Recently introduced to Google Notebook (by ever-on-the-leading-edge Platypus Matt), I merrily commenced using it to grab stuff off the web for a piece I'm researching. With a plagiarism case from the just completed summer session fresh in my mind, it suddenly hit me that Google Notebook, released in May this year, is cut-and-paste with benefits! Using, it, you mime the actions of patch writers, but with a key difference, because Notebook automatically inserts a source link, even if you're only highlighting and pasting a single paragraph out of a page. Makes you wonder how many students across the country next Fall will be turning in papers put together with its help. Because, after all, it solves a major problem in one fell swoop: Your teacher might fault you for simply stitching paragraphs together, but YOU'VE CITED THEM--and you didn't even have to worry about adding the URLs yourself!
Because of my journalistic background, plagiarism has always been my line in the sand. In eight years teaching composition, I've failed at least half a dozen students--for the course--for word theft. I'm a big believer in talking about real word consequences, per Verity Brown and Mark Howell. And, yes, I know I'm antedulvian: I've read Rebecca Moore Howard, too.