was percentage is normally allowed in plageiarism in college

See example:

Primeval man found himself in a hazardous and hostile world; the anxiety of wild creatures, of not being able to find food, or disease, and of natural occurrences, like thunder, lightning and volcanoes was continuously with him.
asked Nov 18 '12 at 22:38 PATRICK O'NEILL New member

2 answers


This is a sore spot for me as well.  While working on my MBA, I ran into several students who were plagiarizing.  One put my entire team at risk of failing (in Business Law, no less!) on a group paper.  When one spends thousands of dollars for a single class, you can imagine the anger that boils up with something like that.  Even when someone’s plagiarism didn’t affect my grade, it devalued the degree at that school if they got away with it.  When you take a class, you are expected to learn.  Sliding by on someone else’s work won’t do you any good when you get a job and your employer discovers that you don’t know what you should.  We say that a person earns a degree because that is what a student is supposed to do – earn it.


Having said that, I will offer a note about plagiarism checkers.  I put every paper I wrote in grad school through my university’s plagiarism checker.  There was not a single paper that returned a 0%.  The reason is that somewhere in each paper, I quoted another source.  I cited everything properly, but the checker just caught the words from the other source.  The words and punctuation surrounding it are ignored, because the plagiarism checker was only checking for strings of words.  I don’t know if Grammarly’s checker is any smarter, but I doubt it.  The plagiarism checker was a great tool to help me make sure I properly cited everything in my paper.  It highlighted the string of words and I could make sure it was surrounded by quotation marks and attributed to the original author. 


Just like the grammar checker, the plagiarism checker can only flag potential issues.  It can’t understand context. It is up to you to use the tools properly.  

link comment answered Nov 18 '12 at 23:49 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

I too find this to be a sore spot. Properly citing your sources, placing quotation marks around direct quotations, and paraphrasing your sources really takes very little work -- and the consequences of getting caught cheating can be dire -- so why not do it right? As a graduate student instructor, I had to fail several freshman who turned in the same term paper. Did they think we instructors were stupid?


On a side note, Grammarly appears to flag any sequence of eight or more words that matches its database of online materials. This causes Grammarly to flag my manuscript every time it sees something like -- "the west bank of the lower San Joaquin River."  Since the California Department of Water Resources has placed online its archive of scholarly studies written since the mid-1950s, you can imagine how many online articles use this -- and similar -- phrases.

link edited Nov 19 '12 at 01:22 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

It seems like a feature could be used to change the eight word match without a lot of programming, Especially if it hits you a lot.

Lewis NeidhardtNov 19 '12 at 03:55

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