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(Some Guy)   Researchers presenting paper on why students plagiarize. Thinking of using their work for my master's thesis   (pages.turnitin.com) divider line 40
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1989 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Mar 2013 at 1:56 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-05 12:30:09 PM
Would that be ironic or not?

/Gets popcorn
 
2013-03-05 12:35:21 PM
Thanks a lot, subby. I submitted this two days ago and it was redlit, and now you STOLE THE WHOLE THING, EVEN MY HEADLINE
 
2013-03-05 12:39:53 PM
Thanks subby, it looks interesting.
 
2013-03-05 01:58:00 PM
I submitted this with a better headline..."Researchers presenting paper on why students plagiarize. Thinking of using their work for my master's thesis".
 
2013-03-05 02:01:50 PM
That's an article I wrote for Vanity Fair in 1987!
 
2013-03-05 02:03:53 PM
I love it when they don't even bother to hide the fact they're plagiarising.

Huh, between paragraphs the font changed and all the spelling errors went away.  Something tells me you didn't write this bit.
 
2013-03-05 02:04:56 PM
I love it when they don't even bother to hide the fact they're plagiarising.

Huh, between paragraphs the font changed and all the spelling errors went away.  Something tells me you didn't write this bit.
 
2013-03-05 02:05:23 PM

ChipNASA: I submitted this with a better headline..."Researchers presenting paper on why students plagiarize. Thinking of using their work for my master's thesis".

 
2013-03-05 02:06:45 PM
I haven't run into much plagiarizing.  Or, I just haven't caught it.
 
2013-03-05 02:11:36 PM
From Linked page:
In this webcast, we explore the cultural contexts of student cheating and the implications of the research findings for educators, institutions, and academic policies.

Please fill out this form and a link to the recording will be emailed to you.


******************************

sfcitizen.com
 
2013-03-05 02:12:53 PM
They to do research to figure out: Laziness?
 
2013-03-05 02:13:24 PM
Here's my theory:

1. They don't really know what plagiarism is.
2. They don't really understand why it's bad.

As to #1, what is plagiarism? Is it only doing a cut&paste? Is it improperly failing to cite one's research? And if it's lifting another writer's words verbatim, is it enough to rearrange a few words or insert a couple of your own to remove the taint of theft? Why or why not?

As to #2, why IS plagiarism wrong? Of course, if you're a paid writer or scholar, then stealing someone else's work is forgery or theft; but if you're a student doing a term paper and you're not really profiting by it, then what exactly is wrong with taking a few lines from another document? What's the difference between plagiarism and cheating?

Realistically, if you're talking about students in high school or below, they're not "plagiarizing" because that's something that happens to paid writers. They're just doing crappy research. They might be cheating on their papers, doing cut&paste when they're supposed to be writing "in their own words", but they're not stealing another's work and passing it off as their own in the public forum. And they're doing it because they're lazy and because learning to write term papers is hard and not really taught in schools any more. There's no reason to make more of it than that.

Now, at college level and above, it is bordering on plagiarism, but again, it's laziness coupled with not knowing how to really write. Writing is difficult and takes practice and most people are not good at it. And there's the fact that, as I noted, nobody really understands where plagiarism begins. If your research consists of a list of names and dates, for instance, then it's going to sound like everyone else's list of names and dates. Did you "plagiarize" that if they sound really really similar? What if they sound the same? Or even identical? How can you prove you DIDN'T steal it?

Of course, the easiest way to avoid charges is to scrupulously cite or at least reference everything you write. That's not taught much in schools these days either. When I was in law school, we learned to our horror that we had to cite EVERYTHING, almost sentence by sentence. But that's how we caught a plagiarized article in our law journal too, so it does work.
 
2013-03-05 02:14:00 PM
Seems like a lot of words that probably all boil down to: Laziness.
 
2013-03-05 02:22:11 PM

Gyrfalcon: 1. They don't really know what plagiarism is.
2. They don't really understand why it's bad.


I think there's a cultural component to this as well.  Other countries have different ideas about what constitutes plagiarism.

Anyone who's TAed at a school with international students knows what I'm talking about.
 
2013-03-05 02:23:47 PM

Bondith: I think there's a cultural component to this as well.


There's also a cultural component to female genital mutilation.
 
2013-03-05 02:26:33 PM
Cliff Notes Version (all credit to original research)

1) Ignorance of proper citation rules
2) Laziness, time saving, short cut, time management, other things relating to lack of time or willingness to do the assignment correctly
3) Lack of: morals, respect for others work, respect for rules, respect for authority, respect for professor, other things relating to a view that doing the assignment correctly is not important
4) Poor design of writing assignments by professors, lack of cognitive or emotional investment in the outcome, belief that the completely the assignment correctly is not a valuable use of time or resources
5) An educational and business culture that values college 'credentials' more than an actual college 'education', no one cares if you learned how to write in college, only that you graduated
 
2013-03-05 02:32:15 PM

Bartleby the Scrivener: Bondith: I think there's a cultural component to this as well.

There's also a cultural component to female genital mutilation.


Never said it was a *good* thing.  Trust me, I cut them no slack.  Got called a racist for my troubles, too.

/may as well make the crime fit the accusation
 
2013-03-05 02:35:59 PM

Gyrfalcon: Here's my theory:

1. They don't really know what plagiarism is.
2. They don't really understand why it's bad.

As to #1, what is plagiarism? Is it only doing a cut&paste? Is it improperly failing to cite one's research?


I had a professor tell the class that if we did not use the proper APA citation in the correct format, it would be consider plagiarism and she would give us an F on the paper for the first offense and fail us for the class on the second.  She said that she did not care if we missed one comma or had an extra space, it would be an automatic F.  That was her first and last semester as a professor there.
 
2013-03-05 02:39:19 PM
What's the cultural component?

I remember a student at one of my old school, someone who I thought wanted tutoring, expecting me to write her paper for her. I won't remark on her ethnicity or cultural background, but I will mention that the school in question has, at its business model, the task of collecting foreign students, separating them from their lucrative fees, and then giving them a degree that would probably be worthless if the people back home knew the quality of work they were asked to do in order to 'earn' that degree.
 
2013-03-05 02:41:43 PM
I teach ESL writing courses at the University of Illinois, and we just had a seminar on student plagiarism.  It's very common among foreign-born students who come from countries that don't have strict policies regarding plagiarism.

Why do they plagiarize?  Simple.  Someone else wrote about their topic and did a better job.  Why not just use theirs?

Problem is, new discoveries and research stagnate if you just copy each other.  All the information becomes circular.  You have to build upon what others have done before you and then add more to it, but make sure you credit those before you.

Some students who do it are Magic players.

gatherer.wizards.com
 
2013-03-05 03:08:08 PM

Bondith: Gyrfalcon: 1. They don't really know what plagiarism is.
2. They don't really understand why it's bad.

I think there's a cultural component to this as well.  Other countries have different ideas about what constitutes plagiarism.

Anyone who's TAed at a school with international students knows what I'm talking about.


So much this. 

The mainland Chinese and Pakistani students in my fiance's grad program are incredibly blatant about it. And they don't see anything wrong with it. As far as I can tell, their logic goes something like 'I wanted to say this, and their English is better than mine, so I'll just say it like this'. To them, they're not cheating, they're just finding what sounds best to them and repeating it.

Ugh.
 
2013-03-05 03:10:23 PM

roc6783: I had a professor tell the class that if we did not use the proper APA citation in the correct format, it would be consider plagiarism and she would give us an F on the paper for the first offense and fail us for the class on the second.  She said that she did not care if we missed one comma or had an extra space, it would be an automatic F.  That was her first and last semester as a professor there.


Maybe so. But there's two things to be aware of. First, she  tells you that in order to make misplaced commas the  worst thing you do. That's pretty much the oldest trick in the pedagogy book.

Second, at no university in the world are students' opinions of how mean and unfair their professors are sufficiently valued to get someone fired after a single semester. I don't care if she was an emergency replacement adjunct and the class was full of the sons and daughters of trustees. (That's a feature, not a bug.) If she really was there for a single semester, that was absolutely the plan all along. (That, or she quit for unrelated reasons, or got caught sleeping with and/or murdering students.)
 
2013-03-05 03:32:00 PM

semiotix: roc6783: ***snip***


While I cannot disagree with either of your points, I will say that she seemed very genuine about her feeling on citations and of the 30 or so people in the class, I could not find one who thought she was an effective educator, nor received any benefit from taking the course.

Also, I wrote semester, but she had been there for the fall semester so she was there for a full academic year.
 
2013-03-05 03:37:03 PM

Bondith: I love it when they don't even bother to hide the fact they're plagiarising.

Huh, between paragraphs the font changed and all the spelling errors went away.  Something tells me you didn't write this bit.


My personal fave is when I'm grading and they haven't even removed the blue links from the Wikipedia stuff they copypasta'd.  You LOSE.  Good DAY, SIR.
 
2013-03-05 03:40:32 PM
Turnitin is the worst thing to happen to college IMHO.  If I am aware that my professor is going to use turnitin, I explicitly tell them I am going to choose vanilla topics and write a paper that is non offensive.  The last thing I need is the FBI/CIA coming to my house because I wrote something controversial in college. In sociology I  was instructed to write a paper with a pro-marijuana bias. Considering the professor is the only person who understands the context of the paper, I shudder to think what the DEA would think.
 
2013-03-05 04:47:58 PM
A good term paper needs citations.... Its stupid to copy, because you need the citations anyway... Pad the paper with citations, then offer a few sentences of your own here and there to tie it all together. Its not hard.

I do, however, have a sense of pride that i once wrote an original paper for a class.  A frat brother copied it, then it was copied at least by 5 other dudes while i was still enrolled, then 15 years later, it STILL was in circulation at the frat.
 
2013-03-05 04:52:12 PM
Why plagiarize?

Because academic papers are insanely rigorous and most people don't want to write one, let alone the dozens required of a student.

Heck, you see students copying the answers from their buddy on worksheets, and their buddy lets them for the same reason. Education is not one size fits all. Some subjects just don't appeal to some people, thus you'll always find one person at least phoning it in per class. Not only that, but that same person might be a straight A student in another subject.

For example, Navy Seals. I doubt there's many in that organization who really applied themselves on a graduate thesis about the subtle differences modern and post modren short story themes. However they're all obviously achievers above and beyond the norm in the arts of war.

Same with kids. You have to find what they're good at, or want to be good at, and focus on that or they'll phone it in.
 
2013-03-05 05:22:06 PM
To quote the master, Tom Lehrer:

Plagiarize,
Let no one else's work evade your eyes,
Remember why the good Lord made your eyes,
So don't shade your eyes,
But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize -
Only be sure always to call it please 'research'.
 
2013-03-05 05:34:24 PM
Any student who plagiarizes does it for a combination of two reasons (with the exception of those who simply are not smart enough to complete the work): laziness and a lack of caring about the assignment. When you consider the huge number of papers students are asked to write to their relative interest in that many subjects, you're bound to come up on some that the students just don't care about learning.

I should add here that it's also partially the University policies as well that define even things that are NOT plagiarism as such...for example, if you are given the same prompt in two classes for a paper, if you turn in the same paper THAT YOU WROTE YOURSELF to both classes instead of writing two separate papers, that is typically considered plagiarism.
 
2013-03-05 05:41:59 PM
I see that "because lazy" has already been covered. You bastards plagiarized my answer!
 
2013-03-05 05:48:28 PM
I see that "because lazy" has already been covered. You bastards plagiarized my answer!
 
2013-03-05 05:54:52 PM

roc6783: I had a professor tell the class that if we did not use the proper APA citation in the correct format, it would be consider plagiarism and she would give us an F on the paper for the first offense and fail us for the class on the second. She said that she did not care if we missed one comma or had an extra space, it would be an automatic F. That was her first and last semester as a professor there.


APA citation sucks.

People should cite like this1,2,3. This way we can just keep on reading without to much mental effort.

-----------------------------------(footnotes)
1. Some guy, bar, 1993
2. Some other guy, corner of the street, 1992
3. Jesus, Padded room, 1995

People should not cite like this (Some guy, 1993; Some other guy, 1992; Jesus, 1995) because you need to keep track of the sentence and where the references stop and start. Then you need to mentally glue the sentence back together and hope you didn't fark about with some comma which changes the meaning of the text. That shiat will fark you up when doing the exam.

i have a textbook in which there were 5 stop and starts in a 4 sentence paragraph. There was 3x as much text in the references than the actual information being referenced. This sucks because having to skip ahead over an entire line of references every 2 to 4 words really isn't helping. Ignoring the superscript is a lot easier.
 
2013-03-05 06:35:25 PM
FatherChaos:Some students who do it are Magic players.

[gatherer.wizards.com image 223x310]


Is that a real card or is it Photoshop?  Just curious.
 
2013-03-05 08:42:47 PM

DerAppie: roc6783: I had a professor tell the class that if we did not use the proper APA citation in the correct format, it would be consider plagiarism and she would give us an F on the paper for the first offense and fail us for the class on the second. She said that she did not care if we missed one comma or had an extra space, it would be an automatic F. That was her first and last semester as a professor there.

APA citation sucks.

People should cite like this1,2,3. This way we can just keep on reading without to much mental effort.

-----------------------------------(footnotes)
1. Some guy, bar, 1993
2. Some other guy, corner of the street, 1992
3. Jesus, Padded room, 1995

People should not cite like this (Some guy, 1993; Some other guy, 1992; Jesus, 1995) because you need to keep track of the sentence and where the references stop and start. Then you need to mentally glue the sentence back together and hope you didn't fark about with some comma which changes the meaning of the text. That shiat will fark you up when doing the exam.

i have a textbook in which there were 5 stop and starts in a 4 sentence paragraph. There was 3x as much text in the references than the actual information being referenced. This sucks because having to skip ahead over an entire line of references every 2 to 4 words really isn't helping. Ignoring the superscript is a lot easier.


Agreed. Readability matters, whether academics like to admit it or not. Which is why people who use endnotes should be dragged out into the street and beaten to death like the dogs they are.

And it should also be forbidden to use a colon in titles. Titles should be  An Analysis of Japanese Tactics During the Race for Rangoon, not  Setting Sun: An Analysis of Japanese Tactics During the Burma Campaign, 1945,and absolutely not  Tactical Innovations in the Face of Overwhelming Defeat: An Analysis of Japanese Small Unit Tactics During the Race For Rangoon, March - April 1945. Verbosity of that sort doesn't tell the reader anything more about what you wrote, all it does is tell them that you know you can't dazzle them with daring so you're going to try to baffle them with bullshiat.

There's a reason the books that get read have names like  The Guns of August,or  John Adams, or  Guns, Germs, and Steel.
 
2013-03-05 08:46:03 PM

Gyrfalcon: Here's my theory:

1. They don't really know what plagiarism is.
2. They don't really understand why it's bad.

As to #1, what is plagiarism? Is it only doing a cut&paste? Is it improperly failing to cite one's research? And if it's lifting another writer's words verbatim, is it enough to rearrange a few words or insert a couple of your own to remove the taint of theft? Why or why not?

As to #2, why IS plagiarism wrong? Of course, if you're a paid writer or scholar, then stealing someone else's work is forgery or theft; but if you're a student doing a term paper and you're not really profiting by it, then what exactly is wrong with taking a few lines from another document? What's the difference between plagiarism and cheating?

Realistically, if you're talking about students in high school or below, they're not "plagiarizing" because that's something that happens to paid writers. They're just doing crappy research. They might be cheating on their papers, doing cut&paste when they're supposed to be writing "in their own words", but they're not stealing another's work and passing it off as their own in the public forum. And they're doing it because they're lazy and because learning to write term papers is hard and not really taught in schools any more. There's no reason to make more of it than that.

Now, at college level and above, it is bordering on plagiarism, but again, it's laziness coupled with not knowing how to really write. Writing is difficult and takes practice and most people are not good at it. And there's the fact that, as I noted, nobody really understands where plagiarism begins. If your research consists of a list of names and dates, for instance, then it's going to sound like everyone else's list of names and dates. Did you "plagiarize" that if they sound really really similar? What if they sound the same? Or even identical? How can you prove you DIDN'T steal it?

Of course, the easiest way to avoid charges is to scrupulously cite or at least refere ...


Maybe you should look up the word plageriarism, you don't seem to know what it is either.  Hint: it has nothing to do with profit.
 
2013-03-05 09:24:36 PM
Because it's easier than doing the work yourself?

/I can has grant monies?
 
2013-03-05 09:27:40 PM
"Maybe you should look up the word plageriarism."

Huh. Can't seem to find it.
 
2013-03-05 11:24:33 PM
There is another reason that some students plagiarize:  they are not only lazy but absolutely incompetent and, quite simply, stupid.

I do use turnitin.com:  sorry, gimlet, but turnitin.com is the best thing that has happened for professors.  Anything that prevents me from having to spend time on a student who does not deserve my time is worth your "vanilla" essay.  I can then spend more time on students who are struggling and doing their own work, spend time encouraging 'A' students to push further, to think more, and do original research.  I do not have to spend several hours tracking down every last source (or enough sources) to give that student an F in the course.  (Fortunately, I now work at a university that empowers their faculty; my policy is an F in the course for any intentional plagiarism.)

However, gimlet, if you came to me to discuss your opposition to turnitin.com and your paper topic actually  was controversial (and you weren't a dick about it), then I would certainly consider grading the paper without having you submit it to turnitin.com.  Your opposition does have merit (tainted perhaps by paranoia), so I would consider it.

I rant; I rave; I explain in great detail what plagiarism is and why I find it offensive and why it is considered an academic offence.  My rule is, "when in doubt, cite your source."  I explain what turnitin.com is; I explain how it works; I explain that I still find plagiarists every term, even using turnitin.com.  Now, however, I am gleeful.  I see the red paper; I look at it to verify; I print it out; I take my plagiarism letter template and fill-in pertinent details and send it to the Dean.  Five minutes, tops.  Then I can spend more of my time on the students who deserve it and need it.

There are some students who are just not cut-out for higher education.  And yet, the culture demands that education.  That's what happens when you run institutions of higher education with a business model.  Put "Business," as a discipline, back in the trade schools where it belongs.

Back to grading; thanks again, Fark, for letting me kill some time.
 
2013-03-06 02:26:25 AM
There is another reason that some students plagiarize:  they are not only lazy but absolutely incompetent and, quite simply, stupid.

I do use turnitin.com:  sorry, gimlet, but turnitin.com is the best thing that has happened for professors.  Anything that prevents me from having to spend time on a student who does not deserve my time is worth your "vanilla" essay.  I can then spend more time on students who are struggling and doing their own work, spend time encouraging 'A' students to push further, to think more, and do original research.  I do not have to spend several hours tracking down every last source (or enough sources) to give that student an F in the course.  (Fortunately, I now work at a university that empowers their faculty; my policy is an F in the course for any intentional plagiarism.)

However, gimlet, if you came to me to discuss your opposition to turnitin.com and your paper topic actually  was controversial (and you weren't a dick about it), then I would certainly consider grading the paper without having you submit it to turnitin.com.  Your opposition does have merit (tainted perhaps by paranoia), so I would consider it.

I rant; I rave; I explain in great detail what plagiarism is and why I find it offensive and why it is considered an academic offence.  My rule is, "when in doubt, cite your source."  I explain what turnitin.com is; I explain how it works; I explain that I still find plagiarists every term, even using turnitin.com.  Now, however, I am gleeful.  I see the red paper; I look at it to verify; I print it out; I take my plagiarism letter template and fill-in pertinent details and send it to the Dean.  Five minutes, tops.  Then I can spend more of my time on the students who deserve it and need it.

There are some students who are just not cut-out for higher education.  And yet, the culture demands that education.  That's what happens when you run institutions of higher education with a business model.  Put "Business," as a discipline, back in the trade schools where it belongs.

Back to grading; thanks again, Fark, for letting me kill some time.
 
2013-03-06 01:41:20 PM

Jaroga: However, gimlet, if you came to me to discuss your opposition to turnitin.com and your paper topic actually  was controversial (and you weren't a dick about it), then I would certainly consider grading the paper without having you submit it to turnitin.com.  Your opposition does have merit (tainted perhaps by paranoia), so I would consider it.



This is good advice in general. I find that speaking with the professor helps increase my grade every time.

About turnitin.com: What if hackers or Turnitin.com were to make public every college paper written with everyone's name attached to it. Imagine being able to explore a young George Bush or John Kerry's work and have all of their thoughts, opinions, and poor grammar at your disposal. Everyone who earned a degree before 2010 has nothing to worry about but everyone else must risk this fate in order to make a professor's job more convenient.
 
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