On the Side of the Angels?
Teaching for many years in Korea, I've had to deal with the inevitable plagiarism by many of my students, though I have to admit that this sort of academic impropriety has dropped off a bit lately. However, it does still remain a problem that we instructors have to deal with, so every arrow in our quiver increases our likelihood of striking our target. I'm nevertheless unsure what to think about a recent 'helpful' comment from a certain "Anonymous" responding to a four-year-old post about plagiarism:
I guess using plagiarism detection software means trusting a service, because you should be very careful about giving out your work to someone else. I am a professor of English at the St. Michael's College and can share my experience of using an online plagiarism detection service. It is called www.plagiarismdetection.org. I am using it for over 10 months. I have tried them in many ways. For example, I have scanned one document in Nov., let's say. Than I forget about it for a couple of months and scan that same document in March. It does not find any relativity to other documents, so I can be 100% sure these guys are not keeping the databases. Everybody heard of scandals with turnitin and I don't want my students to participate in someone else's database gathering.This is in fact an advertisement for PlagiarismDetection.org, which claims to be a business for detecting plariarism, offering its services to both professors and students . . . though the fact that a student might turn to such a service seems a bit suspicious to my mind. Might such a student be testing a plariarized paper to see if the plagiarism has been successfully hidden? Be that as it may, Anonymous can surely be no professor of English at 'the' St. Michael's College. I replied:
With all due respect, Anonymous, you don't sound like a professor of English, for your 'comment' is full of grammatical errors, and since I get a lot of advertisements posted in the comments section of my blog, I suspect that your 'comment' is just another ad.Or so I said, but mostly, I'm letting the advertisement stand because I'm amused that someone who's obviously not even a native speaker of English and who lacks control over something as basic as the present perfect tense claims to be a professor of English at 'the' St. Michael's College.
But since I'm all for eliminating plagiarism, I'll let the ad stand this time.
And if Anonymous really is a professor of English, I'm even more amused . . . though also a little bit dismayed, given my own derailed career.
UPDATE: The "Professor at St. Michael's College" replies. Infer what you will.