Trends in Plagiarism for 2017-2018

Jonathan Bailey, in one of his August article published in Plagiarism Today, gives us five trends for the coming school year around the issue of plagiarism.  The first one is about essay mills which are about to get a lot more attention from schools but also from goverment who will try to shut them down. The second trend will focus on the issue of students’ privacy when submitting their work to a detection software.

I’m baffled by the next trend which will integrate plagiarism detection into the evaluation process « making it more akin to checking for grammar or spelling mistakes« . I think that a teacher who finds plagiarism would stop the evaluation process since the paper cannot be graded if it has been plagiarised… The student must have consequences from redoing the paper completely or partially to getting an F.

Fourth trend: plagiarism detection technology will be integrated into the writing process. Students will revise and correct their papers and check for plagiarism before handing it in. For students who use this software to check their paper, it will be reassuring to know that they have written their essays without mistakenly plagiarizing.

The last trend is a growing intolerance for plagiarism. While that is hardly surprising, what is really sad to see is that there is no trend on better educating our students on what is plagiarism and how to avoid doing it.


Let’s all say no to essay mills on October 18th!



On October 18th, join universities and colleges worldwide for the 2nd International Day of Action Against Contrat Cheating!

Read this article and find out about the statistics about contract cheating and how it can create a divide between students…

In his article published in The Telegraph (January 2017), Harry Yorke states that Doctor Thomas Lancaster and Robert Clarke, from the UK, found that more than 20 000 students  resort to essay mills in order to make their way to the top of the class and evade plagiarism consequences. Lord Storey, co-chair of the Committee on Education, Families and Young People, wants to make this practice illegal in the UK and specifies that « “rich students” are effectively “paying their way” to a top honours degree ». The number of 20 000 students using essay mills online is closer to 50 000 according to Lord Storey. And this phenomenon is not limited to the UK!

Should we give good grades to the rich students who can afford to pay between 600$ to 1000$ for a professionally written essay? Let’s figure out how to prevent our student from using essay mills. Let’s think about informing students about the consequences of using essay mills.


Take the opportunity to make your teaching better

An article published in the New York Times quite a few years ago (2003) is promoting the idea that teachers can be proactive to try to stop cheating. Mark Edmundson says that  » professors need to stop looking exclusively for technological solutions to a problem that often stems, in consequential ways, from the way we do our jobs. Perhaps the current boom in electronic cheating can give professors — especially in the humanities, as the sciences are often bound to traditional test-giving and test-taking — a chance to pause and think and ultimately to teach in a better way« .

Edmundson explains how « condescending analysis is the order of the day » rather than « personal transformation » of our students. I totally agree with him. We need to make our teaching relevant to our students, to make them see and understand how what we are teaching can impact their lives, their careers. If students feel engaged with the course material, they will want to write their papers themselves and put forward their own ideas.

Fourteen years later, Edmundson’s ideas are still relevant.


Un manque d’intégrité…

Dans un article paru dans la Presse Canadienne (5 juillet, 2017), il a été question cette semaine des excuses dequi a été accusé d’avoir plagié les idées précédemment parues dans d’autres déclarations. Monsieur Saganash, qui tentait d’expliquer pourquoi, comme autochtone, il n’avait pas le coeur à la fête le 1er juillet (fête du 150e anniversaire du Canada), a perdu une excellente occasion de faire connaitre son opinion. Tout ce que nous retiendrons de son message, c’était qu’il ne venait pas de lui! Quel dommage…

Bob Dylan un plagiaire???

Le grand Bob Dylan, récipiendaire du prix Nobel de littérature aurait peut-être plagié son discours d’acceptation du prestigieux prix. Il se serait inspiré de Sparknotes. Comme quoi, il faut croire que même de grands écrivains manquent parfois d’inspiration!

Pour plus d’information, vous pouvez lire l’article dans La Presse + (Associated Press) ou encore en anglais dans le HuffingtonPost (Fallon, 2017).



Un clin d’oeil, un petit emprunt, c’est pas du plagiat!!!

Marine Le Pen est accusée d’avoir plagié une toute petite minute dans son discours d’une heure. Sa défense: c’est pas un plagiat, c’est assumé! C’est un clin d’oeil au discours d’un autre politicien, un petit emprunt donc ce n’est vraiment pas grave. Avec une attitude comme cela de nos politiciens, comment peut-on s’attendre à ce que nos étudiants comprennent que plagier, ce n’est pas acceptable!!!


Article publié dans le Huffingtonpost par Romain Herroros (2 mai 2017) intitulé Derrière le plagiat de Marine le Pen, Paul-Marie Coûteaux, l’artisan de l’union des droites.