1. Policing Papers, Verne, 4/14



There’s nothing I dislike more than ‘policing’ term papers.  According to Deirdre Verne, “Policing papers is an investigative act performed under duress by instructors fed up with blatant plagiarism.” (“Policing Papers”, Verne, 4/14­1)


I recently read a paper I suspected had not been penned entirely by a student’s own hand. I reviewed the student’s citations, reading each reference carefully to identify where the student had lost their way. After an exhaustive, but fruitless, citation search, I felt as if I were an “instructor under duress, fed up with blatant plagiarism”. (“Policing Papers”, Verne, 4/141)


I quickly shifted gears and began “the investigative act of policing a paper” (“Policing Papers, Verne, 4/141).  Since my valid citation search hadn’t yielded the source of the student’s paper, I Googled  ‘free college papers’. This search brought me to StudyMode.  Ha! Found it.


So how does StudyMode work? Students can submit papers for the purpose of sharing with their peers. It’s like a study buddy. Unfortunately, in an academic setting, sharing answers is the same as cheating.  What if you have nothing to share? You can still cheat by simply purchasing another student’s papers. In this case, the topic I had assigned was available for about $90.


My solution. To avoid policing papers in the future, I’m going to assign a topic, write it myself, submit to StudyMode and wait for my own work to cycle back to me. I’m hoping this will reduce my “duress caused by the investigative act of policing papers by instructors fed up with blatant plagiarism.” (“Policing Papers”, Verne 4/141)


  • Michael Loffa

    I will truly never understand how some people think they can get away with plagiarizing. It baffles me how they think some professors are just so clueless and that it won’t be blatantly obvious that the work doesn’t match anything else they’ve ever submitted. I actually laughed when I read that the topic you assigned was available for $90. People are paying money to get out of an assignment for a class that they’re paying money to attend. And, when they get caught, risk getting kicked out of school entirely over not wanted to write a paper. You’re spending more money that you would have made if you worked instead of writing the paper. Crazy. I guess I should feel fortunate that writing papers has never been a huge problem for me (blog responses are a different story) but I really can’t even imagine buying someone else’s paper and submitted it to a professor. Sometimes I can’t believe the audacity of some people.

  • Gabriel Kremer

    I cannot stress enough the importance of proofreading one’s work before submission. A high-school professor of mine once related a story about a slide show he was doing to impress another business. Everything was going fine until he got to the last slide, which simply stated “Are their any questions?” He related that he could have turned it into a joke, but didn’t notice the typo at the time. In the end, he never heard a response back from the other business after the meeting.
    Additionally, I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of stuff that Spellcheck simply doesn’t pick up on. See, it’s just a program. It sees a word that it views as incorrect, and it either marks it or automatically corrects it, depending on the word. Of course, this means that the word that it wants to correct to isn’t necessarily the word you want to use. It can also be faulty sometimes when it comes to grammar. In some cases it even recognizes a legitimate error as correct. And heaven forbid you’re working with another language.
    In short, proofread everything. Even if you think it doesn’t need it, do it anyways because a typo or grammatical error has the potential to undermine the entire work and compromise its intent.

  • http://online-phd-uk.com/uk-universities-funding-guide/ Nora Adams

    90 bucks? Really? That’s a bit of an overkill. I wasn’t aware that it could be so expensive. Thanks for the heads up.

  • http://phdadmissions.info/doctorate-degree-programs-edge-hill-university/ Doctorate Degree Programs UK

    You’ve created something that seems like a really clever solution. I might do something similar. Thanks for sharing this information.

  • http://online-phd-uk.co.uk/split-site-phd-program/ Brooke Sheppard

    I hate hearing that plagiarism is still such a big deal. That is an outrageous amount to pay for an essay.

  • http://1yearmbaprograms.info/ Eve Barnett

    I don’t really think it’s same as cheating, Maybe just close to it. Lots of students actually learn that way.

  • http://coursesforbusiness.org/mba-in-education/ Isabella Jordan

    I’ve actually purchased a paper once, but just once, to see how it is done properly. I like to learn from an example.