Spend a minute pecking on your keyboard. Nail a plagiarist

March 3, 2008 | By | 2 Replies More

Slate’s Nancy Nall Derringer tells you how easy it can be to nail a plagiarist:

I spent much of last Friday being congratulated for “brilliant reporting” that consisted of a minute’s worth of typing on my laptop. That’s how long it took for me to notice what seemed to be merely a case of egregiously obscure name-dropping . . . , paste the name into Google, and discover the entire sentence . . . had been lifted from a previously published essay by Jeffrey Hart in the Dartmouth Review.

The plagiarism was in a column for a newspaper I used to work for, the News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind. The piece was a guest op-ed about the importance of a good college education written by Timothy S. Goeglein, a top aide to President Bush.

This is how easy it is to catch a plagiarist. 

Happy hunting.  I’ll write a glowing review of anyone else who can catch a plagiarizing political hack.  


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Category: Communication, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    Teachers have it tough, though. Through students using internet-trolled papers. There are services that help teachers detect lifted prose. But clever students can take entire papers, run them through a thesaurus process, and make it very hard to prove that their "work" is not original.

    The untrained mind is a lazy instrument. It will always find the easiest answer. Plagiarism is a symptom. What is easier than repeating what is quickly found? But enough about Creationist ideology.

  2. srubin says:

    Here's some hunting for you: M. Thomas Eisenstadt just blogged about how it may have been Jeffrey Hart himself who was also plagiarizing. If Goeglein hadn't also lifted from 27 other sources, Hart wouldn't have minded. But it turns out he may have lifted from a Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Callahan. Eisenstadt writes about it here:


    I think Mr. Eisenstadt might want that glowing review now 🙂

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