I've been writing, writing, writing a lot nevertheless, mostly syllabi for my classes, those good faith statements of intent we share each semester.
I have spoken about this issue before in conferences and such, but it struck me this morning, especially, as I pasted in my standard policy on plagiarism, just how much of our syllabi are, in fact, plagiarized. Boilerplate language required from the college; course description cribbed from the official one; bits borrowed from colleagues who said it better than I....I wonder if I can, at this point, correctly identify what language is 100% my own, which paraphrased, which stolen (often with permission, but still). I'm not alone in this: stitching together syllabi in this way is standard practice for teachers.
Let me remember this when I discuss attribution and plagiarism with students. We composition teachers sometime make the error of discussing standards of plagiarism in monolithic terms, when in truth they are contextual. I think tomorrow (maybe a good way to procrastinate my other work) I will annotate one of my syllabi, note what is mine, what is not, and attribute where I can. Might be revealing.