all sorts of other things and don’t bother to make sure the children do homework. Then, they wonder what their children can’t read at the appropriate grade level. If you let your children play video games, watch TV, etc., but don’t make sure the homework is done, that’s not the school’s fault. Although some schools don’t assign homework, when I was young we had enough homework without it being too much. I had plenty of time to play, get exercise, do chores, and other fun things. These days the parents want to be their children’s best friends and not be their parents.