Spotting Plagarism

June 04, 2004

Teresa Nielsen Hayden at Making Light comments on a Kent University student who recently complained about getting called for plagarism, apparantly he plagarized for the previous three years and was not accused of anything and so he thought it was OK to keep doing it.

I rather liked her formula for spotting plagarization:

Now, given his evident attitude, he canít have been a very gifted plagiarist. Few students are. Unless theyíre better-than-average writers, itís often enough just to monitor their semicolons: If they come and go, the studentís cheating.
I don't check semicolons, but I do watch for complex v simple sentences. She also suggests going back through plagarists' older work to check for repeat cheating. That works, if you have copies of it all. I know some professors insist that students turn in all papers twice, once as hardcopy and once by email. They then check the electronic copy for plagarism, and then archive it for future reference. As an adjunct, the only thing I keep are the final exam blue books, and those only because the Commonwealth of Virginia mandates that they be kept for seven years - I may be in Jersey now, but I still keep the blue books.

Posted by Red Ted at June 4, 2004 08:37 AM | TrackBack