Busted: How Your Professor Caught You Plagiarizing

plagiarism-4

Students: do you ever wonder how professors catch plagiarism? Following are some tips to avoid getting caught:

 

  1. when you copy something from Wikipedia, make sure you delete hyperlinks after pasting into your document;
  2. avoid copying online material that uses words you do not understand and that may be inapplicable for the discipline in which you are writing, e.g. “synoptic meta-scale dynamics” are not sociological terms;
  3. watch for tags at the end of phrases that may tip off your professor, e.g. “click here for more reviews of this book”;
  4. make sure you do not copy the formatting of the online source; a sudden switch from 12 pt. Times Roman to 18 pt. Cooper Black in the middle of a term paper is a dead giveaway;
  5. remember that professors read the course textbook, and so we will likely recognize text that is plagiarized from the book;
  6. know that we read other textbooks as well; copying text from a research methods text in Criminology instead of Sociology will probably backfire;
  7. note that people in the UK or Canada spell certain words differently than Americans; if you are a US student and you spell behavior with a “u”, as in behaviour, Word will put a squiggly red line underneath it, emphasizing its wrongness, and prompting your professor to google the entire sentence to find its online source;
  8. possibly my favorite: understand that professors will recognize text that is plagiarized from their own research articles (yes, I am THAT Sine Anahita)

Every single one of these tips come from my own experience with students. The very worst case I ever had was when a student told me that he didn’t know that the person he paid to write the essay was going to plagiarize it. Seriously?? I didn’t know whether to sob or to laugh hysterically. Maybe a little of both, eh?

Here are some sites that suggest hacks and other strategies to avoid being caught in an act of plagiarism. Of course, now that I know these exist, I will add these to my list of ways to catch plagiarism.

https://scholarlyoa.com/2013/02/07/five-ways-to-defeat-automated-plagiarism-detection/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cheat-turnitins-algorithm-avoid-plagiarism-giuseppe-macario

http://old.noplag.com/blog/how-students-try-to-cheat-plagiarism-checkers/

You can even purchase services that will hack your plagiarized work so that TurnItIn and SafeAssign do not work, e.g. http://www.cheatturnitin.com/ Do me a favor; when you purchase this service, tell them who referred you. I might get a commission.

The cartoon above is from this site: http://shaikhasker.blogspot.com/2014/09/academic-plagiarism-and-bangladesh.html

About sineanahita

Alaska's fiddling sociologist
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