Staples High Plagiarism Problem

Westport, Connecticut. Students in Staples High School English classes were continuously found to have plagiarized cites like SparkNotes and Shmoop in their essays by the administration. This recent development has spanned all grades at the High School, and all parents have been notified via email. “I had a student who practically copied and pasted the entire SparkNotes summary in her Lord of the Flies essay, I found this out when recently re looking at the essays,” remarked English teacher Jamie Pacuk. This specific student was Emily Pozzuto, 15, who was recently found over the Memorial Day weekend to have plagiarized almost all of her English papers. According to U.S. law, the expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions. Almost all forms of expression fall under copyright protection as long as they are recorded in some way (such as a book or a computer file). Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source is usually enough to prevent plagiarism. None of the students at Staples, however, sighted SparkNotes as a source. Pozzuto, like many other students who have done the same, faces an F in the class. This could ruin her college acceptance chances. Some may say it’s a harsh punishment, but administrators say it is the only way to crack down on this plagiarism problem.