Zero Tolerance Policy for Plagiarism Analysis
Dudley Erskine Devlin is an English professor at Colorado State University and writes editorials and blogs on modern issues. Some of the issues he writes about are: high-stakes testing in schools, texting while driving, cyberbullying, etc. Plagiarism in simple words is stealing someone’s work or ideas and presenting them as one’s own ideas or words. Plagiarism has become a sort of virus, which keeps on spreading across the country. When students use someone else’s words or ideas as their own, they hope that they get a good grade on a particular assignment; however, they don’t realize that plagiarizing will simply not help them learn. Not only is plagiarism unethical, but also it encourages people not to think on their own and not be creative when their presenting their ideas or thoughts on a particular topic. After analyzing Devlin’s essay “Plagiarism in America,” I believe that the author does an outstanding job sending his message to the audience in terms of the using rhetorical features and appeals. In his essay, Devlin argues that there should be a zero tolerance policy for plagiarism. He states that most students don’t believe that it’s immoral. He cites a survey from Education Digest by Donald McCabe, suggesting, “Students say, ‘I got it off the Internet so it’s public information. They don’t consider it to be a big deal…’“ (Devlin para. 2), and that is the reason why the number of people plagiarizing has increased drastically. Devlin also considers plagiarism unethical and strongly believes that swift punishment would help prevent plagiarism in the future. To engage his audience, the author does an excellent job presenting relevant information from both sides of an argument as he states why students plagiarize. Also, he keeps his essay short to make sure his audience reads what he has to offer about this particular issue. Devlin uses multiple rhetorical features in his essay, but logos, ethos and pathos are the more effective ones that supports his main idea.
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In his essay, Devlin uses a variety of rhetorical appeals to effectively convince his audience that a zero tolerance policy is the best way out to plagiarism. Also, he lists several numerical values to support his point. Throughout his essay, Devlin does an outstanding job of providing evidence to prove his point. He makes his purpose very clear to the college students, professors, teachers as well as his regular audience, which is to apply swift punishment on those who plagiarize. Zero Tolerance Policy for Plagiarism Analysis.
Furthermore, Devlin uses a persuasive style to convey his message to his audience. He compares the plagiarism issue with a similar problem: driving under the influence of alcohol. He strongly believes that there needs to be severe punishment applied as far as the plagiarism issue is concerned. He states that “…high schools and colleges should focus their attention on surveillance and swift punishment. Just like drunk driving, no one quit drinking and driving just because someone else said that it was dangerous” (Devlin para. 8).
In addition, Devlin uses the logos feature efficiently within his essay. He mentions the survey from Education Digest by Donald McCabe, which notes, “…in a survey of 22 public high schools, 74% of the surveyed students reported one or more instances of the test cheating in the past year nearly 60% reported an incident involving plagiarism” (Devlin para. 2). Devlin provides relevant statistics to persuade his audience about his main idea on the plagiarism issue. He also provides a logical solution to stop plagiarism; he argues, “Another effective surveillance system is a plagiarism detection service such as Turnitin.com. This service, which is now used by 9500 high schools and colleges, checks its ever expanding database for plagiarized essays and undocumented paragraphs, sentences, and phases” (Devlin para. 7). By including significant statistics, Devlin insures to alert his audience how serious this plagiarism is and from my point of view does an excellent job doing so.
Moreover, Devlin also use of pathos within the essay to make the essay interesting. In his essay, Devlin seems very frustrated with plagiarism as he himself is a college professor. He wants students to actually learn and become successful in their lives and it seems very obvious that one wouldn’t acquire any additional knowledge just by copying someone else’s work or ideas. He says, “Maybe, just maybe, students would learn that plagiarism in school could jeopardize their careers or cost them an election later in life.” (Devlin para. 8). He does an excellent job by including his emotional feelings about plagiarism. Zero Tolerance Policy for Plagiarism Analysis
Indeed, Devlin also uses ethos as one of his rhetorical features to let his audience know why it is important to stop plagiarism across the country. He argues that over the past years, several attempts were made by professors, teachers, and different academic institutions to stop plagiarism; however, these attempts have not gotten the results they expected. He believes although all students are aware that plagiarism is wrong and immoral, the numbers tell a whole different story. At the beginning of the essay, Devlin gives an excellent example of Joe Biden. As Devlin points out, “Vice President Joe Biden lost his bid for the presidency in 1987 when it was discovered that he had plagiarized a law review article in his first year at law school “(Devlin para. 1). Devlin firmly believes that plagiarism will only harm the future of the youth and therefore believes that academic probation and zero tolerance policies are the only solutions for the plagiarism issue.
In conclusion, author Dudley Erskine Devlin does an outstanding job of representing his ideas; his being an English professor at one of the prestigious colleges in the U.S. helps the audience understand why he is extremely concerned about issues such as plagiarism. His tremendous use of rhetorical features and appeals including logos, ethos and pathos provides convincing evidence that swift punishment and zero tolerance policy are the only solutions to the plagiarism issue.
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