Plagiarism and Other Unoriginal Sins

I still remember my lone experience of being accused of plagiarism. My high-school English teacher couldn't point to any copying in my textual analysis of Chaucer — in fact, I'd been far too lazy to consult any secondary sources — but she said the work appeared to be that of a graduate student. Despite my protestations of innocence, she said that a "black cloud" would hang over me until I was cleared. Dread words.

Fortunately, my accuser did some after-the-fact