Plagarism checker

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Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 27 2013 5:58 AM

Re: busy profs.

I had a prof who would assign us a 5 page paper on a complex topic.  If we went over 5 pages, he drew a line at 5 pages with the comment "Good start - no conclusion".  This was actually good for life in the church, since how many would want to read a 10 page essay on a topic in the average parish?  It also kept their grading responsibilities in check.  And I can't imagine a school where the essays are not read - at least by a TA...

SDG

Ken McGuire

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

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Ronald Quick | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 27 2013 6:05 AM

I have to add my 2 cents also:

I am an adjunct instructor at a community college and one time I had a student properly cite the resource they were using.  But the only problem was their entire paper, except for the opening and closing paragraphs were word-for-word copied and pasted from the article they were using.  I guess it's not technically plagarism since they properly cited the article.  So, I consulted my supervisor (I had only been teaching for a short while) on what to do.  I gave them a low grade and explained why.  What shocked me was that they did it again---they received a failing grade.

Posts 4138
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 27 2013 11:05 AM

Tom Reynolds:

abondservant,

I find your story very disturbing. Bible colleges/Seminaries are selling you an education based on either their professors' reputation (e.g. they have written a lot of quality books) or based on the professor's ability to teach you what you need to know (e.g. boasting of small class sizes). In either case this professor and this school has let the students down. Thankfully I've gone to schools where the professor (or TA) had to write a significant amount of feedback on papers in order to help the students improve. If you are at a school that doesn't expect that of professors then I think there is a serious problem. Unfortunately schools often attract students based on their professors' reputations which means they are too busy to offer much feedback themselves. There is also little attention given to their personal life and ethics/morals, as in this case. Sad, sad, sad. Perhaps one day we will again focus on Christ rather than the ABCs of church (Attendance, Buildings, Cash).

It is and should be disturbing. By the time of this incident I was already in my senior year, other professors were ethical and now that I am attending a different school on the graduate level I feel as though I had been prepared academically for what I am now doing - though I have yet to take any missions classes... So we shall see. I did not pursue my graduate level degrees at that institution. The dean of students was active in making sure we were both involved in a local church that took responsibility for our morality, but also active in ministry as well. We had monthly reports to write, and neglecting a report resulted in community service hours through habitat for humanity (as well as making up the missing report for ministry already done).

I am now in my second year at SEBTS and loving it, working towards three degrees, an Ma, M.Div, and ThM. My experience with SEBTS has been dramatically different, and far more positive.

Ken McGuire:

Re: busy profs.

I had a prof who would assign us a 5 page paper on a complex topic.  If we went over 5 pages, he drew a line at 5 pages with the comment "Good start - no conclusion".  This was actually good for life in the church, since how many would want to read a 10 page essay on a topic in the average parish?  It also kept their grading responsibilities in check.  And I can't imagine a school where the essays are not read - at least by a TA...

SDG

Ken McGuire



Its a small enough school that other than one prof no one had a Ta. The prof that did have a Ta taught classes everyone was required to take (rhetoric of science1&2, theology 1-4, philosophy, and some classes RE C.S. Lewis). On a big year we had around 300 students. The professor in my story for the semester in question had 5 classes he was teaching. The freshman class (introduction to missions) had aprox 50 students. The other 4 upper level classes had between 4 & 10 students. The class I was in (sr level theology of missions), had only 4. Beyond financial support of his local church; and extensive (tens of thousands of dollars monthly) support to indigenous missionaries - to my understanding he was not involved in ministry. Teaching future pastors and ministries is a form of ministry i believe - however I think the Lord will hold anyone accountable that is so derelict & negligent with their ministry. So I don't buy the "too busy" excuse Zip it!. Too busy? spend a few dollars on a Ta, or teach fewer classes. He required we submit hand written papers for certain things on the syllabus. If I am not too busy to research and write 25 pages - by hand - on my own personal theology of worship, then he should be willing to read it, or ask us to do less. I certainly would have put a lot less into these papers, if I knew they were graded capriciously by a recalcitrant Fuller Theological Seminary graduate, who wasn't even willing to fulfill the most properly basic aspects of his role. All in all I had 8 classes with the man - 24 credits.

I asked for a refund of the near 20k I paid to take those classes; but was declined.

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Posts 165
Steven Veach | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 24 2021 6:52 PM

I had a student who in his assignments (forum posts, and emails with me) had a real difficulty with the English language. But, his first paper he turned in was perfect English. I did a google search on a few sentences and he'd pulled it from an online Bible dictionary. Word for word. I confronted him about it and he stated he didn't have time to actually write the paper. He needed to finish his work and get his degree now!

He received no grade for the paper and subsequently withdrew from the school.

I'm just always so surprised at how bold people are when it comes to this kind of stuff. But I suppose if you know, like in the other example in this thread, your professor is not actually reading your papers you can get away with it.

Posts 165
Steven Veach | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 24 2021 6:53 PM

Ted Weis:

Right now I'm grading Nehemiah essays and found two papers that are expressing the same idea--sentence for sentence and paragraph for paragraph, though not word for word. Sneaky because its difficult to discern who is copying from whom.

I would bet you this was not from one copying from the other. It was two students who bought papers from the same place online or same individual at school. They regurgitate papers quite a bit.

Posts 4138
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 24 2021 8:09 PM



Steven Veach:

Ted Weis:

Right now I'm grading Nehemiah essays and found two papers that are expressing the same idea--sentence for sentence and paragraph for paragraph, though not word for word. Sneaky because its difficult to discern who is copying from whom.

I would bet you this was not from one copying from the other. It was two students who bought papers from the same place online or same individual at school. They regurgitate papers quite a bit.



This is a really old thread.

Its possible they just studied together. I'd feel like more research into the situation is asked for.

But then, I've been through some things at the hands of professors. So perhaps my opinion is clouded.

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Posts 136
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 24 2021 8:51 PM

We are in the middle of recruiting PhD students. We want to take people who can write decently. We ask the applicants to write a para or two on a hobby or a TV program they like to watch. The key is to email the 1-2 paras to us within 10 minutes after the finish of the Zoom interview. We want to check their true writing skill because it is so easy to outsource their Statement of Purpose.

One of the applicants wrote a very poetic paragraph that was quite different from what we heard in the Zoom interview. So we checked the writing sample using TurnItIn software. 72% Similarity! She was ruled out. Otherwise, she would have been surely given the offer. 

Posts 3703
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 25 2021 9:11 AM

Big Smile Big Smile

mm.

Don Awalt:

Ted Weis:

Right now I'm grading Nehemiah essays and found two papers that are expressing the same idea--sentence for sentence and paragraph for paragraph, though not word for word. Sneaky because its difficult to discern who is copying from whom.

Maybe they both copied from "Q"  Wink

mm.

Posts 8352
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 25 2021 1:27 PM

A young student in a school of preaching got expelled because he was late on some papers he needed to turn in.  When he turned them in it was all downloads from the internet he had copied and pasted! He even forgot to delete the URLs at the bottom of the pages of his so called research! Another copied and pasted too much to the point he forgot to delete a parentheses note that read “see my comments on x page of my book” 😂😂😂 He got a break because all he was doing was quoting the author and accidentally included that note 😂😂😂

The things you see!

I wonder if a book like R.T. Kendall’s “Understanding Theology, Vols. 1-3” should fall under plagiarism? He quotes verbatim from dictionaries and other sources and gives zero bibliographies! Some say it doesn’t count because it was sermons he preached and put in book form, but he’s still profiting from the works of others and gives them no credit! Then again, Mark Driscoll plagiarized a lot in his sermons and he quickly had to take his sermons off the internet for plagiarism (Not that I care about Mark Driscoll or his preaching!).  

So what’s exactly the standard and when do you apply it when enforcing plagiarism protocol?

DAL

Posts 165
Steven Veach | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 25 2021 2:29 PM

DAL:
I wonder if a book like R.T. Kendall’s “Understanding Theology, Vols. 1-3” should fall under plagiarism? He quotes verbatim from dictionaries and other sources and gives zero bibliographies! Some say it doesn’t count because it was sermons he preached and put in book form, but he’s still profiting from the works of others and gives them no credit! Then again, Mark Driscoll plagiarized a lot in his sermons and he quickly had to take his sermons off the internet for plagiarism (Not that I care about Mark Driscoll or his preaching!).  

So what’s exactly the standard and when do you apply it when enforcing plagiarism protocol?

DAL

I was assigned a textbook in an undergrad history courses that has zero citations. He quoted people, but mostly pointed out facts and figures and historical events without any reference or indication of where he got the material. I asked about this online and, apparently, there is a whole category for history books that either the authors don't bother to use citation, refuse to use citation, or the publisher does not want citation. Since high school it was drilled into me that if it's not mine it has to be cited. In reality, I guess not always.

As for biblical text, I think it was a Chuck Missler comment once that 100 years ago theologians (and people in general) borrowed from each other all the time with citation. It was considered to be a positive - that you thought enough of their writing to use it. Times have changed, apparently. But not that much. Missler had a lawsuit filed against him for plagiarism by in the 90's. 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 25 2021 2:42 PM

Steven Veach:
He quoted people, but mostly pointed out facts and figures and historical events without any reference or indication of where he got the material

Rule of thumb is that if you are not directly quoting, if you can find a piece of information in 5 sources it is common knowledge and does not require a citation. A friend of mine was in a hassle over this on a book of calendars - does it have to be 5 sources in a commonly known language?

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 165
Steven Veach | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 25 2021 2:46 PM

The answer I got back was, there are apparently some "old school" historians who refuse to use citations in their writings. Also, if their work is targeted to a popular or general audience, the publisher does not want citations. I've never heard this before until I asked about it concerning this particular book. Also, textbooks don't use citations? 

I've also never heard the 5 source rule either. All I got in undergrad was cite, cite, cite!

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 25 2021 2:51 PM

Common Knowledge: to cite or not to cite? Take the Interactive Test (scribbr.com)

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 25 2021 5:05 PM

My grandchildren are in late high school to beginning a masters program. I have told them to cite everything including where you use ideas.

For example: if you are using the color red to mean anger cite where you got that idea - don't assume it as common knowledge.  

Along similar lines some, especially high school, say not to use Wikipedia. I tell them to heavily cite any use of Wikipedia. And print a copy of the article, with date downloaded, in your appendix. Yes, Wikipedia has a poor reputation but it does have lots of topics and can be a place to start.  Make use of its footnotes.  And cite the article even if you directly use nothing from it - you did get ideas from it even if no direct quotes are used.

Also download all articles used from web sites and include a copy in the appendix. One book that I am studding has lots of both Wikipedia and web site usage.   But since 2005 the articles that the author used are no longer on the site.  [one site that I tracked down was apparently,  in 2005, a repository of Christian written articles.  It is now, 2021, a repository of Christian audio sermons in mp3 format.]

Posts 165
Steven Veach | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 25 2021 8:49 PM

David Ames:

My grandchildren are in late high school to beginning a masters program. I have told them to cite everything including where you use ideas.

For example: if you are using the color red to mean anger cite where you got that idea - don't assume it as common knowledge.  

Along similar lines some, especially high school, say not to use Wikipedia. I tell them to heavily cite any use of Wikipedia. And print a copy of the article, with date downloaded, in your appendix. Yes, Wikipedia has a poor reputation but it does have lots of topics and can be a place to start.  Make use of its footnotes.  And cite the article even if you directly use nothing from it - you did get ideas from it even if no direct quotes are used.

Also download all articles used from web sites and include a copy in the appendix. One book that I am studding has lots of both Wikipedia and web site usage.   But since 2005 the articles that the author used are no longer on the site.  [one site that I tracked down was apparently,  in 2005, a repository of Christian written articles.  It is now, 2021, a repository of Christian audio sermons in mp3 format.]

The internet has a way of changing. I have bookmarks that I used to use that go to completely different companies. There might be an issue with including printed or downloaded papers in a published work (but probably not for a class). I don't really consider it my responsibility to provide my professors the means of finding the source. I simply cite it correctly and then it's up to them to find it. 

As for Wikipedia. I don't cite simply because 1. it changes and 2. professors don't like it (or say they don't like it but probably use it themselves). I do, though, use Wikipedia to get ideas or citations but only when the wiki author has cited a "credible" source. Then I use that source and skip the mention of Wikipedia altogether. 

I don't mind citation. My original point was, this is 2021. Print books, while not completely gone and probably still have a few more decades left, will one day be obsolete (as soon as Google finishes copying them all to their servers that is). We might as well just skip the page number system and cite everything using the digital format. Then it wouldn't matter which mode you were using to look up the source.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 26 2021 12:36 AM

Steven Veach:
. Print books, while not completely gone and probably still have a few more decades left, will one day be obsolete (as soon as Google finishes copying them all to their servers that is). We might as well just skip the page number system and cite everything using the digital format. Then it wouldn't matter which mode you were using to look up the source.

Those people who work primarily in ancient obscure languages and manuscripts would find these assumptions unsupportable - as would those dealing with printing as an art form.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 26 2021 9:36 AM

MJ. Smith:

Rule of thumb is that if you are not directly quoting, if you can find a piece of information in 5 sources it is common knowledge and does not require a citation.

Found an interesting use of ‘others’ writings.

After stating that these “are matters of history, well known and universally acknowledged”

[That is claiming that it is general knowledge available in many places]

They stated the following:

“In some cases where a historian has so grouped together events as to afford, in brief, a comprehensive view of the subject, or has summarized details in a convenient manner, his words have been quoted; but except in a few instances no specific credit has been given, since they are not quoted for the purpose of citing that writer as authority, but because his statement affords a ready and forcible presentation of the subject.” 

[[from a book by Kock on “666” on page 615 paragraph 2 quoting some other book.]]

Going by the “test” of “generally readily known knowledge”, as listed above in this thread, should the author have cited their resources? 

[[And Yes, they did quote word for word back in the 1880s.]]

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