Writes and wrongs 2

November 11, 2005

William Leahy argues that it is unrealistic to expect undergraduates to produce original work. I have always understood that it is only PhD students who are expected to be original. What we do expect of undergraduates is that they think independently and critically. This is quite different from being original, because their independent thinking is unlikely to result in anything that has not been thought before. If Leahy's institution equates unoriginal thinking with plagiarism, then it should indeed reconsider its definition of plagiarism.

George MacDonald Ross

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