Pretty sure a kid turned in a plagiarized essay...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teachnew, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. teachnew

    teachnew Rookie

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    Sep 18, 2010

    I'm not sure what to do. The writing in the essay by far surpasses anything he has done in class. I will ask an admin on Monday, but out of curiosity, what do you do? Confront the kid? Call the parent? How do you prove it?
     
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  3. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    Sep 18, 2010

    Start by Googling small sections of it and see if you get any hits.

    If not, probably a friend or relative did it, if it's that much better than his normal work.
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Sep 18, 2010

    Most of the time I can Google a small section and find something. I print it and staple it to the student's copy.

    If it's just a lot better than the work the student produces in class, I take work samples and staple them to the piece.

    I always like evidence when I talk with a students.
     
  5. teachnew

    teachnew Rookie

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    I Googled, but nothing came up. I'm so frustrated! We had a long talk a few weeks ago about this as a class and I can't believe this kid thought I wouldn't notice.
     
  6. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Does your school have a policy covering plagiarism? Check the student handbook, our policy is clearly defined in our student handbook.

    I agree with other posters, google either part of the actual essay or google the topic. Or choose one of the phrases in question, or vocab in question and ask the student to explain the passage to you in private.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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  8. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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  9. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Sep 18, 2010

    Did the essay include sources? You can always ask to see them-if they can't produce them, then your instincts might be right.
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 19, 2010

    Last year, one of my students suddenly turned in a couple of reading responses that were very different from anything he had turned in previously. I couldn't find a source that he had copied from, but I had suspicions. I met with him and told him that I had doubts about the fact that it was his work; I didn't accuse him of anything, just voiced my suspicions and told him that he had just raised the bar as to what I was expecting from him. He started to do more work in class, proving to me that the work was, in fact, his.

    To the OP--Was any of the work on the essay done in class? Can you ask to see notes, draft copies, etc? (I always have my students hand in all of their planning sheets, rough drafts, etc. so that I can see the entire process.)
     
  11. teachnew

    teachnew Rookie

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    This was their summer reading assignment, so the work was done at home. One thing that makes me suspicious is that the essay has nothing to do with the prompt, and also the language is far more advanced than anything I've seen/heard from him this year.

    I'm going to check in with my mentor and an admin about it, but I think I will ask the student to define a couple of the terms he used in the essay. I'm also going to use this as a reason we should use turnitin.com!
     
  12. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Sep 19, 2010

    Asking him to define the terms he used is a great idea.

    I had a student once who turned in very mediocre work, if any at all. We had our first writing assignment, and he turned in an insightful essay using extended vocabulary. Of course, I immediately suspected he stole it. Nope, all his. I asked him if he could explain his Nietzsche quote - he could and did. Kid just happened to be a talented writer.
     

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