Brain McNally is torn between considering the student’s explanation and applying the correct punishment for the mistake she did. In her defense, the international student did not realize her wrong deed until the lecturer pointed it out because such occurrences were a common phenomenon in her country. However, each student is given a copy of the university’s policy on plagiarism in the course syllabus which is meant to enlighten the student on that particular issue. Being well versed in the institution’s policies, McNally is supposed to make a choice between giving the student a second chance by allowing her to rewrite the paper or fail her which automatically make her fail in her course.
Rules should not be broken. Instead, they should be bent to favor an individual is a common saying used when a person wants to justify his or her actions. Allowing the student to rewrite the paper would be bending the rules clearly defined in the institution’s policies. Should the information of such an undertaking leak, Mr. McNally will lose his independence as other students may use the information to blackmail him for things such as a pass in the course. His reputation will be ruined once the administration learns about it. The decision not only affects the student but the lecture as well. However, failing the student will automatically disqualify her from proceeding to the next term as it depends on this particular test. Being her first term paper, one can argue that the student did not clearly understand the policy or she just took it lightly since plagiarism was tolerated in her country.
The best action is to allow the student to rewrite the paper but also include the students and other staff members in his decision. It will ensure that he does not lose his independence hence maintain his reputation. Coming from an academic background that was not strict on plagiarism adjusting to the new policies would be a challenge to her and since it was her first term paper; dismissing her would be a very harsh treatment.