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  1. #1
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    Feb. 14, 2003
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    Default Plagiarism by a student: how to find the origianl essay??!! GRR...

    I am spending part of my winter break grading argument essays written by my 8th graders on the topic of "Patriotism and Duty" (grew out of our poetry analysis of "Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" poem). I posed this question: Do you think your generation feels a strong enough sense of patriotism to answer any call to duty made by the government?

    They had one week, could use the internet to find factual data to support their position and reasons. I read one today that took my breath away--and not in a good way.

    This paper is NOT the work of an 8th grader, at least none in my 5 classes. The child in question is bright enough, but this is not her work--the syntax, word choice and the level of subject knowledge is WAY beyond her normal writing. This is plagiarized, off the internet I'm sure. But...

    I can't find the damn thing anywhere out there on the Web! ARGH.

    I need tips on what/how to type in a search to see if I can locate the blessed original. I am afraid that mom/dad might have written it (if they did, it is really good, but I really doubt it!), and I'm so not looking forward to the confrontation I'm going to have. Granted, all I received was the final draft--typed--and I asked for their plan, notes and first draft, so she's already in hot water..

    Thanks for letting me vent and for any help you can give me.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2001
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    New York, NY
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    Default

    My mom (she teaches 9th grade world geography) uses TurnItIn—http://turnitin.com/

    Could work?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
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    Default

    Isn't there software that teachers use to find stolen essays?

    If she didn't write it and it's not out there on the internet for public consumption, my guess would be that she paid for it. There are eleventy-billion spots on the internet where you can buy an essay, and they're not going to POST their essays for the world to see, so they won't pop in a google search.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
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    Western NY
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    Default

    Give me a paragraph or two... I am awesome at finding plagiarism! It was my greatest delight in teaching, really...


    6 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    Nov. 18, 2010
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    california
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    Default

    I really hope you let the parents know. I would be so upset if it was my child.....I had used arguments in college but never the essays.



  6. #6
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    Mar. 25, 2011
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    Pennsylvania
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    Default

    Turnitin works, but while I'd love to help you I don't know that FERPA allows me to take any portion of your student's work to run it through. You can also take sections and Google them in quotes.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Packing my bags
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    31,339

    Default

    poor kid... the COTH hounds are of the trail!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2005
    Location
    Illinois
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    402

    Default

    Sorry....and been there! Usually just trying different sentences from the essay in Google does it for me, so I'm no help! I was thinking you could change up some of the simpler wording , but I don't think a young plagiarizer would actually change wording around! I HATE it when you're grading along and have some productive motivation working for you, and you then come along something that is plagiarized. It's such a pain in the butt! Her lack of planning is a big red flag. Usually, if they do that step and you are asking for it, they turn it in. Since you told them that the pre-writing was a requirement, you could ask her to produce that, plus links to her sources, before assigning her a grade. I have, in the past, told a student that I do not think that the essay is his/hers for whatever reasons, and I will continue to think that it is not theirs until I see the sources and evidence of planning.

    Sorry and good luck!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2011
    Posts
    804

    Default

    This is why I make mine do their's at school, no taking it home to work on it. Did you use a rubric which included the pre-writing? That way at least you can bust her on that.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2007
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    3,152

    Default

    Ditto using a google search for quotes....select part of a sentence that uses language or ideas that do not "fit" the profile of the student's ability / usual work. If you find the original text, print out a copy of it and staple it to her work. Also, keep a photocopy of the suspect essay for future reference.
    I once had a senior student print straight off a webpage and highlight the relevant information, and present it as his work. Between fits of laughter I explained why he wouldn't get a grade for that assignment.
    D.
    Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
    Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
    http://wilddiamondintherough.blogspot.ca/



  11. #11
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    Jan. 26, 2010
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    Default

    I usually just do as DoubleClick does. Keep typing in phrases until you get something.

    And THIS is why we have to completely change the way we do essays. No matter what, they cheat.

    The only solution I know is as another teacher does--do the research, write drafts, take it all away, and write your final draft in class.

    Isn't is sad we all know we have to have all of the proof and ducks in order?



  12. #12
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    Default

    Yes--she's busted with no pre-write, and yes, parents will be notified. We simply don't have enough technology available or time, to allow all research to take place at school.

    Here are the first and second body paragraphs:

    The first reason is that generations that do not have a common goal tend to lack these qualities. The more generations that pass without a common driving force the less patriotic the become. Generations that have been involved in great wars in American history were brought together with a single focus to defeat a common enemy. The two great world wars are examples of how the nation came together and, in doing so, created a sense of patriotism this generation has not experienced.

    The second reason follows the first. The more individualistic the people of a generation become, the more self-serving and self-centered they become. This selfishness creates a sense of entitlement within the generation, where paraphrasing Pres. John F. Kennedy, they look not for what they can do for their country, but rather what the country can do for them. Recent elections and the use of class warfare to separate us rather than bring us together were sadly proven effective. This shows that many have begun to vote for personal gain rather than for what may be best for the country as a whole.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  13. #13
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    Jan. 26, 2010
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    Default

    I know one of the ways kids cheat is to take an essay, put it through Google translate, translate into another language, and then translate it back into English. I don't know how to catch that, though.



  14. #14
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    Oct. 2, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calvincrowe View Post
    Yes--she's busted with no pre-write, and yes, parents will be notified. We simply don't have enough technology available or time, to allow all research to take place at school.

    Here are the first and second body paragraphs:

    The first reason is that generations that do not have a common goal tend to lack these qualities. The more generations that pass without a common driving force the less patriotic the become. Generations that have been involved in great wars in American history were brought together with a single focus to defeat a common enemy. The two great world wars are examples of how the nation came together and, in doing so, created a sense of patriotism this generation has not experienced.

    The second reason follows the first. The more individualistic the people of a generation become, the more self-serving and self-centered they become. This selfishness creates a sense of entitlement within the generation, where paraphrasing Pres. John F. Kennedy, they look not for what they can do for their country, but rather what the country can do for them. Recent elections and the use of class warfare to separate us rather than bring us together were sadly proven effective. This shows that many have begun to vote for personal gain rather than for what may be best for the country as a whole.
    This is classic Jane Shaffer, by the way. Could the little devil have paid some college student to write it?
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
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    Apr. 9, 2005
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    Colorado
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    I know one of the ways kids cheat is to take an essay, put it through Google translate, translate into another language, and then translate it back into English. I don't know how to catch that, though.
    Oh wow, learn something new every day.



  16. #16
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    Default

    I don't think she paid anyone--just not that big of an assignment, just a basic "let's review persuasive writing technique and researching". And, believe me, she/he is not capable of this level of writing--nothing in her past work hints at this level of work.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  17. #17
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    Jan. 26, 2010
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    Default

    Yeah, it is completely Schaffer model.

    And, a an 8th grade language arts teacher and grammar queen, I'd be glad to write my professional opinion to the parents that NO WAY did an 8th grader write that, and I have some great writers.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
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    Mar. 25, 2011
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    Default

    Nothing on TII and that's worrisome. When students use references they can't help but copy a little -that's why there is a TII range that you look for. So a percent of zero is as telling as a percent of 80.

    But of you can't prove it you can't accuse.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  19. #19
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Fort Collins, CO
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    Default

    Does she have an older sibling?

    And purchasing an essay is just not terribly hard or expensive. I admit I did it once in college when I just couldn't get my teeth into the assignment.



  20. #20
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    Yeah, it is completely Schaffer model.

    And, a an 8th grade language arts teacher and grammar queen, I'd be glad to write my professional opinion to the parents that NO WAY did an 8th grader write that, and I have some great writers.
    You could give her a quiz on her own writing. What's a "driving force?" What are the two great wars you are referring to? Explain individualism, entitlement, class warfare, etc. I bet she couldn't pass the quiz.


    10 members found this post helpful.

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