Saturday, November 21, 2009

Plagiarism: "victim of the blow"?

Custom Research Paper
(Image from Research Paper Spot)

The time of the academic year has rolled around when a student's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of that procrastinated paper, but as you see from the above advertisement, help is merely a cursor click away! One need only go to this Research Paper Spot (RPS), purchase a "100% NON PLAGIARIZED research paper," and obtain "A Guarantee on an A Grade Paper"!

You can trust RPS because the staff offers not just expertise, but even empathy:
Are you also a victim of the blow listed 5 Research Paper writing problems?
Such a heartfelt word: "the blow listed"! The people at RPS worry about your status as "victim of the blow." Here's the first of the problems listed 'blow':
Where to find Research Papers Help when you are writing a Collage Research Paper for the first time?.
I don't assign 'collage' homework, but many of my students turn in cut-and-paste papers anyway, which is easy enough these days with the proximity of the ubiquitous internet. Such students usually get caught, often quite easily, but not those smart students who turn to RPS:
We GUARANTEE you a 100% NON PLAGIARIZED Research Paper so that you may not have to feel mortified in front of your supervisor for copy and pasting.
But beware of promises guaranteed with the modal verb "may" . . . and of implicit promises that you'll no longer be the object of idolatrous reverence:
Finally accelerate towards a high quality custom written Research paper without squandering the time sitting idol against web browsers, e-books, journals, articles etc.
Or was this supposed to say that you can now accelerate without sitting idle, whereas one previously had to sit idle while accelerating? I guess that RPS also means "revolutions per second" -- the rate at which those accelerating engines turn! At any rate, the RPS folks offer not only the above-mentioned "Collage Research Papers" but also even "College Research Papers," and they reveal their expertise in a section labeled "Common Problems for College Research Papers":
Nowadays, Students are worried about their research papers especially college students as it directly affects their academic career, these papers need to be unique along with lots of research, efforts and time consumption. It must follow the academic standards like if you are writing a college research paper then it should represent that it is made by a college student.
This passage not only reassures prospective customers that the RPS folks understand the problems faced by today's student, it even reveals their expertise by demonstrating the errors characteristic of typical student writing: arbitrary capitalization of common nouns, sentences spliced together by commas, and -- best of all -- weirdly expressed reasoning. But why would the RPS folks write like this? They don't do so just to reassure the typical student that they understand the typical student's writing problems. They do it because a paper written too well would alert the professor:
If you write your research paper like a master's or PhD student for your college research paper then the teacher must assume that the research paper is made by someone else not by you.
There you have it. That's why the RPS papers are guaranteed to be so badly written. A well-written paper would too obviously be a case of plagiarism.

Clever folks, those RPS people.

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At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really don’t understand why someone would want to plagiarize a paper. Doing research is such a great way to learn not just about the topic one is writing about but many different things. Don’t students feel good about learning through their own research? If not why do they bother even taking the course? I think so many schools are littered with philistine students that will end-up just following the basic cooperate salary worker life style. Many don’t really have an interest to learn, which is sad. For they just have an interest in money, money, money but once they finally receive money they don't have an idea how to allocate it. Because the students were too ignorant to learn, rather they just cheated through a university. But unfortunately cheating in life is much more difficult and for this I pity them.

-A student in Seoul

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Anonymous, you've probably hit the nail directly on the head for many cases of plagiarism.

If some student sees the college degree solely as a means to a better-paying job, rather than also as a path towards self-development, then there's little to deter that student from plagiarism -- other than the fear of getting caught.

(Or perhaps a residual ethic of honesty that seems unfortunately ever rarer).

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:32 PM, Blogger Hathor said...

I think it is really hard to understand what is plagiarism. In a mass media environment there is so much information out there, that many assume some stuff is common knowledge. I just use the philosophy, that when in doubt, cite.

I must say I was surprised that one of my professors kept one of my papers to demonstrate proper citation.

I lived with the handbook when I wrote. Since I was 3 times the age of most students, I think I had more patience.

I may not be as conscientious on my blog, though. I also don't use AP sources.

At 8:46 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

On this blog, I'm more lax, but I always link, which is surely a sort of citation.

On papers, I follow the same rule of thumb as you, Hathor -- when in doubt, cite.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:36 AM, Anonymous Jean said...

I wonder if college students couldn't get a part time job with RPS... This way, RPS could really guarantee that the papers are written in college student style, and students who are more interested in money than education could make a few buck...

At 6:37 AM, Anonymous Jean said...

I mean, a few bucks...

At 6:58 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Or we could start up such a service on our own and make a few bucks ourselves. We could simply recycle students' essays without their knowledge and keep all the profits.

But that -- as Richard Nixon once famously remarked -- would be wrong.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Donald said...

I particularly like the nature of the guarantee they offer:

"A Guarantee on an A Grade Paper.
If you do not get the desired score, we will re-write the complete research paper for you, for NO EXTRA COST."

Woohoo! My paper, which I wasn't sufficiently interested in to write, and which has already been marked, will now be re-written! For whose benefit?

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Charles said...

Hysterical and soul-crushingly sad, all at the same time.

At 7:31 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Excellent, Donald! I hadn't even noticed that flawed reasoning. Very humorous!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:33 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Sad for the student, Charles.

Jeffery Hodges

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