My Sunday Night: A Partial Timeline

5:00pm: I am answering email and getting ready to dig in to yet another set of essays here at Spring Term Grade-a-thon 2017. I have already busted two plagiarists this weekend, and expect to hear from them shortly.

5:37pm: I receive an email from Plagiarist 1 (hereafter P1), who is “irritated” by the zero that P1 received on their rough draft and indignant about the accusation of plagiarism. Said plagiarism, for the reader’s information, involved cutting and pasting roughly half of an article from an ethics journal(!) and “laundering” the material through Google Translate, with occasional in-text citations (incorrectly formatted and incomplete) to unrelated sources added for window-dressing and/or verisimilitude.

5:38pm: Really? REALLY?!?!? Oh, nonononono. IT. IS. NOW. OFFICIALLY. ON.

5:39pm: I have just started assembling a color-coded side-by-side comparison of P1’s paper to the original journal article, complete with links to the article, links to explainers about the Google Laundering phenomenon (it ain’t new, folks), and additional commentary. I am prepared to spend all night on this.

The sound that is playing in my head at 5:39PM.

5:40pm: P1 sends a second email, asking whether or not it’s possible to submit something else for a score. The tone of this message is conciliatory. I suspect that P1 wrote the first email after seeing the score and a preview of my comments (only the first sentence, perhaps) in our LMS, and wrote the second email after reading the bit of the comments where I included a link to the journal article from which P1 received such…inspiration. Ehem.

You KNOW I brought receipts.

5:41 – The rest of my damn night: I let the student know by email that Winter is Coming and continue color-coding and backing up my precious, precious evidence. I cannot be stopped, not even by the need to grade all of the other stuff that I should have had done two weeks ago.

 

Ah, Sunday.

Postscript: Somewhere in there, Plagiarist 2 also emailed, copped to the crime and may be permitted to do penance and/or restitution. P1 has received the Evidence. We’ll see what happens next.

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About L. M. Bernhardt

For a good long while (15 years or so), I taught philosophy at a little private university in northwest IA, and occasionally branched out into playing music, dabbling in photography, experimenting with food, and writing nonsense on my blog. The philosophy teaching part ended in 2017 (program elimination via prioritization), but never fear! I've just finished my MLIS at San Jose State University, and I'm currently on the market looking for new adventures in either philosophy or LIS. Otherwise, I labor to support my dogs in the lavish manner to which they've become accustomed.
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