No Marshmallows, Just Term Papers
I do not actively go looking for cheaters. That's because I confidently expect that most of my students are actually here to get an education. Every now and then, I get one who's only here to get a piece of paper -- no education needed. So I do take notice when I see the warning signals that tell any experienced teacher that there's a possibility of plagiarism. When I notice, I investigate. When I find infractions, I file Academic Violation reports. Those students get letters from the University, and there may be some pretty tough consequences if it isn't a first offense.
So I repeat what you should all know well, but some apparently don't:
1. Plagiarism occurs when you copy somebody else's words, images, or ideas in a way that could encourage a reader to think that they are your words, images or ideas.
2. Plagiarism occurs even if you properly cite the copied material but fail to present the material as a quotation -- because you have encouraged readers to think that the material is your "take" on what you found in the cited reference, when there is actually no contribution from you, but only from the original author(s).
3. Plagiarism occurs when you copy, paste, and then lightly edit words from another author. This too-close paraphrasing is not what we mean by "say it in your own words" -- the process brings to bear very little cognitive effort on your part.
4. Plagiarism occurs in written papers as well as Online Campus discussion posts and any other place where you might present somebody else's words, images, or ideas as your own. If you copy and paste something into a discussion post and fail to (1) show it as a quote or (2) properly cite it, then you have plagiarized. If you appear to be writing in a different "voice" than usual, I will probably notice.
5. The test of whether plagiarism has occurred is NOT whether the Turnitin tool flags your paper. The test is whether you have copied somebody else's...