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About plagiarism


Genady
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2 hours ago, dimreepr said:

In a conversation yes/maybe, but how can I anticipate your question's?

You don't need to anticipate any questions. As the teacher, I give you an assignment: Write a 2-3000 word essay on the causes of the Italian Revolution of 1848 - 1861.

You google the topic, find a bunch of historical sites (of which wikipedia may be the most comprehensive and confusing, so you go to the Britannica instead.) Every encyclopedia entry is an essay. You give it a superficial perusal: yes, it's on topic. * Right away, you're faced with the temptation to cut and paste, without bothering to understand.

But then, you stop and reflect. What was the assignment about? Causes. This article is about the events: not what I need. So I have to go back and find out what happened before the revolution, and what the Italians wanted so badly, or hated so much, that they would rise up against a much better armed and organized military force. (Which is what revolution always is.) So it's about passion - a big, collective passion shared by many people with something in common. 

You have come across the word Risorgimento. Aha!

Quote

Risorgimento was an ideological and literary movement that helped to arouse the national consciousness of the Italian people, and it led to a series of political events that freed the Italian states from foreign domination and united them politically.

  So that's what they wanted! Then you look at each region's history and find out what they hated. You can write a separate paragraph on the central issue in each case. These are the causes of the event.  Maybe add your own comment as a conclusion. And that's it! 

* which, this, incidentally, is not.

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I think the discussion is missing another component and I think it is a bit related to how some students thing about assignments. It appears that some think that the purpose of such assignments is to figure out the right answers. However, especially at lower level, the idea is to learn how to think critically and write assays. That does not happen in a vacuum. Rather, you get instructions on the approach (what are sources, which sources are for what purpose, how to do you read sources, how do you distill information) as well as either the specific or at least related topics and then you are expected to first at least try to emulate what you learned.

From there you get a critique about what you did well and what not. The latter is then used to improve on your next assignment. Unfortunately folks often think in terms of failure or success and do not try to improve if they don't hit it out of the park on their first try. Copying gives a feeling of success (if one happens to get away with it) and I fear that this what most folks are after (well and grades).

I also think that the grading system has become screwed up. In the past you used the whole range so that folks have a range where they can see their improvement. Now the evaluation bands have become so narrow it is almost like a pass/fail system.

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40 minutes ago, CharonY said:

I think the discussion is missing another component and I think it is a bit related to how some students thing about assignments.

That has more than anything else to do with the instructor. How the assignment was presented and what explanations, instructions and discussions took place before the student was sent away to work on his own. You're quite right about the preparation: the student must be clear on the purpose of the assignment and what he's expected to do. He should also feel comfortable to ask questions if something isn't clear.  Not all instructors are student-friendly. 

40 minutes ago, CharonY said:

I also think that the grading system has become screwed up. In the past you used the whole range so that folks have a range where they can see their improvement. Now the evaluation bands have become so narrow it is almost like a pass/fail system.

Agreed. When they say result-oriented in education, it should not mean the same as result-oriented in industry. In education, we don't just want to turn out more self-sealing stem bolts than the next factory; we should aim at turning out people who can think, find the information they need and arrive at the solution they need - in anything they undertake.

Edited by Peterkin
one tiny crucial word
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On 1/12/2022 at 9:07 AM, Genady said:

On top of that, having many quotes, even with citations, was discouraged. Not as a plagiarism, but just as a sign of laziness. You better interpret and say it in your own words., with reference to the source.

Why not as a sign that one recognises that no matter how good one is at any particular profession, he or she is literally standing on the shoulders of giants...giants worthy of citing and recognition, and incidently, improving on.

 

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1 hour ago, Peterkin said:

That has more than anything else to do with the instructor. How the assignment was presented and what explanations, instructions and discussions took place before the student was sent away to work on his own. You're quite right about the preparation: the student must be clear on the purpose of the assignment and what he's expected to do. He should also feel comfortable to ask questions if something isn't clear.  Not all instructors are student-friendly. 

I do not disagree, though I do see that a surprising number of students are unwilling or unable to, say, read the syllabus. It is annoying if you spend 10 minutes explaining what they are supposed to do (with slides) and the next question is basically asking how you are supposed to do it without any indication that they listened to what I was just talking about. Bonus points if the answer is actually on the slide that is still on.

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1 hour ago, Peterkin said:

That has more than anything else to do with the instructor. How the assignment was presented and what explanations, instructions and discussions took place before the student was sent away to work on his own. You're quite right about the preparation: the student must be clear on the purpose of the assignment and what he's expected to do. He should also feel comfortable to ask questions if something isn't clear.  Not all instructors are student-friendly. 

Agreed. When they say result-oriented in education, it should not mean the same as result-oriented in industry. In education, we don't just want to turn out more self-sealing stem bolts than the next factory; we should aim at turning out people who can think, find the information they need and arrive at the solution they need - in anything they undertake.

If I might be permitted to pass comment on this discussion.

 

1 hour ago, Peterkin said:

That has more than anything else to do with the instructor.

 

I rather get the impresson that CharonY is a frustrated instructor who would genuinely like to do better by their students but is hamstrung by the system.

Yes I blame the system or rather what it has developed into, rather than either the the instructors or the students.

Yes there are good instructors and poor ones, but they have to teach to the system and they are human.

 

1 hour ago, Peterkin said:

Agreed. When they say result-oriented in education, it should not mean the same as result-oriented in industry. In education, we don't just want to turn out more self-sealing stem bolts than the next factory; we should aim at turning out people who can think, find the information they need and arrive at the solution they need - in anything they undertake.

I hold that it is fundamentally wrong and counterproductive to grade the learning process.
The ultimate goal of learning is to reach competence at the end of the process.
Clearly at the beginning the student is not competent and so need to follow the path of learning, practise, making mistakes, finding out what can go wrong and how it can go right.
None of this should be graded except as an aid to learning for both the student and instructor.
And none of the learning process should count towards the final result.


The whole point of having an instructor is to assess where the student gets it right and where they get it wrong and point out the correct way and to help/guide where the competence is understanding rather than skill ie to promote that 'light bulb moment'.
Since this may lead to personality clashes, it is important that the instructor has no say in the final assessment of competence. This should be made by some independent means.

You are right in saying there is a big difference between turning out competent humans and self-sealing stem bolts.

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28 minutes ago, CharonY said:

though I do see that a surprising number of students are unwilling or unable to, say, read the syllabus.

Oh boy! Well, if you listen to highly paid newscasters reading and repeating gobbledegook without realizing that is gobbledegook, we might conclude that there is some kind pandemic of incomprehension. Attention-span and critical thought begins to be eroded by a child's environment from the year of language acquisition onward.

3 minutes ago, studiot said:

I rather get the impresson that CharonY is a frustrated instructor who would genuinely like to do better by their students but is hamstrung by the system.

I get that. I was in no wise blaming him! He's instructing at a level where all the spadework should have been done by many, many instructors from grade school upward. By the time he gets to them, many students are already beyond reach.

 

10 minutes ago, studiot said:

I hold that it is fundamentally wrong and counterproductive to grade the learning process.

That's why, in elementary school, teachers used to write comments to the parents regarding their child's progress in various aspects of education and socialization, while the grades were earned on a term-end test of what knowledge has been acquired and retained. (I do think, though, that projects and essays represent a test of the skills thus far acquired, as well as the student's facility in the applications of those skills. So it's not unreasonable to grade the product.)

5 minutes ago, studiot said:

Yes I blame the system or rather what it has developed into, rather than either the the instructors or the students

I concur.  Wholeheartedly.

7 minutes ago, studiot said:

he whole point of having an instructor is to assess where the student gets it right and where they get it wrong and point out the correct way and to help/guide where the competence is understanding rather than skill ie to promote that 'light bulb moment'.
Since this may lead to personality clashes, it is important that the instructor has no say in the final assessment of competence. This should be made by some independent means.

The inability of the system to deliver that kind of instruction - despite the heroic efforts of excellent teachers -  involves a whole web of related societal problems. I do also agree with the need for unbiased assessment.  

1 hour ago, beecee said:

Why not as a sign that one recognises that no matter how good one is at any particular profession, he or she is literally standing on the shoulders of giants...giants worthy of citing and recognition, and incidently, improving on.

OK. I recognize that you plagiarized Newton without citation or recognition.

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1 hour ago, beecee said:

Why not as a sign that one recognises that no matter how good one is at any particular profession, he or she is literally standing on the shoulders of giants...giants worthy of citing and recognition, and incidently, improving on.

 

Scientific journals, at least in this field, also discourage authors from submitting manuscripts with unnecessary quotes.

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52 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

OK. I recognize that you plagiarized Newton without citation or recognition.

Taken as a given.

1 minute ago, Genady said:

Scientific journals, at least in this field, also discourage authors from submitting manuscripts with unnecessary quotes.

Hmmm, unless one has a brand new hypothesis, on a brand new discovery, I find that would be hard to do. Afterall, we "all" really are, literally standing on the shoulders of giants, are we not? I speak of stellar nucleosynthesis via fusion, and it would be hard not to quote Bethe, or quantum mechanics and Bohr, or Feynman and sub atomic particles..... But I'm only an amateur in the scientific field, so treat me gently...like a virgin if you will. 😉

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6 minutes ago, beecee said:

Hmmm, unless one has a brand new hypothesis, on a brand new discovery, I find that would be hard to do. Afterall, we "all" really are, literally standing on the shoulders of giants, are we not? I speak of stellar nucleosynthesis via fusion, and it would be hard not to quote Bethe, or quantum mechanics and Bohr, or Feynman and sub atomic particles..... But I'm only an amateur in the scientific field, so treat me gently...like a virgin if you will. 😉

You never need to quote. You just say something like, "Since the process is irreversible [4], ...", where [4] is in the References at the end of your manuscript, directing a reader to the source of this clause. 

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1 hour ago, beecee said:

we "all" really are, literally standing on the shoulders of giants, are we not?

No, we are not. I want a 1000-word essay on the meaning and use of metaphor in scientific papers by Monday morning.

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6 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

No, we are not. I want a 1000-word essay on the meaning and use of metaphor in scientific papers by Monday morning.

I won't give you your essay, but it certainly does not change the fact that I believe you could not be anymore wrong with your first statement. eg; Unless of course you are putting yourself in the skin of the first ape that decided to climb down out of the trees and walk upright. Everything from then, (and even before) is knowledge we have gained and use everyday. Hence the dominence of science, in that it is near impossible to go through anyday without using some scientific principle.

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1 hour ago, beecee said:

I won't give you your essay, but it certainly does not change the fact that I believe you could not be anymore wrong with your first statement. eg; Unless of course you are putting yourself in the skin of the first ape that decided to climb down out of the trees and walk upright. Everything from then, (and even before) is knowledge we have gained and use everyday. Hence the dominence of science, in that it is near impossible to go through anyday without using some scientific principle.

None of the above applies. We are not literally standing on any shoulders, and there is literally no scientific evidence for the existence of giants, or the proposition that if they did exist, they would allow billions of people to climb up on them. 

Edited by Peterkin
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1 hour ago, Peterkin said:

None of the above applies. We are not literally standing on any shoulders, and there is literally no scientific evidence for the existence of giants, or the proposition that if they did exist, they would allow billions of people to climb up on them. 

Hmmm, you are obviously in the wrong game. But I understand that the world is your stage and you must play a part!  I'll stick with the metaphor, as adequate in explaining it as symbolically factual. 

5 hours ago, Peterkin said:

OK. I recognize that you plagiarized Newton without citation or recognition.

 

Edited by beecee
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7 minutes ago, beecee said:

I'll stick with the metaphor

There was nothing wrong with the metaphor, except your negation of it. There was nothing wrong with the metaphor when Newton used it as metaphor and didn't claim it as literal truth. There is nothing wrong with quoting the metaphor, if you acknowledge its source in some way and do not claim it as your own. There is nothing with a metaphor in a public speech, in a work of fiction, in a letter or in a poem. If you use a metaphor in a scientific paper, it had better illustrate something either factual or theoretical, and you have to specify a. that it is a metaphorical or symbolic representation of a concept and not the actual concept and b. the reason you're using it. If someone else had used it before and that person's work is one of your sources, you have to give credit: person's name and published document in which the cited metaphor was used.

 

17 minutes ago, beecee said:

as adequate in explaining it as symbolically factual. 

Symbolic or factual. in science, a symbol stands in for something: a compound, a quantity, an operation, a relationship - something. A symbol cannot be factual: it is a tool in the representation of facts. In fact, x is nothing but a letter of the alphabet. Symbolically, it can represent literally anything you want to substitute it for in an equation, an illustration, a narrative, a riddle or a joke. 

Words matter. Accuracy in their use matters. Okay, I'm an old pedant ... Eppure importa. 

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2 hours ago, Peterkin said:

There was nothing wrong with the metaphor, except your negation of it. There was nothing wrong with the metaphor when Newton used it as metaphor and didn't claim it as literal truth. There is nothing wrong with quoting the metaphor, if you acknowledge its source in some way and do not claim it as your own. There is nothing with a metaphor in a public speech, in a work of fiction, in a letter or in a poem. If you use a metaphor in a scientific paper, it had better illustrate something either factual or theoretical, and you have to specify a. that it is a metaphorical or symbolic representation of a concept and not the actual concept and b. the reason you're using it. If someone else had used it before and that person's work is one of your sources, you have to give credit: person's name and published document in which the cited metaphor was used.

 

Symbolic or factual. in science, a symbol stands in for something: a compound, a quantity, an operation, a relationship - something. A symbol cannot be factual: it is a tool in the representation of facts. In fact, x is nothing but a letter of the alphabet. Symbolically, it can represent literally anything you want to substitute it for in an equation, an illustration, a narrative, a riddle or a joke. 

Words matter. Accuracy in their use matters. Okay, I'm an old pedant ... Eppure importa. 

Just two comments on your stuff, (1) I know there is nothing wrong with the metaphor, nor how I use it, and (2) I purposely did not attribute it to Newton, for obvious reasons, not the least being that I have attributed to him many times before and it is commojn knowledge.

Again, all we know, and all the knowledge we have gained, is at least in part, based on what our ancestors and fore Fathers, learnt and experienced, validating of course that metaphor, we stand on the shoulders of giants.

Certainly words matter, and certainly accuracy in their use matters, and just as certain is the fact that my statement is also accurate, not withstanding your pedant of course.

Science is what we know: Philosophy is what we don't know. 

Bertrand Russell:

Edited by beecee
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20 hours ago, Peterkin said:

As the teacher, I give you an assignment: Write a 2-3000 word essay on the causes of the Italian Revolution of 1848 - 1861.

As a teacher, I give you the means to understand our history... how many words does it take to understand?

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41 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

As a teacher, I give you the means to understand our history... how many words does it take to understand?

If y6ou were my history teacher, I'd hit the books. History books contain many words, but I don't mind.

I don't know who "we" are that have a common history and can't begin to guess how many words it takes to convey the essence of that history to whom. If you understand it, fine. But if you can't prove through words and/or tick-box answers that you understand it, nobody can certify that you have learned and retained the lessons.

I was attempting to illustrate that you can write an essay - or any kind of verbal communication - if you organize the task to fit your work style.  

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