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Author Topic: Plagiarism Chronicles  (Read 555281 times)
cinstructor82
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« Reply #1470 on: May 25, 2012, 12:16:08 pm »

That is, indeed, a great idea, but difficult to do when class is only four weeks long.
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cinstructor82
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« Reply #1471 on: May 25, 2012, 1:24:52 pm »

It's hard to avoid writing a paper in an English class.
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burnie
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« Reply #1472 on: May 25, 2012, 2:04:03 pm »

I have papers (well, blogs really) due each week in a four-week class, but the assignment is so simple and verifiable that it's pointless to try and plagiarize (and if they did I and the rest of the class would catch on immediately).  I've had this assignment for several years now, and have only had one issue where a student tried to copy paste from a previous class blog.  His classmates caught the fact that his post did not accurately reflect the course readings or assignments, and I recognized the post from the previous summer (the story was too bizarre to forget).  So I was filling out the plagiarism paperwork while the class sounded off in the comments.  Since then it hasn't been an issue, and check around to the paper sites once in a while to be sure.
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karmann
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« Reply #1473 on: May 25, 2012, 2:33:25 pm »

I keep forgetting to share this!  This paper began with a fragment--not even a whole sentence, just a fragment--that sounded cool but bore no relation to the rest of the paragraph.  So I googled that fragment, and it turns out to be the visible part of the "free snippet view" of an essay you can buy online.  The rest of the paper was full of unattributed statistics, etc., but that first line sealed it for dumbest plagiarist of the semester.  But wait, there's more.

I fail the paper, and write in the comments section of the CMS that it is plagiarized.  Student sends me an e-mail saying, best I can figure (I might plagiarize too if I was that bad at communicating), she knows the paper wasn't plagiarized, because she also turned it in as an English Comp assignment and her comp teacher didn't say anything about plagiarism.  Hey, guess what?  According to my syllabus, double-dipping without my consent is also plagiarism! 
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usukprof
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.


« Reply #1474 on: May 25, 2012, 2:39:40 pm »

So, has anyone ever heard about an administrator sending a letter on behalf of a student convicted of plagiarism arguing that the student did it "accidentally" and trying to minimize the offense for a graduate or professional school?  Would there be fall-out at your institutions if such a thing became known? 

Do you mean within the school to the faculty member to try to minimise the consequences and not have a grade lowered?  Or to another school once a student is kicked out or graduates with a low GPA?
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seniorscholar
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« Reply #1475 on: May 25, 2012, 3:28:28 pm »

I've started having the final papers due two weeks before the end of the semester so that I have time to deal with the plagiarism before students scatter.

This is an excellent idea, polly_mer, and I fully intend to steal it for my new gig this fall.

And the other advantage -- actually the reason I started doing it donkeys' years ago -- is that the research papers are all dealt with before the final exams come in. When my daughters were still at home, final grades were inevitably due on the birthday of the younger, which is also 4 days before Christmas.
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cinstructor82
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« Reply #1476 on: May 25, 2012, 3:48:15 pm »

Okay, so here's the rest of my saga. Warning: this may be a rant.

Department head, myself, and a few staff members meet to "discuss" the plagiarized paper with student. Student claims that she sent in the wrong paper.  Everyone (except myself) agrees that student may go home and retrieve the "correct" paper. After the student left, I expressed my discontent (wrath!) at the way this was handled. Everyone else thought it would provide the student with an opportunity to hang herself once again and let the school appear to be merciful.

Well, the student did bring another paper back, a paraphrased version of the plagiarized original.  I stated that the student would be receiving a  grade of zero for the paper, as the syllabus states. Department head is nervous about the whole situation and insisted that I document everything very thoroughly, including highlighting all of the plagiarized portions of the paper and sources that were used.

Why, oh why, do we have to go through all of this? The student turned in a textbook example of a plagiarized paper for heaven's sake. That should be the end of it.  Do people no realize that they are doing the entire school a disservice by allowing students to get away with this? In effect, all they are doing is allowing the student more time to work on the paper.  Who wouldn't try to turn in a fake paper if, when called on it, you get another chance . . . it's a no-lose situation.

And yes, I do work for a for-profit, now that you ask.

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mystictechgal
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One step at a time


« Reply #1477 on: May 25, 2012, 3:57:06 pm »

I keep forgetting to share this!  This paper began with a fragment--not even a whole sentence, just a fragment--that sounded cool but bore no relation to the rest of the paragraph.  So I googled that fragment, and it turns out to be the visible part of the "free snippet view" of an essay you can buy online.  The rest of the paper was full of unattributed statistics, etc., but that first line sealed it for dumbest plagiarist of the semester.  But wait, there's more.

I fail the paper, and write in the comments section of the CMS that it is plagiarized.  Student sends me an e-mail saying, best I can figure (I might plagiarize too if I was that bad at communicating), she knows the paper wasn't plagiarized, because she also turned it in as an English Comp assignment and her comp teacher didn't say anything about plagiarism.  Hey, guess what?  According to my syllabus, double-dipping without my consent is also plagiarism! 

So, will you also be sending a copy of these communications (along with the proof of plagiarism) to her Comp. prof?
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oldadjunct
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LIFO. Enough said.


« Reply #1478 on: May 25, 2012, 5:06:37 pm »

I see that point, but remain constrained to point out:

1) the child in question was a 9th grader

2) saying 'do a precis' is not enough information to expect the kid to glean how to do this-- the textbook might have such required information, but the quote attributed to the teacher certainly does not make me think that it does, and unless you expect a 14yo to google 'precis' and learn what this is and how to do it... one could I suppose do that, but one wonders what the pedagogical principle undergirding such an action would be,and whether it would not be much simpler and more effective for the teacher to simply explain what doing a precis is.  I have done this-- it really is not that hard, and then allows students to actually do precis and learn thereby...

I am still looking for the 9th grade reference.  Kay, freshman/firstyear here refers to first year of college outside of "Balancing Work and Life" it doesn't mean 9th grade.  This thread is under the heading of "In the [College] Classroom."  I don't think there are too many HS teachers here, certainly not enough to default to 9th grade assumptions in a discussion.

He probably got the idea that it was 9th grade from the fact that I said "9th grade" in my post:

You wouldn't think it would be just a college thing, since education tends to ramp up over time. My 9th grade English teacher told us to write a précis of a poem. When I didn't do it, she asked why, and took me by the shoulders to add, "And don't tell me it's because you didn't know how. Nobody else knew how either."

The rest of his conclusions seemed wrong, but not that part.

Thanks for the clarification, I skimmed back and missed it.

Sorry, Kay, for my error.
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systeme_d_
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No T, no shade. Usually.


« Reply #1479 on: June 10, 2012, 9:15:44 pm »

Stupidly, I had hoped to get through my first academic year at Favorite University in Favorite City without dealing with any cases of academic dishonesty.

I am grading final exams and final papers for two classes, and guess what?  Student whose grades throughout the quarter have hovered between high Bs and low As has plagiarized on his final paper.  

Sigh.

« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 9:16:17 pm by systeme_d_ » Logged

geonerd
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Do not take the bait.


« Reply #1480 on: June 10, 2012, 9:51:11 pm »

<Passes the candy dish to system_d>
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seriously, my rubric has a PITA rating box and you don't want a low score there.
burnie
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« Reply #1481 on: June 10, 2012, 11:10:15 pm »

<passes a bottle of wine to Systeme_d>
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dr_know
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« Reply #1482 on: June 10, 2012, 11:47:59 pm »

<Passes chocolate rum cake to Systeme_D>
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systeme_d_
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No T, no shade. Usually.


« Reply #1483 on: June 11, 2012, 3:09:51 am »

Thank you, Geonerd, Burnie, and Dr_Know.

I gratefully accept all three.

And I do hope that none of you really expect me to return the dish, the bottle, or the rest of the cake.  
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 3:11:38 am by systeme_d_ » Logged

yemaya
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« Reply #1484 on: June 11, 2012, 8:58:14 am »

So, has anyone ever heard about an administrator sending a letter on behalf of a student convicted of plagiarism arguing that the student did it "accidentally" and trying to minimize the offense for a graduate or professional school?  Would there be fall-out at your institutions if such a thing became known? 

Do you mean within the school to the faculty member to try to minimise the consequences and not have a grade lowered?  Or to another school once a student is kicked out or graduates with a low GPA?

Responding late to this, but yes, I've frequently had to deal with administrators doing this at the diploma mill where I teach (not much longer, thankfully!).  And no, there would not be any fall-out.  The school is so concerned with retaining the students' tuition that they do this sort of thing all the time.

Okay, so here's the rest of my saga. Warning: this may be a rant.

Department head, myself, and a few staff members meet to "discuss" the plagiarized paper with student. Student claims that she sent in the wrong paper.  Everyone (except myself) agrees that student may go home and retrieve the "correct" paper. After the student left, I expressed my discontent (wrath!) at the way this was handled. Everyone else thought it would provide the student with an opportunity to hang herself once again and let the school appear to be merciful.

Well, the student did bring another paper back, a paraphrased version of the plagiarized original.  I stated that the student would be receiving a  grade of zero for the paper, as the syllabus states. Department head is nervous about the whole situation and insisted that I document everything very thoroughly, including highlighting all of the plagiarized portions of the paper and sources that were used.

Why, oh why, do we have to go through all of this? The student turned in a textbook example of a plagiarized paper for heaven's sake. That should be the end of it.  Do people no realize that they are doing the entire school a disservice by allowing students to get away with this? In effect, all they are doing is allowing the student more time to work on the paper.  Who wouldn't try to turn in a fake paper if, when called on it, you get another chance . . . it's a no-lose situation.

And yes, I do work for a for-profit, now that you ask.



I'm at a similar institution, and no, there does not appear to be any recognition.  They are technically a non-profit, but they operate like a for-profit.  For some, I think there's some sort of magical thinking where the school does not realize what a lousy reputation it has obtained.  For others, I think that they know this, but they just don't care, as long as the tuition money keeps coming.
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