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Re: [xmca] FW: The Shadow Scholar - He writes your students' papers.

This is not amusing. This is horrifying. (You can tell how old I am.)

I recently finished an MS in I/O Psychology, and one professor made us submit 
everything we handed in to an online anti-plagiarism service. Personally, I 
thought she was nuts and certifiably paranoid. Now I understand. 

About fifteen years ago I spent some time in a Ph.D program and teaching 
undergrads. One day I received two exactly identical papers from two different 
students. Some astute questioning uncovered the fact that the best student in 
the class (Chinese) and several American students were pooling their resources 
to write the research papers. Since their exams were all written in class, this 
didn't bother me too much. I just stipulated that each student had to write up 
the work in their very own words for submission. But there wasn't a question (I 
think) of anybody getting paid - it was just a case of uniting in the face of a 
common enemy (the gradebook). Beng a student myself, I understood only too well. 
Besides, I figured, most research these days is done by teams, and this was a 
little practical experience.

Another cautionary tale: One of my students who had been turning in acceptable 
papers all semester turned in one that read very much like schizophrenese 
word-salad. I called her into conference and asked her point blank, "Are you 
dyslexic?" She said that she was, but that the student center's writing lab had 
been helping her write her papers. This time she simply hadn't had time to take 
her paper to them.

Having just survived another bout of our "educational" system, I have to agree 
with many of the anonymous writer's points about college, if not with his/her 
ethics. I find this sort of thing a far more serious symptom of "moral decay" 
than abortion or gay marriage. We in the US are supposed to be a meritocracy and 
those things which undermine that threaten our existence in more crucial ways. 
The "system" is failing the students and in the long run failing us all.

From: David H Kirshner <dkirsh@lsu.edu>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Sent: Thu, January 6, 2011 3:17:56 PM
Subject: [xmca] FW: The Shadow Scholar - He writes your students' papers.

Not a propos of anything, this is both amusing and disturbing.



>From the Chronicle Review [A Weekly Magazine of Ideas/Chronicle of
Higher Education], Friday, November 19, 2010, pp. B6-B9. See


The Shadow Scholar

The man who writes your students' papers tells his story

By Ed Dante


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