According to CBS News, the prime minister of Romania is being accused of plagiarism (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57455953/romanian-pm-accused-of-plagiarism-by-nature/). Writer Lenore Hart was accused just last year of copying passages from another book when writing her book about a relative of Edgar Allen Poe (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/nov/21/lenore-hart-rejects-plagiarism-accusations). Famed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin was put in the hot seat years ago for copying passages of her book from other sources (see http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/23/us/historian-says-borrowing-was-wider-than-known.html for more information). From Bob Dylan to Beyonce (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2011/10/beyonce-accused-of-plagiarizing-choreographer/, http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2011/10/beyonce-accused-of-plagiarizing-choreographer/) and other stars, where does it stop? What these stories highlight is that plagiarism, attribution, and academic honesty are serious issues on an international scale. It’s not just about college students anymore.
Here at Trinity, we have a rigorous expectation of academic honesty and integrity and a firm honor code ( http://www.trinitydc.edu/policies/academic-honesty/). We expect that our undergraduate and graduate students create original works, conduct their own research, and properly cite and attribute experts and notables when they use them. As an institution of higher learning, we teach, and practice, scholarship, integrity, and quality. And we are not alone.
Our society as a whole is increasingly looking for truth, quality and honesty in our candidates for public office, public acclaim, and public adoration. We want to know that the objects of our admiration, the persons that we find so interesting, are worthy of the attention. If you are seeking to be the next (or current) generation of business leaders, public officials, and philanthropists, then you too must strive to exemplify these traits. You owe it to yourself. Don’t let plagiarism pull you down.