In which I am a genius of detection (aka Liveblogging my marking).

I caught a plagiarist yesterday. It took me all of 60 seconds. What tipped me off? The fact that there were chunks of text written in a totally different font to the rest of the essay. Look, if these guys weren’t lazy morons, they wouldn’t be plagiarizing in the first place. Part of me likes the challenge of finding a crafty cheater, but hey, I have 100 essays to mark this week, so I appreciated not having to make the effort.

In Pineapple news, he wasn’t in class yesterday. The reason? “I got a new job and thier signing the contracts today.” I am assuming, not a job in which written communications are prominent.

Back to marking. I will update you if I find any more gems.

Update: no gems, but what the heck is with starting an essay comparing two stories with sentences like, “since the dawn of time, when men drew pictures on cave walls,”  or “Throughout time there has always been some sort of a division”? History of the universe: do not want. Some student tried to explain it to me as giving some sort of context to the essay, or getting it into the ballpark. Yeah, but get onto the field, not down the road 2 miles from the carpark.

Marking makes my back hurt. Also my brain.

6 thoughts on “In which I am a genius of detection (aka Liveblogging my marking).

  1. Sile

    Kids thing this is “clever” (the whole “since the dawn of time…” BS), and/or sounds cool. “I heard it in a movie” was one I heard in freshman sem.

    *sends you a masseuse*

  2. cq

    first things first: i LOVE this blog

    secondly: i’m grading too…first year comp essays. one student of mine wanted to write on “the dangers of premarital sex.” i really advised him NOT to do so but my advice (unsurprisingly) went unheeded.

    here is what he wrote: “In olden times, when a girl was caught having premarital sex she had to walk around the village with the letter A on her shirt.”

    my comments were as follows: 1) “You should probably re-think using Hawthorne as any type of historical source” 2) “Do you even know what the ‘A’ stands for?” 3) “I really hope that you are getting this ‘summary’ from the book and not the Demi Moore movie” 4) “you are aware that this is a novel, right?” (although THAT is wishful thinking on my part)

    srsly…i think that i am getting dumber as a result of reading these papers.

  3. Liz Dewing

    PLEASE update your blog more often – I’m completely hooked and dying for regular updates on life in the toolshed! I can identify with so many of your entires and find myself in stitches on a regular basis……and I have a number of friends now intrigued by the language used to describe the reproductive system.

  4. Amanda

    I myself had a plagiarism incident much like yours. The font style and sizes were all completely different, the spaces between sentences and paragraphs were all over the map, and, get this, significant names and words, were underlined (every single one of those 80 or so), exactly as they are in Wikipedia. Sentences even stopped and started in random places, so I wasn’t sure who they were talking about, or how it related to anything in the rest of the essay. I believe the only part of the essay that wasn’t from Wikipedia or the other website she’d ripped from was “In this essay I will…” She also did another one of those “Since the dawn of time when man still painted pictures on cave walls…” numbers. *shakes my head* I was stunned. Simply stunned. More amusing was when she claimed she hadn’t done the deed, oh but the “real” paper must still be in her computer somewhere. It never was submitted.


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