Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Wikipedia Excuse

A student who used direct quotes without quotation marks or citations tried to defend his actions thus: "In high school they told us we didn't have to cite Wikipedia!"

Questions I'd like to ask:

What high school teacher would encourage students to borrow quotes from Wikipedia without quotation marks or citation? Give me a name and school district so I can make some calls.

The assignment sheet calls for the use of reputable print sources appropriate for academic writing. What makes Wikipedia appropriate for this assignment?

I know your freshman composition professor, and I've seen what she does to students who insist on using Wikipedia in academic papers; moreover, I know she emphasizes the importance of punctuating and citing quotes correctly. How did you pass her class without learning these essential lessons?

You're a junior, three years removed from high school graduation. Did that precious high school diploma grant you immunity from ever learning anything new?

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