It is clear that in the above case of bought paperwork, Intent is a component of this act of plagiarizing and you would think that this is the first thing to be discussed in any suspected plagiarism situation: Whether the student had actually "intended" to lift the martial, or if this was somehow fortuitous and the evidence circumstantial. In any legal situation in a proper Count, intent will always be a primary consideration. But a college statement regarding plagiarism can proceed on a cited word basis, counting the number of words and phrases and how often repeated, and use that as primary evidence while refusing to consider the primary level of Intent. This is contrary not only to the Law in every proper court case, but also to basic common sense. It offers college Judicial Boards a mechanical procedure, which saves time and effort by avoiding the complexities of examination of motive. This is a questionable way of proceeding, which could never stand up in a legally tried case, where intent is the first thing to be proved or disproved. Disregarding intent steers the case to conviction almost by default.
But in a college Judicial Board proceeding, things are different and the college rules may in certain cases define Plagiarism as the mere appearance of identical materials without discussing whether intent was involved. The makes the investigation far simpler from the college's point of view since without a discussion of Intent conviction is pretty much assured in the majority of cases. Remember that the college "trial" is an in-house procedure and here, as in any private company, whatever rules are established will be outside the purview of a real court proceeding. Even if the college Court does something which would be unacceptable in legal practice, it will be very difficult for a lawyer to win a case against a private institution and few will want to undertake a case for the injured student.
Self-plagiarism occurs when a student submits his or her own previous work, or mixes parts of previous works, without permission from all professors involved. For example, it would be unacceptable to incorporate part of a term paper you wrote in high school into a paper assigned in a college course. Self-plagiarism also applies to submitting the same piece of work for assignments in different classes without previous permission from both professors.
Mosaic Plagiarism occurs when a student borrows phrases from a source without using quotation marks, or finds synonyms for the author’s language while keeping to the same general structure and meaning of the original. Sometimes called “patch writing,” this kind of paraphrasing, whether intentional or not, is academically dishonest and punishable – even if you footnote your source! [.]
Accidental plagiarism occurs when a person neglects to cite their sources, or misquotes their sources, or unintentionally paraphrases a source by using similar words, groups of words, and/or sentence structure without attribution. ( for mosaic plagiarism.) Students must learn how to cite their sources and to take careful and accurate notes when doing research. (See the section on the Avoiding Plagiarism page.) Lack of intent does not absolve the student of responsibility for plagiarism. Cases of accidental plagiarism are taken as seriously as any other plagiarism and are subject to the same range of consequences as other types of plagiarism.
The papers offered by term paper mills vary in length, quality, and inclusion of references. Some of the pay sites provide summaries of papers that may offer clues as to whether they are the original source of your student's paper. Rather than searching numerous term paper mill sites, try a search in a Web search engine use the words "term paper" or "research paper" along with words that describe the student's topic.
It is clear that in the above case of bought paperwork, Intent is a component of this act of plagiarizing and you would think that this is the first thing to be discussed in any suspected plagiarism situation: Whether the student had actually "intended" to lift the martial, or if this was somehow fortuitous and the evidence circumstantial. In any legal situation in a proper Count, intent will always be a primary consideration. But a college statement regarding plagiarism can proceed on a cited word basis, counting the number of words and phrases and how often repeated, and use that as primary evidence while refusing to consider the primary level of Intent. This is contrary not only to the Law in every proper court case, but also to basic common sense. It offers college Judicial Boards a mechanical procedure, which saves time and effort by avoiding the complexities of examination of motive. This is a questionable way of proceeding, which could never stand up in a legally tried case, where intent is the first thing to be proved or disproved. Disregarding intent steers the case to conviction almost by default. But in a college Judicial Board proceeding, things are different and the college rules may in certain cases define Plagiarism as the mere appearance of identical materials without discussing whether intent was involved. The makes the investigation far simpler from the college's point of view since without a discussion of Intent conviction is pretty much assured in the majority of cases. Remember that the college "trial" is an in-house procedure and here, as in any private company, whatever rules are established will be outside the purview of a real court proceeding. Even if the college Court does something which would be unacceptable in legal practice, it will be very difficult for a lawyer to win a case against a private institution and few will want to undertake a case for the injured student. The one thing a college must protect is its reputation. Years ago it was clear that Communists must be routed out of college since their presence would infect the integrity of its teaching. A good reputation for sexual propriety is also important to colleges since that involves contracts in which the institution has been assumed to stand legally . Plagiarism at this point seems to have excited similar apprehensions about preservation of the college's reputation: Infractions of this ilk strike close to a college's reputation and will lower its stance in a competitive educational world. Therefore it should be no surprise that fighting Plagiarism, whether real or imaginary, serious or circumstantial, intentional or accidental, will be high on the college's list of danger spots. Prosecuting and convicting plagiarism will be seen in the public eye as marks of a college's seriousness and integrity .There are many situations in life in which quoted words are unconsciously used in the construction of new sentences, yet nobody would really refer to phrases like "our daily bread" or " to be or not to be..." as plagiaristic. When commonly known wording becomes a part of the English language, it is free for common use and is so used by any novelist or poet without citation, reference or apology. That much is clear. There are similar situations in which the student does not show intent to steal material, yet has not made it pellucidly clear which words in the paper are his own and which are a part of a text from an author being studied. This situation is further complexified by differences in accepted standards in Literature and Science fields, as in the following situations: In the strict judicial application of plagiarism charges, if a small number of words, often stated as "three or more", is found in the same order as in a source, that by itself can constitute plagiarism. On the other hand nobody would charge plagiarism for three words from Shakespeare or the Bible, since there are many phrases which have been subsumed into the language. We all use words from sources which are in many cases forgotten or never known in the first place. The problem here is that if a short string of words in found to be identical with a presumed "source", and if intent is precluded from the judicial consideration, then upon the raising of a charge, conviction is almost certainly guaranteed. Copyright infringement is not the question here, nor is depriving someone of rightful profit from his writing. What we seem to have is a newly generated Academic Eleventh Commandment: Thou Shall Not Steal Words as part of a new moral code applied specifically to students in an educational setting. From the above, it is clear that a student must take care to avoid any possible appearance of plagiarism, since charges may be heavily loaded against him, and Conviction in many cases becomes a part of the student's college grade and course transcript. For this reason the student must be in documentation, with these precautionary measures kept strictly in mind: A: Use quotation marks on all cited materials as the sure way of protecting yourself from charges. If told NOT to use them, submit a draft to the teacher without them and ask if the paper is in acceptable format. If the draft is returned with " " marked for removal or with an express note to that effect, keep that draft for your own protection. Then you can submit the paper without " " assuming that you are covered; or you can put them in and face criticism and even a poor grade on the basis of improper format. But that is preferable to charges! B: Be sure the sources of all cited materials are listed in your bibliography, which should be written in a format consonant to that of a professional Journal in that field. Look in the Journals in the college library for citation and reference format, and follow that exactly, keeping a note of where you got the format you used. There is great variation in publication standards and your source will be important. C: Be sure that at the close of each citation or each sentence with a citation that there is a reference to the bibliography, usually with author's initials and date of the publication (e.g. RG l998). And conversely be sure the bibliography is there for the text references, neither should be without the handshake of the other, and no extra items left to float loose. These three precautions will cover all situations you are likely to face, in a factual and reasonable manner, and if you do these things conscientiously you should be on safe ground. But also be sure to read all relevant paragraphs in the Student Handbook which should cover the same items, but if the language is different be sure to see if any serious differences. The college Rules are written by faculty members schooled by committee meetings in a habit of writing overly complicated documents, which tend to becloud simple situations in a quagmire of verbiage. Within the Rules there may be hidden dangers, and "things are never what they seem" (Gilbert-Sullivan: H.M.S. Pinafore), so I advise caution as a word to the wise. Every college states almost ad nauseam in its public relations, in the college catalog and now on the Internet, that the teacher is there to help the student in a personal and friendly way, while outlining standards for solid academic learning and independent thinking. Although this is generally true, there are situations in which the teacher, who has almost unlimited and unquestionable command over the administration of his courses, can assume toward some student a hostile and even punitive stance. Since faculty and administration usually stand firmly together with the teacher in a self-protecting manner, not unlike the metropolitan policeman's Code of Silence, the teacher's statement will often be the final word in the matter. If it is a question of preserving the student's rights and reputation, as against the honor of the teacher as an employee of the college, the choice often goes toward saving the teacher. It is so in government and in business, therefore not surprising find this true in the academic world as well.In many years of college teaching, I have seen less than six actual cases of questionable or unfounded plagiarism charges. In two cases with my own students I remember one student came back from spring vacation with a paper far superior to his prior work, and I queried him about its source. None of his sources were in our library, but he stated that he had done work in a large Public Library with new source material. Realizing that I would have to charge on purely stylistic grounds, which I felt would be questionable and probably untenable, I told him my opinion and remarking that this would be on his conscience for some years, decided to let him off. Technically I was bound to report any suspicion by the Rules, which in this case I felt I should ignore, referring the matter back to the student's own sense of conscience, and I suspect this effected a fairly reliable cure. In a second situation I had a paper of some twenty pages in flawless format with perfectly done footnotes on each page and a professional bibliography. I told the student I hadn't seen work like this for the last twenty years, and was very suspicious. He smiled and told me that he worked summers for two writers as clerk and apprentice and was intending to write professionally, and was polite in accepting my sincere apologies. But had I acted in anger and haste, this could have gone to the Board as a case of plagiarism, with subsequent embarrassments on both sides.But there are other cases I know of which unfortunately reveal a far different turn, which I would like to summarize with a few changes in the interest of anonymity: Of course these are unusual situations , but there is a potential for this sort of thing happening again. Relationships between students and teachers are not always amicable, partly because of a difference in age and experience, sometimes because of a student's resistance to the voice of authority. Male teachers who have a tendency to favor girl students in grades and can feel challenged by some of the more aggressive men students, especially when first entering the field fresh from their graduate studies where authority rested in the next level above them. Nobody will sense hostility sooner than the student. So if a student feels uneasy in a course, they should be very cautious about conforming to exact standards in writing, as the sore spot for any charges concerning written materials. If a student is feeling uneasy there is probably a reason, so take charge of the situation early with written course work done very carefully. I must tell you at this point that you have almost no legal rights if charged and convicted in such a situation. First of all, you are judged in what is in effect a "private Court", which like a judicial proceeding in a commercial company, does not have the regulation or protection of our national laws. These proceedings are strictly "in house" and will never be referred to an outside legal review and almost never appear in the press. So when a conviction for plagiarism is arrived at, the case is effectively CLOSED Even a conscientious lawyer who sympathizes with the situation will tell you that it is very hard to overturn a charge like this in a private institution. Colleges make up their own rules which are iron-bound unless they conflict openly with a student's Civil Rights based on race or gender. Having a lawyer present at the judicial hearing might seem wise, or it might be offensive to the Board members and work again the case. If convicted and there is a mark on your transcript which would work against future studies or employment, remember that a transcript follows your forever; so you might think of a civil case against the college after graduation on the basis of lost reputation and earnings. But this again is questionable as to effectiveness, and might be waste of time, emotions and money. If convicted and the transcript carries the charge, the best procedure might be to find several faculty members who will supply letters which are assured to go into your permanent transcript record,. They should state that the case was flawed and unwarranted, with sufficient detail to make their statement supportable. Whether this will hold water in the next higher level of academic administration at application to Graduate School or when interviewing for a job is not clear, but it is probably better than nothing at all. All of this bring us to a final piece of advice for students, which is very simple: Do your paperwork with punctilious caution and leave no possibility of citation error unturned. Read the Rules with an eye to trouble, talk over any problems with a friendly teacher, and if not sure about his answers go to someone else, a senior professor or someone in the Dean's office. But the final authority for correct work which is proof against charges must rest with you yourself. Nobody else but you is the final responsible person who will ensure that your written work gets through the tightest scrutiny without any question. This is more than a question of writing an acceptable college paper. It is a rule for conducting the course of your life in such a way that you never have to look back and say you should have done it differently, or blame the teacher or supervisor who should have set you straight. There are many places to go awry in the coming years, and nobody can outline for you the curves on the road or the bad drivers in the other lane. Steering wheel or pencil on paper, the course finally rests in your own hands.
has made a widespread appearance on the American education scene. Briefly this is a google-style registry of everything which the electronic world has been able to robot-search, devised and run by a commercial company, which now sells its product to schools and teachers on contract, for the purpose of locating possible "plagiarism" of words and phrases in student papers. Originally a system designed to track down commercially sold term papers, it is now being used in many colleges for far different purposes.
Many students have been caught by simple questions like, "Whatexactlydo you mean here by 'dynamic equivalence'?" Few students use words theycannot pronounce, so having them read some of the paper aloud can beinterestingas well (although you may be merely exposing the mindless use of athesaurus).If you suspect a student has copied a whole paper, complete withcitations,asking about the sources can be useful. "Where did you find the articleby Edwards? It sounds fascinating. Can you bring me a copy atthenext meeting?" Or, "This quotation seems slightly out of context. Whatwas Follet's main point in the chapter?"