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#1 -JR-

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 05:19 PM

I was accused of plagiarism the other day for writing an essay that was too intelligent and professional-sounding. I would be more flattered if it weren't such a dangerous situation.

It's quite a nasty thing I've gotten myself into.. On the one hand, I feel I should report it to someone to get it documented, in case something like it happens again (time has tought me well that the power of coincidence knows no bounds), but on the other hand, I don't want to convey any sense of treachery against a current professor by drawing him back into it after he graciously "let this one slide."

I should have just done the intelligent thing right away and turned in a loosely-knitted composition of half-thoughts. But it was over Rousseau's Social Contract; the ideas behind it are the perfect blend of simplicity and throught-provoking societal introspection, and I couldn't resist.

Edit: Not just whining here, I'm also looking for input from anyone with any sort of experience or knowledge of this type of situation. I don't want to be shafted until I do something wrong!

Edited by SentinelBlade77, 28 February 2010 - 05:23 PM.

"Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil." - C.S. Lewis

#2 Ipsissimus

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 05:44 PM

Plagiarism? Yikes. Try googling various sentences from your paper. Also check out pre-written essays on papermill sites and compare them--try . Or compare your essay to another of your papers, one of similar quality.

That is an ugly mess indeed. My university has an online submission system (turnitin.com) that checks for similarity to already-submitted essays, so I'm lucky. You shouldn't have to submit a crummy essay just so people believe that you wrote it. Academia...just shouldn't work that way.

I'd say that if your professor accused you of plagiarism in the first place, he is not "letting it slide." He's being unfairly biased in his opinion of your writing ability and your academic integrity. Just because some students are lazy, cheating jerks doesn't mean that they all are.

Some paper sites, found on Google with the search string "term papers for sale":
http://www.proessay....CFSpeagodCH6vQw
http://essaysreasy.net/
http://academicwritinghelp.net/
http://www.abcpapers.com/
http://www.ghostpapers.com/
http://www.customwri...s-for-sale.html
http://www.midterm.u...s-for-sale.html

I have to say, it makes me sick that some students feel compelled to cheat like this. It's disgusting and dishonest, and shames the rest of us simply by association.

Edit: And good luck getting this sorted out. Hopefully if your paper was good enough to seem stolen, it'll be good enough to get an A later.

Edited by Ipsissimus, 28 February 2010 - 05:45 PM.

And the mirror, it reflects a tiny dancing skeleton, surrounded by a fleshy overcoat and swaddled in
A furry hat, elastic mask, a pair of shiny marble dice, some people call them snake-eyes, but to me they look like mice
-- "Nothing's gonna change my clothes", They Might Be Giants

#3 -JR-

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 06:24 PM

Exactly. Part of the sheer ridiculousness of this requires taking me personally into account. I'm a criminal justice major with a focus on electronic crime; does he really think that with this background I would hold delusions that I might be able to get away with such a stupid and essentially pointless crime?

My high school used turnitin. Good system if I remember. Here too we have a paper-checker that is supposed to be used in cases like this. However, the professor, being convinced that I was in the wrong and that my misdeeds would be discovered by the system, decided that he would let me off easily, deducting points and issuing a written threat on the paper, saying that he would "hammer me" if he found any more plagiarism.

I confronted him after class, professional but insistant, and he eventually admitted that I might not be a criminal, and casually claimed he would bump me up "a few points" on the paper. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, this paper that was "too intelligent and professional to be written by a student" still is marked down as a C.

A particularly nasty side of this is that I'm not that incredible of a writer. The paper was a particular triumph on my part, and now I'm terrified that if I let it slide at all, maybe even just to focus on another class for a day, his suspicians will be confirmed, and instead of losing points I'll be brought up on charges! Like I told him, "This is a very serious accusation," but I guess only for me; I've been assigned at least a semester of worry, while he probably was done thinking about it later that day.
"Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil." - C.S. Lewis

#4 Ipsissimus

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 09:21 PM

Oh, that really stinks. Not only being denied credit, but the accusation that you're denying someone else credit for your paper is horrible. What sort of professor is this guy, if he honestly thinks that you would cheat? In a philosophy class I took last year, I did a small project on papermill sites. As it turns out, most of the papers you can download have one thing in common: they are junk. And if you wrote a good paper... Where does he think you stole it, and what sort of delusions does he live in?
And the mirror, it reflects a tiny dancing skeleton, surrounded by a fleshy overcoat and swaddled in
A furry hat, elastic mask, a pair of shiny marble dice, some people call them snake-eyes, but to me they look like mice
-- "Nothing's gonna change my clothes", They Might Be Giants

#5 Sam.

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 10:19 PM

If I were you I would definitely at least bring the situation to the attention of the professor's immediate superior. I might not request that the supervisor interject in the professor's authority this time (as he may hold it against you on the rest of your papers), but if the professor tries this stunt again you will start off with more credibility with the supervisor as you have approached him\her about this before. This way, if there is an inquiry later you won't start off in a hole. I really feel for your situation, it sucks.

"Ok, I've just about had my FILL of riddle asking, quest assigning, insult throwing, pun hurling, hostage taking, iron mongering, smart-arsed fools, freaks, and felons that continually test my will, mettle, strength, intelligence, and most of all, patience! If you've got a straight answer ANYWHERE in that bent little head of yours, I want to hear it pretty damn quick or I'm going to take a large blunt object roughly the size of Elminster AND his hat, and stuff it lengthwise into a crevice of your being so seldom seen that even the denizens of the nine hells themselves wouldn't touch it with a twenty-foot rusty halberd! Have I MADE myself perfectly CLEAR?!"

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#6 -JR-

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 08:20 AM

Really? I always figured that the stuff out there would be high quality, crime being the most well-developed cultural aspects of most societies. This is even more frustrating then.

Thanks, Sam, that sounds like a good plan. Love the signature by the way. Elled my A O when I found that as a kid.
"Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil." - C.S. Lewis

#7 KathStoneDog

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 11:47 AM

I have a background in UK universities - can't comment on those elsewhere.

If the accusation has been made you need to get it sorted out. Mud sticks and the suspicion will haunt you, probably so you can't quite put your finger on it but.....

Various means are used to catch cheats and most institutions actively seek ways to improve their detection abilties. If the tools have failed in this case have failed then I would expect academics to be interested in why.

I find the attitude of the lecturer, as you describe it, incomprehensible.

Do you have an Advisor of Studies? Personal Tutor? make them your next stop, and if you are a post-grad then talk to the relevant association there too!

Kath StoneDog

#8 Ipsissimus

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 12:10 PM

Yes, this really is something that should be sorted out. You really shouldn't have to have your academic integrity questioned (unless you actually did something :P). Plus, you might not be the only student in a situation like this. If this professor has accused others of plagiarism, something is very, very wrong with him.

About the papermill essays--I looked at a few for a project. Most of them were full of misspellings, incorrect punctuation, bad grammar, and thoroughly overused ideas. And they were in that hateful five-paragraph format.
And the mirror, it reflects a tiny dancing skeleton, surrounded by a fleshy overcoat and swaddled in
A furry hat, elastic mask, a pair of shiny marble dice, some people call them snake-eyes, but to me they look like mice
-- "Nothing's gonna change my clothes", They Might Be Giants

#9 Choo Choo

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 02:42 PM

Ugh, that must absolutely suck - I'm very sorry to hear that you're being accused of something so awful. I hope it all sorts out.

theacefes: You have to be realistic as well, you can't just be Swedish!


#10 -JR-

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 06:11 PM

Ok, yeah, I'll definitely see some sort of councilor next week. (If I can get my car up and running I suppose...)

Choo Choo, I like your name... someone go start a random socializing thread in the circus, I've been here too long not to know you people.
"Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil." - C.S. Lewis

#11 Scipio

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 01:20 AM

See whoever can help or advise you in any way, but DO NOT let this impugning of your integrity go unchallenged. Go back to the professor and politely ask if he has done any further investigation. If he has, ask if he's satisfied that you didn't copy anyone else's work. If he hasn't, tell him someone should investigate because your reputation is more important to you than the marks for a single paper.

Choo Choo, I like your name... someone go start a random socializing thread in the circus, I've been here too long not to know you people.

Hmm, that should be me. We started the Circus so that people like me could post endless streams of irrelevant nonsense. I haven't posted anything for a while because nobody seemed to bother about any Circus material except word association games.
I did battle with monsters, and they became me, and when I gazed into the abyss, the abyss looked away shyly.
See, it helps not to believe all the stuff that philosophers spout.

#12 -JR-

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 04:18 PM

Haven't had time yet, but I'll definitely do something. Y'all are right, this is too dangerous not to address.

Hmm, that should be me. We started the Circus so that people like me could post endless streams of irrelevant nonsense. I haven't posted anything for a while because nobody seemed to bother about any Circus material except word association games.

Hey, that's not true! I posted a thread directed at you a month ago about a nose bleed I had. Er, have. Still hasn't fully gone away. Broken too many times...
"Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil." - C.S. Lewis

#13 Catex101

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 09:51 PM

I guess it is has been sometime since you asked this  but it could still help someone out there.  You don't have to suffer plagiarism issues. You can use Turnitin.com or plagscan.com. They have worked really well for me in the past. And you need someone to take care of the papers for you, you can consider  this site:

http://www.lastminut...apers-for-sale/

 

They have done a great job for me in the past