Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I stay in touch with a recent grad doing land use work. (He has a great climate adaptation blog). He asked how I deal with plagiarism and sent this piece from the New Inquiry on cheating. It's "a dialogue between Teach, an adjunct philosophy instructor at a public university in New York, and Cheat, who has authored over 100 papers for pay." I learned some new red flags to watch out for; such as the correct use of a semicolon.
Teach: In my philosophy class of 36 students I had six instances of plagiarism. I ended up turning them all in to the Committee on Academic Standing.
Cheat: Do you remember how they plagiarized?
T: One is a case of self-plagiarism, in which the third paper was turned in a second time for the fourth paper.
C: In its entirety?
T: In its near entirety. He changed the introduction and the conclusion, but left the body paragraphs the same.
C: So he tricked a search engine, but not a human.
T: In the four other cases, I discovered specific lines that were taken off Internet sites including the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy—at the best, Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers, and some Cambridge professor’s blog.
C: How did you find that? Through a Google search?
T: Well, first I detect it. There are a number of red flags.