Saturday, May 10, 2008

KidsPost Plagiarism Contest winners announced

It is always disheartening when students plagiarize. As an instructor I impress upon my underclassmen students that plagiarism is BAD. When a college kid plagiarizes it's easy to chalk it up to the student being a lazy or ignorant or deceitful. But what about when a 10-year-old does it?

The Washington Post's annual KidsPost Poetry Contest has been besmirched by plagiarism.

Here's the correction that ran May 2, 2008:
One of the poems that KidsPost published April 29 as part of its poetry contest was not written by the child who submitted it. The poem that appeared as "Horrible, Just Horrible" was actually written by Shel Silverstein and is titled "One Out of Sixteen." The child who sent in the poem originally told KidsPost that it was her work. Another poem on the page, titled "Eraser," was inspired by, but not credited to, Louis Phillips, who wrote "The Eraser Poem."

This is, sadly, not the first time this has happened. Here's the correction from April 26, 2007:
One of the poems that KidsPost published as part of its poetry contest on Tuesday was not written by the child who submitted it. The poem that appeared as "Who Am I?" was actually written by J. Patrick Lewis and published in his book "Monumental Verses." The child who sent the poem to KidsPost said she didn't realize that entries to the contest had to be original. But copying something that someone else wrote without giving them credit is plagiarism, and it's wrong.

For more info on the Kids Post contest read Deborah Howell's column about the issue.

I like to tell people that I don't write poems, I just get them off the Internet. The only reason it's funny is because it's not true. Sigh... Today's kids have no sense of decency or humor.


Jay Thompson said...

Do you see the incredible irony in using a stolen picture in a post on plagiarism? Not only do you not credit the original source of the picture, you're also stealing bandwidth by linking directly to it!

I don't know if that's hysterical, or pathetic.

D'Anne Witkowski said...

I DO see the incredible irony, thank you.