Copy and paste

I am going to flashback to my time at university and talk about plagiarism. Its not big and its not clever but it happened. It probably still does.

Here are four examples that I witnessed.

John had to write an essay and copied a large chunk from the Internet. John was not caught. A year later, Darren, who was in the year below, copied John’s essay and was questioned for plagiarism from the internet.

Zaf and Anas were in the same practical class. They had different people marking their lab reports. Zaf did his and passed it on to Anas. Anas changed the name at the top and submitted it for marking. Zaf got a C grade and Anas got an A grade.

Rachel and Sarah were in the same group. They had to undertake a project together. They were allowed to submit a draft for feedback. Sarah asked Rachel if she could borrow her draft. Rachel said yes. They got their feedback and were both strongly warned that there were similarities. It was revealed that Sarah had copied a lot of Rachel’s work. Rachel told Sarah off and told her to change hers.

Rachel finished her work a few days before the deadline. She went to Sarah’s house the night before the deadline. Sarah had also finished hers laminated and polished ready for submission. Rachel saw Sarah’s work, gathering that Sarah had not changed the draft. Rachel was furious that Sarah was stupid enough to ignore the tutor’s advice. Rachel’s anger rushed Sarah into last minute changes.

Richard and Mike were in the same group and did a project together. Richard asked Mike for help and Mike sent Richard a copy of his work. Again, the day before the deadline, Mike saw a copy of Richards work. It was strikingly similar. However, Richard had already handed his work in for marking. Mike spent all night changing his own work so he would not get caught for plagiarism.


I hope systems have improved for detecting plagiarism!

6 thoughts on “Copy and paste

  1. Yes I have witnessed similar situations myself. It’s very frustrating for the person who does all the hardwork and gets a low grade in comparison to the person who is plagiarising the work. (With reference to the second example).

  2. Its such a familiar story at uni I think. As!! mentioned above I would hate to be the one who did all the hard work. It happened to a friend of mine and its a shame when its done by someone you trust your hard work with. I doubt much has changed though!

  3. I thought they had “anti plagiarism software”? There’s always gonna be those lazy so and so’s who cant be bothered to do the work and just wanna copy!

    1. there is an anti- plagiarism software, and I hope the lecturers are making the most of it. During my uni years, ive seen so many plagiarisms, but no one got caught! Its an absolute shame.

  4. I recall a similar incident where one of our diploma students allowed another student to read her work. Her colleague chose to copy some of this work. The system for checking for plagerism did indeed identify this and both students were hauled in and disciplined.

  5. There are systems in place and robust ones at that (eg Turnitin) but they are not consistently used. This means that some plagiarism slips through the net. The question is not whether there are systems out there to capture this, the question is, are these systems used correctly and seriously?

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