Re: Ribboned for your pleasure
"Re: Ribboned for your pleasure
You're obviously clued in. Plagiarism is taking someone else's work(s) and presenting it as your own or taking credit for it without acknowledging the original creator / artist. I think what is being referred to is more commonly known as proof reading or editing."
Plagiarism and editing (by another person) are not mutually exclusive.
Plagiarism is passing off another person's work as your own. If another person edits your work, making changes, and you do not credit that other person's changes you are passing off their work as your own. There are contexts in which that's normal and expected, but submitting work for assessment in an academic context is not one, unless it is explicitly permitted.
And once the mental "adjustment" has been made to allow a parent, for example, to help little Johnny or Jane to (they hope) get a better grade than they could have done by themself it become a small step to suggest a "tiny" extra example or a "tiny" rearrangement of words or ideas. And if that tiny change is really just part of the editing, then a slightly bigger change would "help", and would be OK, wouldn't it?
It used to be the case that pupils / students were expected to learn to do their own proof reading, make their own spelling and punctuation corrections. It is more common now in some contexts (in the UK at least), especially in schools, to look the other way, because so much focus is put on grading schools by often-meaningless (but easy to measure) civil servant, desk-dwelling administrator-designed criteria that put huge pressure on schools to increase their pupils' grades.
Looking around, at the "leaders" of industry and commerce, the political "leaders", the "getting away with what you can" approach is the example set almost everywhere, almost all the time. So little surprise if many parents become complicit in this, especially with their own little Johnny or Jane.
But there are also examples a-plenty where getting someone else to do the work you need to do for yourself does not wash. In fields in which real ability rises to the top and no excuses can substitute, people work by themselves; parents or coaches or teachers do all that they can to encourage Johnny or Jenny to do that work, but they do not do it for them. A sports trainer and an athlete know that a press-up done by the coach does not develop the athlete's fitness. Likewise with scales and musicians, or potential winners of the Fields medal and PhD supervisors. The teachers might, do, demonstrate and explain, but they do not do the learner's work for them. Of course in such fields it is quite obvious that a trainer's press-up does not improve an athlete's fitness, or a teacher's scale a musician's skill. But when assessment is viewed primarily for the sake of the resulting grade, rather than as a tool for improving ability, is viewed as the goal there is temptation for a parent or teacher to "inflate" a parent to "inflate" the grade by their own direct contribution, knowing that they will probably get away with it. This is short-sighted and counter productive, since the son / daughter / student is not improving in the way that the athlete doing their own press-ups or the singer practicing their own scales is improving. Worse, they are being trained to get away with someone else doing their work for them when they can: a habit that can lead to a life time of not developing as well as they might have.
If a university explicitly states that a student may ask a parent to proof read and correct work, that is one matter. Many universities have regulations that state that work submitted by a student for assessment must be all their own. Often, even, students are required to sign a statement to this effect. Not that long ago such a statement would have been superfluous as everyone would have understood that to be so, but such have been the shifts in "acceptable" standards of integrity that explicit statements are now seen to be necessary.
Once politicians caught with their hand in the till would have immediately resigned, without prompting, for they knew they had violated a standard that was inviolable. Now governemnt organisations feel it's OK to side-step their own laws and spy on the very citizens to whom they are, in theory, accountable. When acceptable standards shift the consequences can be subtle and wide-reaching as the "getting away with it" approach spreads into other fields.
So, having a little additional one-to-one session with university-attending son or daughter to show them how to use a dictionary and how to construct sentences or punctuate is one thing. Editing their work whilst on the 'phone is trading a short term mark gain for a long term disservice which diminishes their independence, integrity and honesty. It is the parent's choice about how they wish to influence their offspring, but making an even ever-so-slight choice towards honesty or dishonesty, independence or dependence has a cumulative effect over the years for which the parent might feel growing pride, or a tiny bit of sadness at the slightly tarnishing, character diminishing effect of reduced integrity.