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

I'd not heard of anti-plagiarism services. 
What a great idea. Their use should be routine--a high-tech solution to
a high-tech problem. 
To tell you the truth, I don't know how they would be able to detect
frauds like the Shadow Scholar, in that the papers are one-of-a-kind,
not recycled. Yet some organized effort to combat this really is in
order. This is something that a union of university professors, or some
other pan-university organization should undertake.

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
On Behalf Of Karen Heckert
Sent: Sunday, January 09, 2011 4:03 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] FW: The Shadow Scholar - He writes your students'

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
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
students. Some astute questioning uncovered the fact that the best
student in 
the class (Chinese) and several American students were pooling their
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
papers all semester turned in one that read very much like
word-salad. I called her into conference and asked her point blank, "Are
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
with many of the anonymous writer's points about college, if not with
ethics. I find this sort of thing a far more serious symptom of "moral
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
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'

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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