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Llamas
05-13-2009, 07:51 PM
Yesterday I was meeting a professor for one of my classes that is in German, and another student walked in. After talking a bit and getting a paper back from her, the student laughingly said, "I always send my papers to my exchange friend in Germany and he corrects all my mistakes." My professor suddenly got very serious and said, "Yeah, you shouldn't have told me that." They had a discussion for a few minutes... the student really didn't get why this isn't okay - why this isn't the same as having a proof reader for an English paper. After she left, my professor said to me, "I've pretty much known she was doing that - her grammar was too perfect - but I gave her the benefit of the doubt. That's just a battle I'm not going to fight, though..."

Today, I saw some stuff on facebook from a professor:

"[Professor] wants to ram his head through a wall.
I was grading papers last night, and had two in a row I suspect of plagiarism. The problem is, I can't find anything online to confirm this. Both papers were written by typically C students. One is much better than normal, but makes several claims that go above and beyond anything mentioned in the book. The language is also highly suspicious. The other one reads as if it was written by someone who does not speak English. In other words, considerably worse than what this kid has done in the past. I read an article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed. last month about websites where you can custom order papers, and I swear these papers came from something like that. I have a meeting with the Undergrad Studies director today to find out if/how I can nail their asses to the wall for this. The frustration is because I wasted a good 1-2 hours last night on this."

Then later:
"It's getting even worse. There are at least 10 papers I have now that are suspicious. I think my students have discovered paper mills."

WHO THE FUCK DO PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE? First of all, how stupid do students think professors are? It's pretty obvious when you rip off another person's writing style. Second of all, how - HOW - can people be comfortable doing this? It is stealing. Actually, it's worse than stealing (well, the latter case is). I bet most the people who do this shit don't steal stuff from the store... but they're okay passing off other people's hard work as their own. Finally, why are these people paying thousands of dollars to go sit in class for hours a week only to learn nothing and copy someone else's work down?

The people in the latter situation better get kicked out of school. I'm seriously pissed off about this. I knew this kind of thing existed, but this is just fucking ridiculous.

Also, this appears to just be a rant. I don't really know what I'm hoping to discuss here...

Bipolar Bear
05-13-2009, 08:21 PM
When those students sit down in an examination room and have to produce an essay, they can't cheat though. It would be wise of the teacher to ask the class to write one or two in-class essays during the semester to compare them with the other ones.

Outerspaceman21
05-13-2009, 11:11 PM
I totally agree with you. You hit the nail right on the head. I've also noticed that it annoys english and liberal arts majors more than any other majors

Llamas
05-13-2009, 11:26 PM
Well it's a completely different playing field... you can't really steal something in the science or math world without it being extremely obvious. You write lab reports based on labs you actually did at school. The type of work involved in the arts is completely different... it's where plagiarism is a real issue.

IamSam
05-13-2009, 11:33 PM
We have seen some of this at my university. Except that our teachers call the kids on it and the kids are two fucking stupid to say that they didn't. It is a problem, but I think that something will happen with university systems to where paper mills aren't a problem.

Llamas
05-13-2009, 11:41 PM
We have seen some of this at my university. Except that our teachers call the kids on it and the kids are two fucking stupid to say that they didn't. It is a problem, but I think that something will happen with university systems to where paper mills aren't a problem.

So the teachers call them out without having proof? The teachers could get in a lot of trouble for that...

IamSam
05-13-2009, 11:49 PM
So the teachers call them out without having proof? The teachers could get in a lot of trouble for that...

They base it upon previous writings by that student. Sorry, should have been clearer, I will explain.

Normally, teachers here give small one page assignments were students respond to the readings throughout the semester (around 10 a semester.) No one normally cheats on these. Students then write larger research papers towards the end of the semester. It becomes obvious by writing style alone that students cheat. Although I have heard it only done a few times here.

That's what I was talking about.

Llamas
05-13-2009, 11:52 PM
They base it upon previous writings by that student. Sorry, should have been clearer, I will explain.

Normally, teachers here give small one page assignments were students respond to the readings throughout the semester (around 10 a semester.) No one normally cheats on these. Students then write larger research papers towards the end of the semester. It becomes obvious by writing style alone that students cheat. Although I have heard it only done a few times here.

That's what I was talking about.

Oh, yeah. I know what you mean. I'm still not sure that's completely legal... well, I guess it depends on what you mean by "call them out". Here, if you're caught, you're kicked out of the University. They have to have PROOF, though.

wheelchairman
05-14-2009, 03:27 AM
I actually had no idea it would be plagiarism to get a paper corrected by a native (if the paper is in a foreign language.)

As for actual plagiarism, yeah it generally sucks and I'm glad the rules are so strict on it.

ad8
05-14-2009, 03:31 AM
Same here. I always thought plagiarism was about stealing work from other people. It's a great problem here. I'm tempted to say that there were almost as many cheaters as honest students in my classes. I can only hope that these people will fail at some point in later life due to their attitude towards learning.

Rag Doll
05-14-2009, 08:04 AM
Oh, yeah. I know what you mean. I'm still not sure that's completely legal... well, I guess it depends on what you mean by "call them out". Here, if you're caught, you're kicked out of the University. They have to have PROOF, though.

My university does the same thing....few small assignments, and generally a few much larger ones. If things do not seem to "match up," they're called out on it. It goes through several review boards which just have to decide if the kid is lying or not. You get failed for that particular class and then either you warned by the department/university or thrown out by the department/university. This can range from "this does not match their writing" to "they did not cite some of their sources" to "i have received this same paper before from someone else."

http://chss.montclair.edu/english/furr/franktermpprs.html
We also had this situation a like ten years ago at my university and some other nearby schools. My professor actually ended up busting the guy in cooperation with a local news channel. He apparently still reappears every so often.


I actually had no idea it would be plagiarism to get a paper corrected by a native (if the paper is in a foreign language.)

I didn't either, and I'm generally ridiculous when it comes to that. That's like saying you can't have someone help your proofread. We have a whole "writing center" on our campus where you meet with student workers that will tell you, "I think this may sound better, what do you think?" and give you other suggestions and help you fix up the paper.

Anyway, booo plagiarism. I'm happy to say I earned my fabulous gpa all on my own.

T-6005
05-14-2009, 08:41 AM
I've never plagiarized other people's work, but once I allowed an essay of mine to be submitted as someone else's. And by that I mean that they did it and then told me and I went on about my life.

SweetTatyana
05-14-2009, 08:56 AM
Yeah you can't do this in my field of science, I usually only write exams and the only two papers I ever wrote in my science courses was my thesis on how oxytocin concentration in the hypothalmus correlates with biparental behaviours in gerbils and my minor thesis on DHA consumption effect on the working of Na/K pump in cell membranes. You can't really order those.

I did once in grade 10 science not feel like writing my own paper so I copied and pasted something off the internet. I do agree once you get into University tho, you might as well do your own work or you really are cheating yourself.

Llamas
05-14-2009, 12:32 PM
I didn't either, and I'm generally ridiculous when it comes to that. That's like saying you can't have someone help your proofread. We have a whole "writing center" on our campus where you meet with student workers that will tell you, "I think this may sound better, what do you think?" and give you other suggestions and help you fix up the paper.

See it's not the same, though. It's not just having a proof reader to just hand over your entire paper in a language you're not fluent in and have them make it so it reads like a native speaker wrote it. That's effectively what ends up happening.

However, I wasn't trying to say that that act is necessarily plagiarism... I don't think it's quite as bad (I thought I made that clear in my first post), but it's still pretty bad. If you study a foreign language, it should be obvious. My degree would've been so easy if I had done that with every paper I wrote!!! I mean, half the point of the papers we write in my German classes are so the professors can correct our grammar and then teach us what we're still doing wrong. If everyone gets a native speaker to make it sound native, we're not learning half the assignment.

batfish
05-14-2009, 03:48 PM
Of course it's plagiarism if say 20% of the marks in the essay are awarded for language and accuracy.

I also do German (& Russian) and am highly suspicious of one girl in my class who has a German bf and hands in word-perfect essays.
Essay plagiarism is one of the reasons I'm glad we have exams for language modules as well as essays and presentations. Means (probable) cheats like her don't have ridiculous advantages.

I'm dead scared of being accused of plagiarism; every so often we get emails saying that some 3rd year has been expelled for it, aggravating circumstances or not. I reference my essays so much that some pages are about 1/4 footnotes (which is too much, but I don't know when to stop, haha)

T-6005
05-14-2009, 04:04 PM
Ugh. I'm working on an ethnographic essay right now. I'd welcome some plagiarism.

Llamas
05-14-2009, 04:17 PM
Of course it's plagiarism if say 20% of the marks in the essay are awarded for language and accuracy.

I also do German (& Russian) and am highly suspicious of one girl in my class who has a German bf and hands in word-perfect essays.
Essay plagiarism is one of the reasons I'm glad we have exams for language modules as well as essays and presentations. Means (probable) cheats like her don't have ridiculous advantages.
This is exactly my point. There are different expectations and grading systems for papers in an L2; it's not just a matter of, "Hey man, you forgot a comma here," or "This might actually sound a bit more concise if you switched this phrase with this one."


I'm dead scared of being accused of plagiarism; every so often we get emails saying that some 3rd year has been expelled for it, aggravating circumstances or not. I reference my essays so much that some pages are about 1/4 footnotes (which is too much, but I don't know when to stop, haha)
Duuuuude, I'm so paranoid about it, too!!! I'm always like "omg what if I said something that I read somewhere that influenced my opinion? All this actually got me worried to the point where I re-read a final paper I turned in this week, and I noticed a part where I said the author is multi-lingual... I got that off the back of the book and apparently didn't cite it... I wonder if I should email my prof and be like "Hey I just noticed this..."


Ugh. I'm working on an ethnographic essay right now. I'd welcome some plagiarism.
lololo PAPER MILLS K?

jacknife737
05-14-2009, 05:09 PM
Plagiarism is one of those things that I absolutely loath. One of my housemates writes his essays by going through a bunch of sources, and then randomly throwing in his references around. His courses (heís an econ major) use a reference style (which I canít remember at the moment what itís called) that doesnít require page numbers if you only borrow an Ďideaí from a source so he hasnít been caught yet.

I canít wait to become a TA, and then Iím gong to be a total dick when marking essays.

IamSam
05-14-2009, 05:13 PM
I canít wait to become a TA, and then Iím gong to be a total dick when marking essays.

I <3 you.

I just have to say that I have researched and wrote a 10 page research essay in less than 6 hours on more than one occasion.

Beaker
05-14-2009, 05:47 PM
wow, that sucks for so many other students.

my uni is so harsh on plagarism, they kick you out even if they only suspect it. my friend was only just excluded from his course in his last semester because his assesment was similar to some one elses and they were'nt sure who had cheated so both got kicked out. we were told that if you make your paper available to other people and they copy it you are also to blame.

plagarism is one thing i am not going down for.

Bipolar Bear
05-14-2009, 06:08 PM
I <3 you.

I just have to say that I have researched and wrote a 10 page research essay in less than 6 hours on more than one occasion.

Same. It's kind of lame that most people go through a lot of effort to pass while others seek shortcuts. This guy in my class used to cheat ALL THE TIME. Everybody knew it. Nobody wanted to be the one who told on him though, so he got away with it. I kind of feel like it isn't my business to tell on those people myself, I'd feel like an ass, but when you think about it they should feel like assholes too for cheating like that.

Beaker
05-14-2009, 06:14 PM
Same. It's kind of lame that most people go through a lot of effort to pass while others seek shortcuts. This guy in my class used to cheat ALL THE TIME. Everybody knew it. Nobody wanted to be the one who told on him though, so he got away with it. I kind of feel like it isn't my business to tell on those people myself, I'd feel like an ass, but when you think about it they should feel like assholes too for cheating like that.

i completely agree. i dont like to be scaled down by these people but i can't tell the lecturers. i hate that i spend hours doing my assesments and some losers only spend a few. :(

wheelchairman
05-15-2009, 02:54 AM
However, I wasn't trying to say that that act is necessarily plagiarism... I don't think it's quite as bad (I thought I made that clear in my first post), but it's still pretty bad. If you study a foreign language, it should be obvious. My degree would've been so easy if I had done that with every paper I wrote!!! I mean, half the point of the papers we write in my German classes are so the professors can correct our grammar and then teach us what we're still doing wrong. If everyone gets a native speaker to make it sound native, we're not learning half the assignment.


Of course it's plagiarism if say 20% of the marks in the essay are awarded for language and accuracy.


I agree completely, however it doesn't make much sense. The point of the essay is to learn grammar, yet they assign grades (so then it also becomes important to get good grades) which means that people will be more tempted to cheat.

That's an irreconcilable contradiction (ooh smart sounding phrase).

Alison
05-15-2009, 04:40 AM
My university is pretty strict on plaigarism. If it's suspected, then we get 0 marks in the essay or whatever it is, and if it's proven, or is suspected for a second time you get kicked out.
It's taken so seriously that sometimes I'm scared shitless in case I plaigarised without meaning to, or accidentally left out a reference.
I'm also never quite sure, if everytime I make a point proposed by someone else, should I footnote it, or simply put it in "works cited". Every subject I do seems to prefer a different system, so it gets a bit confusing.

Llamas
05-17-2009, 06:05 PM
So, I just got this email from the professor of my history class - the one who had been noticing plagiarism in the papers he was grading:


Dear Class,

Before we wrap up this semester, I would like to take this opportunity to
comment briefly on your final papers. Sadly, I have reason to suspect that
several of you plagiarized this final assignment. While I do not have the
hard evidence to prove my suspicion, there is enough circumstantial
evidence to make several papers highly suspect. This includes
peculiar/common word usage, similar grammatical errors, structural
deficiencies, organizational problems, and paragraph structure.
Furthermore, these papers also similarly make strong assertions and/or
claims about the text, only to immediately switch focus without further
elaborating on the argument.

I have spent this past week meeting with the History Department
Undergraduate Studies Coordinator, Rich Kott, as well as the University of
Minnesota Office of Student Integrity. They both agree that, while we do
not have the hard evidence of plagiarism, these papers all share common
traits of plagiarized material.

To those of you who took the time and made the effort to write your own
papers, I want to say thank you and express my appreciation. Many of you
had insightful takes on the text, and I found your papers very interesting.


To those of you who tried to take the easy way out, I want to say that I am
profoundly disappointed in you. I am well aware how paper mills operate,
and it is not difficult to identify a custom ordered essay as opposed to
your own work. In many cases, the quality is significantly lower.

As far as the grading for this assignment, I have decided, after consulting
with with the Office of Student Integrity, to go ahead and grade these
assignments like normal. It is unfair to those of you who were honest to
suffer for the actions of those who were not.

Once again, I am extremely disappointed in those of you who plagiarized your
final paper. Not only did you blatantly violate university standards for
academic honesty, but you have also offended me by thinking you could pass
off something as your own without thinking I would notice.

This is truly a sad and depressing end to what otherwise was a good
semester.

I don't really get the second to last paragraph. How would not "grading these assignments like normal" be unfair to the rest of the class? How would the rest of us be suffering for the actions of those people? I'm totally confused.

Anyway, the main point is that I'm pissed that they can't kick these people out. Bullshit.

wheelchairman
05-17-2009, 06:42 PM
I think he means that the people who didn't actually do any work shouldn't get a decent grade, because it depreciates the effort honest people made.

Omni
05-17-2009, 07:35 PM
My non-college-educated train of thought tells me that having a native "proofread" your foreign language assignment is basically the same thing as having someone else do your homework. So, even though I've never thought of that as something unethical, if I actually had the idea and intent to go through with it, I'm sure something would click in my brain telling me this could get me failed. And besides, if I ever took a foreign language class, it'd be to my benefit, and I'd only be cheating myself.

I'm probably not nearly as smart as I think I am, but I'm pretty proficient with English. So I don't think I'd plagiarize because copying someone's work might actually be a step down in quality for me, if I actually put my mind to it.

Llamas
05-17-2009, 07:56 PM
And besides, if I ever took a foreign language class, it'd be to my benefit, and I'd only be cheating myself.
Dude. Seriously. This so much, and not even just for foreign language classes; for ALL classes. Why do people spend so much money on a class and decide to learn nothing from it? Just for the grade? It is sooooo stupid to me.


I'm probably not nearly as smart as I think I am, but I'm pretty proficient with English. So I don't think I'd plagiarize because copying someone's work might actually be a step down in quality for me, if I actually put my mind to it.
Is English your second language or something? If so, I'm impressed; your typing seems native to me.

And Per: by "grading normally", I figured that these people ARE going to get regular grades for their papers...

Bipolar Bear
05-17-2009, 08:06 PM
It's still unfair, obviously. I think he implied that since the essays which were ordered were less good than the real ones, it would be fairer to mark them all, the real ones getting a better grade anyway. If he marked none due to plagiarism, the people having worked their asses off wouldn't have gotten the reward they deserved.

Llamas
05-17-2009, 08:11 PM
It's still unfair, obviously. I think he implied that since the essays which were ordered were less good than the real ones, it would be fairer to mark them all, the real ones getting a better grade anyway. If he marked none due to plagiarism, the people having worked their asses off wouldn't have gotten the reward they deserved.

Ahhhh I gotcha. That makes sense. I would be a little sad if he didn't grade my paper, yeah.

Omni
05-17-2009, 08:13 PM
Dude. Seriously. This so much, and not even just for foreign language classes; for ALL classes. Why do people spend so much money on a class and decide to learn nothing from it? Just for the grade? It is sooooo stupid to me.


Is English your second language or something? If so, I'm impressed; your typing seems native to me.

And Per: by "grading normally", I figured that these people ARE going to get regular grades for their papers...


Haha, no, it's my first language. I was just saying that I consider myself pretty articulate. I wouldn't plagiarize because I'm pretty sure I could churn up a better original work if I set my mind to it. And cheating in a foreign language class would fuck you over more-so, because it's sort of a class most people take for passion, I think. It's like trying to figure out a way to cheat at guitar lessons or something.

sKratch
05-18-2009, 01:11 PM
We have seen some of this at my university. Except that our teachers call the kids on it and the kids are two fucking stupid to say that they didn't. It is a problem, but I think that something will happen with university systems to where paper mills aren't a problem.
lolololol

Well it's a completely different playing field... you can't really steal something in the science or math world without it being extremely obvious. You write lab reports based on labs you actually did at school. The type of work involved in the arts is completely different... it's where plagiarism is a real issue.
Plagiarism is VERY possible in the sciences. In many, many cases. For example, solution manuals when doing problem sets. Or if you are writing any sort of research paper you can obviously plagiarize in ways similar to the ways one plagiarizes in humanities. My undergraduate E&M prof called our class out on there being a number of students who handed in homework that was just the solution manual copied exactly.


I don't really get the second to last paragraph. How would not "grading these assignments like normal" be unfair to the rest of the class? How would the rest of us be suffering for the actions of those people? I'm totally confused.

My take on it was that if he can't prove it's plagiarism, he can't give an F. It would be really fucked up to be falsely suspected of plagiarism with no proof and receive an F.
Or to go a little farther, what if a handful of plagiarized papers put him in the "fuck, everything's plagiarized" mindset and he starts giving F's to people who really wrote their own shit because he's just being really suspicious?

IamSam
05-18-2009, 01:13 PM
Well fuck. Kudos to you sir.

Fuck.

To.
Too.
Two.
Toe.

sKratch
05-18-2009, 01:15 PM
The worst part of being a grammar nazi scientist:
I mis-remember some things and very adamantly argue certain points in grammar that are wrong :[

Llamas
05-18-2009, 05:06 PM
Plagiarism is VERY possible in the sciences. In many, many cases. For example, solution manuals when doing problem sets. Or if you are writing any sort of research paper you can obviously plagiarize in ways similar to the ways one plagiarizes in humanities. My undergraduate E&M prof called our class out on there being a number of students who handed in homework that was just the solution manual copied exactly.
I figured it was possible in one way or another, but when I was in the college of biological sciences for three years, I never heard of any issue. I just figured it was probably somewhat uncommon. Maybe it's just gotten worse in recent years, cause I haven't been a biology major for four years? Or maybe our professors just didn't get a shit. Very possible.


My take on it was that if he can't prove it's plagiarism, he can't give an F. It would be really fucked up to be falsely suspected of plagiarism with no proof and receive an F.
Or to go a little farther, what if a handful of plagiarized papers put him in the "fuck, everything's plagiarized" mindset and he starts giving F's to people who really wrote their own shit because he's just being really suspicious?
*Further. WHO'S THE GRAMMAR NAZI NOW, HUH?

But I do agree with your point. That is a very possible issue which could have risen.

T-6005
05-18-2009, 05:07 PM
Man, that reminds me of an argument I had with Michelle about whether punctuation went inside or outside of quotation marks.

I now put them on the inside.

Though I will fight anyone who insists it's have drank.

Omni
05-18-2009, 05:32 PM
I also put them on the inside. And I type ?! instead of !?, although I'm pretty sure both aren't proper.

Llamas
05-18-2009, 05:36 PM
Here's the answer to the punctuation question: http://grammartips.homestead.com/inside.html

And "have drank"... ugh. *cringe*

T-6005
05-18-2009, 06:13 PM
PRESCRIPTIVIST!

Oh hey, 10 characters.

Llamas
05-18-2009, 06:20 PM
Wait, what are you calling me a prescriptionist for?? The link?? I'm confused :(

T-6005
05-22-2009, 03:12 PM
I was just thinking of this thread.

I'm on my last assignment of the year, and it's one of only two essays I've had to do for this class... which is just great. Love it when the entirety of the year is based on something like this, a 15-20 page essay with minimal guidelines and no expectation of how it'll be graded.

In any case, I'm taking an entirely different approach in this essay (about Warren Hastings and the justification of the British Empire, in case anyone thought I was actually writing about something interesting) than in my last one, and all of a sudden I got a sneaking fear that my professor would think they were written by different people. In the last one, I stuck hard to an anthropological mindset and way of writing, couching a lot of concepts into as short a space as possible so as to make my writing both more complex and infinitely more confusing. I know professors love that.

I feel like I've broken a wall, and so this essay is much, much more laid-back and though it's not progressing at the quickest pace, there's definitely some good forward momentum and I've kind of been avoiding the term-heavy approach, preferring instead a more flowing rhetorical style. I don't know if it'll end up getting a better mark, but damn if it isn't much easier to write.

Though that fear is still there - these essays are just that different.