Plagarism checker

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Posts 13
David Grace | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Nov 26 2013 7:46 AM

Could someone recommend a good plagiarism checker to m?. I will be willing to pay for one if it is of high quality and not promising the moon. I will be writing a blog soon and want to be sure that I am not using a quote from some source without giving them credit. Please help!

Posts 5620
Todd Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 26 2013 7:51 AM

Google.

Search for a quote in quotes, and Google will search both the web and their vast collection of scanned books for the quote.

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Posts 3052
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 26 2013 8:01 AM

Todd Phillips:
Google.

Exactly.

As a collj perfesser, I use it all the time. I even found someone who had pulled work from my dissertation without attribution, and the dissertation was never published, only scanned in to Google's vast empire of words by the library at Texas A&M.

It works, and it is free.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 26 2013 8:03 AM

Doc B:
As a collj perfesser, I use it all the time

I bet you have some good stories!

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 26 2013 8:25 AM

Doc B:

Todd Phillips:
Google.

Exactly.

As a collj perfesser, I use it all the time. I even found someone who had pulled work from my dissertation without attribution, and the dissertation was never published, only scanned in to Google's vast empire of words by the library at Texas A&M.

It works, and it is free.

Hmm.  Need I guess regarding the grade given on that? 

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 682
Ted Weis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 26 2013 8:33 AM

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.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 26 2013 8:43 AM

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.

Give them both an "F" with a note regarding plagiarism.  If one of them feels wronged, he can plead his case.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 26 2013 8:51 AM

Ted Weis:
Sneaky because its difficult to discern who is copying from whom.

I guess they hoped you would not notice.

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

Posts 2830
Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 26 2013 8:58 AM

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

Posts 3768
Floyd Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 26 2013 9:47 AM

My worst case of plagiarism was after giving students a writing assignment in our Computer Science service course.  The students writing was SO GOOD, that I questioned its authenticity.  It also did not match the style that I was seeing in his response to essay questions.  I took a chance and typed a couple of key sentences from the student's paper into Google and found five or six copies of the paper on the internet.  He received a grade of "F" on the paper and a referral to the Dean of Students for his blatant plagiarism.

Lesson:  If you are going to copy somebody else's work, don't copy work that has previously been copied.  Smile

After that experience, I was asked to give a brief presentation on the detection of plagiarism.  The school also adopted a campus wide tool for checking papers - each paper checked was also added to the database so it could not be further shared.  Sorry, having now been out of the classroom for four or five years, I do not remember which tool our campus adopted.

Blessings,
Floyd

Pastor-Patrick.blogspot.com

Posts 4134
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 26 2013 10:30 AM

As an undergraduate, I had a friend (also the male youth pastor at my church, who was in some of the same classes) that I would study with. We could cover twice as many books, and shared notes about the things we did read. I would always read the more academic material, WBC, Anchor, Semia, etc. He would consistently read Wiersby, listen to J Vernon McGee, and John Piper. We balanced each other out well, and I presumed we never copied each other directly.

He always would get a better grade than I would, and I could never understand it. He would receive a 98, I would receive an 89. 8 or 9 times this happened over the course of the semester; he would receive a 100, and I would receive a 94, he would receive a 94 and I would receive a 70. Neither of us had any explanation of our grade - positive or negative. Simply a red pen grade on top of our returned 8-12 page papers.

So one day I had my friend give me a copy of his graded paper, and read it. He had expressed many of the same concepts that I had, quoted my notes verbatim, etc.

So to the chagrin of my friend; I went to the prof and showed him both papers, and sets of notes and explained what we had been doing, and asked him to show me why I had gotten a lesser grade.

He explained he thought my class participation was low (which it usually is - if I have a question its after I have had a chance to think about things for a while, and it usually arrives by email and not in the classroom) and that was why he gave me a lesser grade. I pointed out that he has 10% of our grade reserved on the syllabus for class participation, so why also take a % off of my paper. He said he had to go, that he had class in 10 and needed to finish preparing.

I was quite annoyed.

About the same time (within a week or so, and while I was making up my mind what to do next)  another student wrote a paper on scooby doo, instead of her missions assignment for this same professor. Turned it in and received an A. Rather than talk to the prof, she told everyone on campus and the prof tried to have her expelled for "plagiarism" (she was not), and failing that he tried to have me expelled for "deep seated spiritual issues" (I was not). Now furious I went to the deans.

Come to find out, the professor was grading every paper and assignment based upon his understanding of what we knew based upon our interaction in class, and not on the papers themselves. He admitted openly (infront of both the academic and dean of students) to never having read any of the papers he's been submitted since he started at the school in 2001.

The administration found in both of our favor. Yet retained the professor. I have NO idea why.

They even put him in charge of Sr. Dissertations. Which meant I had to take another class with him. He accepted my first draft as the final paper and gave me a grade of B-. At that point I didn't care if he had read it or not. I just wanted out of that place :/.

The best part was that he was also my adviser. He told me he would never sign my Bachelors degree, yet when I graduated there his name was :). I tried to talk to him about it all after the fact, and he acted like none of it had ever happened. I've forgiven him. But its given me a different (negative) perspective in regards to professors. I have started doing something blatant and intentionally wrong on the cover page as a litmus test, at my current seminary all of my professors (thus far praise the Lord!) are actually reading my work and giving me feedback. That is one of the things I am paying for after all.

Any way, currently my school uses a product called "turn it in". Not every professor uses it - but most do. It reads the paper, and compares it against the database and google (as it has been described to me any way) then adds the paper to the database. It perhaps gags at gnats - theological terms and so forth are sometimes flagged as being 1% suspicion of plagiarism - but the professor is able to read both my paper and the presumed plagiarized portion from the other work to see if it was just a coincidental word usage anomaly or if it was legitimate.

You can even grade the paper from within turn it in. The student mouses over a red mark and can see your comments on anything you liked or disliked, and can even respond with their own feedback on any contested negative marks.

I'm not sure if it checks for concepts to compare in that way, or if it is just mechanical word for word plagiarism that it can detect. The student is also allowed to see the words that triggered the flags. Every paper I wrote had at least one flag on it usually 1% or 2% suspicion of plagiarism - but nothing that ever rose to the level where the professor wanted to talk to me about it. So it may return a lot of false positives that you will need to wade through... Or from the prof's side you may have a threshold you can set minimum suspicion percentage or something along those lines... I honestly have no idea. If your school uses Moodle as a back-end software for the school, turn it in has a plug in for that. Not sure about "blackboard" or some of the other classroom web softwares.

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 26 2013 11:49 AM

Ted Weis:
Sneaky because its difficult to discern who is copying from whom.

You've found the REAL reason why you needed those classes on textual criticism at seminary. 

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

Posts 3052
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 26 2013 11:56 AM

Floyd Johnson:
The school also adopted a campus wide tool for checking papers - each paper checked was also added to the database so it could not be further shared.  Sorry, having now been out of the classroom for four or five years, I do not remember which tool our campus adopted.

One of the most popular tools right now, which integrates into Blackboard (the most common online course software), is called 'Safe Assign'.

It uses some pretty advanced plagiarism detection protocols, and while it occasionally has false positives, is pretty accurate.

I don't often use it...I prefer reading the papers with an eye toward the level of writing.  If I suspect something, I Google it. I'd say close to 90% of plagiarism I find is unintentional (dropped quotes, forgotten signal phrases, etc.). Despite what we keep hearing about ethics, intentional plagiarism isn't an epidemic yet. But it is certainly out there.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

Posts 3052
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 26 2013 12:03 PM

abondservant:
As an undergraduate

I don't guess you'd be willing to say where, would you?  (Morbid curiosity.)

abondservant:
"turn it in". Not every professor uses it - but most do. It reads the paper, and compares it against the database and google (as it has been described to me any way) then adds the paper to the database

This is probably the second most common system (or maybe the most common...depends on who you ask). Internet myth has it that the folks who built this system offered good money (hundreds of bucks) to fraternity/sorority folks to pull all the 'file papers' from their respective organization's files and scan them in to the system. One of the things many students don't realize is, once your paper has been run through one of these checkers, your paper is now in the system. So if you re-use your own work in another course, you are going to get busted. (Yes, using your own work without attribution is a form of plagiarism, though it is often ignored by many faculty.)

abondservant:
at my current seminary all of my professors (thus far praise the Lord!) are actually reading my work and giving me feedback

Professors who don't read work they assign should find something else to do. JMO (but I'm a dean now, so my opinion matters).

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

Posts 1686
Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 26 2013 3:39 PM

Todd Phillips:
David Grace:
Could someone recommend a good plagiarism checker to m?

Google. Search for a quote in quotes ...

Seriously, David. Todd's answer is all you need. Choose a phrase that is unlikely to be the student's work, and type it into Google in quotes.

Using that technique, I identified one-third of the papers submitted for a particular first-year class assignment as containing significant plagiarism. That reveals some pretty serious character issues for students in a Bible college! Some examples were really obvious (not even bothering to hide the change of font where they'd copied'n'pasted). When confronted, some students admitted copying from a book or leaflet and were very surprised this material was searchable on the Internet.

Google Advanced is your friend.

Posts 4134
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 26 2013 6:49 PM

Doc B:

abondservant:
As an undergraduate

I don't guess you'd be willing to say where, would you?  (Morbid curiosity.)

abondservant:
"turn it in". Not every professor uses it - but most do. It reads the paper, and compares it against the database and google (as it has been described to me any way) then adds the paper to the database

This is probably the second most common system (or maybe the most common...depends on who you ask). Internet myth has it that the folks who built this system offered good money (hundreds of bucks) to fraternity/sorority folks to pull all the 'file papers' from their respective organization's files and scan them in to the system. One of the things many students don't realize is, once your paper has been run through one of these checkers, your paper is now in the system. So if you re-use your own work in another course, you are going to get busted. (Yes, using your own work without attribution is a form of plagiarism, though it is often ignored by many faculty.)

abondservant:
at my current seminary all of my professors (thus far praise the Lord!) are actually reading my work and giving me feedback

Professors who don't read work they assign should find something else to do. JMO (but I'm a dean now, so my opinion matters).



Agreed.

I would tell you, but not in a public forum.

Ironically this was all fresh in my mind as I'd just received and filled out an alumnus survey asking what I thought quite pointedly about various aspects of the school.

I mailed in asking how honest they wanted me to be RE ugly situations. They replied that they wanted to know everything. So everything they heard. Only the dean of students and this prof/missions chair/adviser were there from the faculty and administration on staff when all of this went down. The new president has hired/had to replace a number of key individuals mostly from retirement as i understand it.


To the person who said just reading with a careful eye to "writing level" - I know from my own writing there are certain errors I am prone to (coma splices especially and abusing the - and ; ) and so I would assume that every student would have some of these same "tells" assuming their work is original.

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Posts 472
Stephen McCracken | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 27 2013 1:59 AM

I remember my first year undergraduate New Testament assignment when the professor gave someone (something like) 85% on the front cover of their assignment. The student was delighted with the result until they went to the end of the assignment to find that the grade was then split - 5% to them and 80% to the author they had copied from.

We all learned quite quickly what the professor expected. (Don't quote me, but I'm sure it was in Howard Marshall's class).

Posts 1134
Tom Reynolds | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 27 2013 2:25 AM

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).

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 27 2013 3:59 AM

Tom Reynolds:
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).

I think that it needs to be said that there still are many schools that give priority to building into the personal lives of the students. I know this was true for the schools I attended and have heard so about many others as well.

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

Posts 325
Michael | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 27 2013 5:51 AM

My son is a sophmore in high school, and every paper he writes must be submitted through "Turn it in".

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