Deception in the House Plagiarism is the antithesis of writing integrity and can carry heavy consequences.
Generally recognized as a form of intellectual and academic misconduct, plagiarism entails “the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit.” To plagiarize is to misrepresent—as one’s own—the words and ideas of another.
Most officers arrive at senior Service colleges (SSCs) with considerable experience writing memoranda, operation orders, policy letters, point papers, and the like, but their written documents have been little more than tools for getting the job done effectively and efficiently.
No longer is the requirement simply to understand what is being done, why, and how to do it; the new goal is to merge professional experience, critical thinking competencies, and acute insights to identify what could or should be done while advancing thoughtful analyses and perceptive recommendations supported by reason and evidence.
But at an SSC, even the plagiarists are accomplished, well-seasoned military professionals, many of whom have held command over thousands, rendered decisions impacting human life, assumed responsibility for multimillion-dollar equipment, and generally devoted their careers to the service of the Nation.
What accounts for plagiarism among a select population of respected warriors-scholars?If this scheme is noted and brought to the author’s attention by higher authority, the typical response is to “duck,” to sidestep the observation by acknowledging that the material “was supposed to be in quotes” while offering assurance that the error is but an honest mistake that will be rectified before becoming final.The practice of weaving another’s words into a text without proper quotation, however, is seldom rare or happenstance. Throughout the military, “officers headed for high rank need to be challenged intellectually and to sharpen their skills in critical, precise, rigorous, and imaginative thinking and writing.” At the highest levels, the tasks shift from artfully executing campaigns and missions crafted by others to identifying strategic challenges, rendering assessments, and advocating well-reasoned options to the most senior military and civilian leadership. Effective execution requires development of critical thinking and writing skills well beyond the norm in military culture.Writing integrity, like the ability to write itself, is an acquired skill, not an inborn trait.Thus, PME institutions and others charged with developing senior leaders must revision writing integrity as a competency to be taught, rather than a preloaded, well-embedded, and thoroughly integral component of a leader’s character.Interorganizational Cooperation—Part I of III: The Interagency Perspective By James C. The transition from writing as a routine day-to-day management tool to writing as the primary vehicle through which to demonstrate subject matter mastery, advance fresh insights, rise to the occasion, most learn to reason well and embrace writing as a tool for achieving strategic-level objectives. A well-honed mentality and skill set primed almost exclusively for efficient and cooperative execution provide little room and minimal appeal for the time-consuming, heavy intellectual lifting normally associated with knowledge generation.In a heavy import scenario, the plagiarist locates one or more existing documents consistent with a topic and writing task, but usually a little beyond the subject matter expertise/interest of the faculty mentor.The heavy importer then copies not only occasional sentences, but also entire pages and even whole sections.