At the age of 19, Kaavya Viswanathan had accomplished achievements beyond the reach of many. She was a sophomore in Harvard and her first novel, How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life, was part of a highly publicized two-book deal with publisher Little, Brown and Company. Viswanathan’s future seemed bright, until an article in the Harvard Crimson brought it all down. The paper noticed multiple similarities with two books by the young-adult novelist Megan McCafferty. In some passages the text appeared to be copied word-for-word. (While it is not required, you can take a look at the comparisons between McCafferty’s writing and Viswanathan’s and judge for yourself by reading the “Plagiarism” section in the Wikipedia entry, “How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life”.)

Viswanathan confessed to borrowing and modifying the passages, and as a result, the publishers recalled all copies of her book. Consider the following: Why did Little, Brown and Company act so strongly in this event? Why did the college paper, for that matter, feel the need to report on this issue at all? What was so wrong about Viswanathan’s actions?

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Scholarship and business require continuous development and exploration of ideas, while adhering to the principle of giving credit where credit is due. In business, copying ideas can lead to copyright infringement, resulting in costly litigation. In scholarship, taking the ideas or words of others and passing them off as your own is called plagiarism and represents one of the greatest offenses a person can make in academia.

Consider strategies that you can use to maintain academic integrity and avoid both intentional and unintentional plagiarism.

To prepare:

o Consider how you might apply strategies for maintaining academic integrity.

Write a summary of the following:

o Explain the strategies you can apply to maintain academic integrity. Include how such strategies will prevent plagiarism.

o Considering the role of academic integrity as it relates to you, your classmates, your Instructor, the institution, and the company you may work for:

 Explain why it is important to have integrity in your academic and business career.

 Explain some of the implications when integrity in communications is not valued or upheld by students in a classroom or professional in a business organization.

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