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(13 Posts)
strugstu Wed 06-Apr-05 22:03:11

In the context of checking essays what actually happens- someone mentioned it on another(archived) thread that i came accross.If i'm totally honest in my last essay, i forgot where i have got information from and who i should reference so i have attributed it to someone else [verrry ashamed looking emoticon] will i be in trouble... essay has not been submitted yet, so i can revise it[equally sheepish emoticon] any info ???

SenoraPostrophe Wed 06-Apr-05 22:13:00

Does it count towards your qualification? If so then change it: if they spot it it will decrease your mark. If not maybe leave it. Whether they spot it or not depends on a) how well known the book or whatever is and b)how fussy the teacher is about it. Some are very fussy.

Ellbell Wed 06-Apr-05 22:36:39

Revise it, strugstu. Sorry to give you extra work, but even if it was a genuine mistake, if you mis-attribute material or use it without attributing it at all you are laying yourself open to the charge of plagiarism, which in most institutions is a disciplinary offence. I'm sure you'd be believed if you said that it was a genuine mistake (most academics are decent people, who are not trying to give students a hard time... honest ), but at the very least it'd give you a lot of hassle which might go on for ages. Just not worth it.

And (if I am permitted to lecture... sorry, can't help myself)... try to bear this in mind in future and always always always keep records of where info comes from (including a page reference), even if you are not at all certain if or how you are going to use it. It saves so much time in the long run, and is one of those things that is so simple if you just get into the habit of doing it all the time. So, any book you look at, make sure you note down the author, title, date and place of publication and publisher, plus if it's an edited volume or something the author and title of the chapter you are referring to and the page references for that chapter (first and last). Then you always have that info available if you need it.

Here endeth the lesson! I should say that I am known for being extremely fussy... and proud of it .

(Hope this is not too patronising, btw...) Good luck with the essay.

strugstu Wed 06-Apr-05 22:42:58

okay......[sighs emoticon] but thankyou xx

Ellbell Wed 06-Apr-05 23:21:21

Sorry! I'm a bore, I know...

strugstu Thu 07-Apr-05 02:04:34

No not at all, am just finding this such hard work, but dont want to risk everything at this stage, the end is in site. academia just doesnt seem to come naturally, i spend hours constructing a few sentences....

strugstu Thu 07-Apr-05 02:05:13

or sight even!!

tiredemma Thu 07-Apr-05 15:51:23

i know how you feel strugstu, i find it really hard to start an essay, would find it so easy to copy from a book!!!

Chandra Thu 07-Apr-05 16:00:37

If the reference is not vital for the essay it may be easier to remove it alltogether. I believe is a good idea to review it, there may be the case that you have taken that reference form a popular book and your tutor will be able to place it, which would make him/her dubious about how much the rest of the work can be trusted.

strugstu Fri 08-Apr-05 21:36:01

Would be interested if anyone else has any comments
bumity bump

edam Fri 08-Apr-05 21:41:20

Revise - it's honest and you never know who or what your tutor knows. The correct reference may be their favourite author, or someone who inspired them - no point risking it.
(Mind you, I got so paranoid about this when doing my dissertation, I referenced practically every line at first – looked as if I had no thoughts of my own, at all!)

Chandra Fri 08-Apr-05 21:54:38

Well, not to scare you off but in the three universities I have studied, plagiarism is the mother of all sins and is punished by failing the work and in some cases with suspension of registration. I have seen that they really execute the suspension when they think is deserved. Too much risk for a little sentence, isn't it?

SamN Fri 08-Apr-05 22:11:39

strugstu, I agree that you really should revise your essay. Or if possible, could you not check through your usual information sources and see if the unattributable part comes from one of them?

As Chandra said earlier, if your tutor sees something familiar which is not referenced it will look very suspicious. When I'm marking essays I sometimes come across phrases that ring a bell in my mind and I always hunt the textbooks to see if the students have nicked bits or paraphrased them. There are also plagiarism programs around which do the hunting for us and come up with a full analysis of how much an essay is plagiarised and where from. (I've only used such a program once, on a student who plagiarised all the time.)

I know people don't always do it on purpose - sometimes you make notes and don't write down if it's from your textbook (or another source) or not. Then when you come to write the essay, that phrase in your notes seems like the best phrase to use. But you really should use your own phrasing rather than someone else's. And (in future) doing as ellbell suggests will avoid all this panic.

Apologies if this sounds too patronising, but I'm glad that at least you're aware that you may have problems if you hand the essay in as it stands.

Best of luck with your studies

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