16 September 2010

On plagiarism. Again

Every so often someone attempts to spam the comments on my blog posts with irrelevant,  fatuous, probably unintentionally patronising and sometimes barely literate remarks, which are nevertheless signed with or incorporate a link--to a cheat page. That's why I have to keep comment moderation on. Such as:
  • I have been visiting various blogs for my dissertation research. I have found your blog to be quite useful. Keep updating your blog with valuable information...
The link is disabled of course; I may be naive and stupid, but not that much!

And a few weeks ago I was looking for guidance material on the structure of a dissertation in response to a request for advice. I found plenty of references, but of course none of them carried any substantive guidance--just advertising for essay and dissertation-writing services. So I wrote my own--for free, of course.

So it was interesting to read what Dan Ariely got for his money, according to the post above; and it is worth circulating it. Unsurprisingly, these scams do not deliver what they promise!


  1. Anonymous7:48 am

    Thanks for this, James, very relevant: "The key principle that under no circumstances should, or could, a supervisor be helpful" is one I am familiar with.

  2. Hi James,

    Thanks for linking to my post on plagiarism. Since writing it I’ve also found a great series of 3 posts at Imaginary Boundaries Blog. The last one is especially good as it proposes a creative solution:

    “Since work is done in stages before “release” or “publication”––in what is known as “sequenced” assignments, which are constantly revised as new information is gathered––there is unprecedented freedom to experiment entirely risk-free. Student writers can be released from the anxiety of influence (and their teachers freed from the anxiety of enforcement) and be allowed to experience the ecstasy of influence instead.” http://imaginaryboundaries.wordpress.com/2009/05/24/if-i-was-a-master-thief-iii/

    I completely concur that some supervisors seem to go out of their way to avoid being helpful. And then there’s the other type, who overwhelm you with detail, poorly coordinated complexity and a mass of regulations which seem designed more to intimidate and to cover their backs than to facilitate learning.



  3. Anonymous10:54 am

    I agree. Plagiarizing can be really annoying especially when you have put so much hard work in to it. In this technological age it's happen very often. This leads to the original website owner losing page rankings, traffic and revenue. Theft of website content is a rapidly growing problem and owners should check their content frequently to find out whether it is being used somewhere else. I use PlagTracker.com - http://www.plagtracker.com/

  4. Just read the following this morning:

    “He must imbibe their ways of thinking, not learn their precepts. And let him boldly forget, if he wants, where he got them, but let him know how to make them his own. Truth and reason are common to everyone, and no more belong to the man who first spoke them than to the man who says them later. It is no more according to Plato than according to me, since he and I understand and see it the same way. The bees plunder the flowers here and there, but afterward they make of them honey, which is all theirs; it is no longer thyme or marjoram. Even so with the pieces borrowed from others; he will transform and blend them to make a work of his own, to wit, his judgment.” - Michel de Montaigne


Comments welcome, but I am afraid I have had to turn moderation back on, because of inappropriate use. Even so, I shall process them as soon as I can.