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The Yale literary magazine

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Pages: 322

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Unknown Author

Excerpt from book: tions of his neighbor. Now, although something might be said to palliate, we cannot, and we know that we cannot, justify these petty frauds. As it is, we look at them and talk about them in a good-natured, jocular way, and so pass them by. Nor is it likely that we shall do otherwise years hence. Talk with a graduate, and—be he minister, or lawyer, or doctor,—he, in nine cases out of ten, will jestingly relate some shrewd trick by which he, or some classmate of his, succeeded in pulling the wool over the eyes of a reverend faculty. But there is one species of fraud which, though by no means rare, neither graduate nor undergraduate is ever heard to boast of—college plagiarism. By the side of this, the ordinary deceptions of the collegian seem almost justifiable. The moral aspect of the subject alone would furnish enough material for the sermon of even a theological professor. While the meanness shown in insulting one's fellow-students with spurious productions, and the mental injury sustained by the man himself, are ample reasons for the utter condemnation of the offense and the offender. But let us not be too severe. Indiscriminate denunciation is an easy task. Rather let us consider fairly the temptation which assails especially the collegian, and judge him accordingly. In the outside world of letters, the chances of detection are so great, and the penalty so severe, that the temptation to literary theft is stripped of almost all its power. Only a recklessness bordering on that of the common criminal could lead a wri'ter to risk his reputation in such a cause. But in the compositions, orations and debates of the college, a man may use borrowed thoughts, or even borrowed words, without any great danger of being detected, while for other reasons the temptation to plagiarize ...  

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