First of all, I’m already graduated. BUT, in my final semester, I took a historical research/writing class. In my final paper, I used a line that was verbatim (or close enough) to that of one of my secondary sources. I didn’t do it deliberately, or even, I believe, subconsciously. I believe that 6 out of 10 students in my position would have written the same thing.
First of all, a minimal background.
My degree is history, but I seem to have a better background in English, quick-fired posts to the SDMB notwithstanding. Also, combine that with being a wannabe intellectual, or thought of as being intellectual, at the very least.
Equally, for Doper info, I would not plagiarize in this class, because they terrorized me so much that I had all of my sources copied and at hand and I was expecting them to audit everybody in the class. I was so fastidious that even these instructors were asking me how come I had so many quotation marks in my paper.
Now, to the main.
Parameter to the paper: Use ALL primary sources available. From the English-speaking world, because the professor could pull up some fairly obscure foreign papers when he wanted to lord it over a student.
Paper must be 15-20 pages long.
The class stance on plagiarism was that even one word, without giving credit, could be construed as plagiarism, with the attendant ‘F,’ as well as recommendation for expulsion.
I clearly used most of the sources that the secondary source in Q did, which was not a problem. I believe that I used the exact file that he used. So, I found a Xerox of one small filler from the Jonesville paper that my secondary source used-the kind that take up about 1/2"x1" on a newspaper page, with a small bolded header.
The filler from the Jonesville paper: “The XYZ newspaper, from Western Belize or whatever country that handsomeharry is thinking of if he could remember it, said that the Trilateral Commission’s execution of five Birchers was an example of their brutal methods, which they learned from the Bilderburgers.” Or some such.
I wrote : The XYZ newspaper deplored the TC’s treatment of the five Birchers. (Cite given)
Sources quote: The XYZ newspaper deplored the TC’s treatment of the Birchers. (Cite given)
I am a big-word user when I have a chance to impress (this very professor didn’t know what the word ‘paradigm’ meant when I used it with him.) The phrase “A *deplored * B” is a phrase that is practically mandatory when a person with my literary pretensions/aspirations can only spare one sentence to reference the miniscule article with that content, and I was not allowed to leave the article out. It has the *je ne se quoi * of not being in regular use, yet is not so off the wall that I had to look it up (or plagiarize it.)
You may call me back to defend myself when my big million copy bestseller hits the silver screen, and some jealous researcher finds my old paper and demands an inquiry.
How do you find me? Guilty or No?