Copy and Paste

A Research about Content Theft in Politics

The book »Copy and Paste« is my outcome for the entrance examination at Koeln International School of Design. For this examination, which takes place once every year, all applicants only receive one word, which is more or less a guide for the following creative process. The word or respectively the topic that time was Quote. "Copy and Paste" addresses a specific aspect of the topic quote: plagiarism in science. I felt a special connection to this topic, as I was very interested in the plagiarism scandal around the German politician Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg. So I came to the conclusion to creatively develop this topic.


Elaboration and Content

For a description of the book's content you should directly cast a glance into the book. (Link at the bottom). I chose to directly include people in my project – displaying their opinion ideally is already a quote. I had two demands: Firstly I didn’t want to just recapitulate the public voices, but to pick up current experiences and tendencies. Secondly I would not only ask random people on the subject, but those whose opinions would provide a real insight to the topic. I compiled three groups of people and developed appropriate questionnaires for each group. For an easier comparability of the given answers, the questions were not only the same per group but also partly similar across different groups. Beyond a comprehensive commentary on the topic Guttenberg/plagiarism, the opposing collection of dialogues therefore emphasizes differences and similarities among the positions of my interviewees.  The questionnaires were answered in written form and – according to the title – copied and pasted in the final layout afterwards. Therefore I intentionally didn’t correct any occurring grammar and spelling mistakes.

These interviews are introduced by an explanation of the terms "citation" and "plagiarism", as well as a chronological outline of the Guttenberg affair. While the introduction is thematically leading the reader to the following dialogues, the ending directs the attention to meta aspects of plagiarism with a summary about uncovering plagiarism and a collection of current cases. I myself have an own assessment in the style of the following interviews. My own opinion also fulfills an additional purpose, which I don’t want to spoil at this point – find it out in the book.

Read the Book online


Individual Project without Supervision

Manuel Kniepe