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I’ve been inspired by a flurry of environmentally-friendly advocates who have recommended some easy-to-do back to school tips for K-12 students and college students. Many of you are already back at school and gotten started with school paper assignments. WriteCheck can help you by checking your papers for plagiarism, grammar and spelling, but it's up to you to make a difference for the planet when it comes to habits and supplies.

Here are a few green choices you can make when it comes time to writing your student papers this semester:

  1. Go electronic and get used to typing instead of writing drafts on paper. (Note: You will probably need a laptop that you can carry around with you for this.)
  2. Swap your old backpack for a solar backpack to charge your laptop with renewable energy on the go.
  3. Talk to your instructors about submitting papers online instead of printing on paper.
  4. If you are required to submit your paper on paper, buy recycled paper or encourage your school or institution to.
  5. Go for eco-friendly, non-toxic crayons, markers and paints, pencils made from recycled paper, wood or cardboard, and DBA pens (that are 98% biodegradable, made in the USA using wind power, and filled with non-toxic ink).
  6. Choose reusable supplies, like refillable pens.

Some of my favorites that are not writing related but still worth mentioning are:

  • Walk or bike to class. (National Walk to School Day is October 5th)
  • Carpool and turn off the engine while waiting (reduces carbon dioxide output and could save on gas money)
  • Reduce and eliminate excess packaging by using reusable options for lunch sacks, water bottles, and snack bags (I found a ton of options on Amazon.com. Lunchskins has some cool patterns.)
  • Suggest to your teacher or school principal to use only non-toxic, all-natural cleaners, like Seventh Generation, in the schoolrooms (and parents to give your college students green cleaning supplies for their dorm rooms)

What are you doing to be green this semester?

Citations

Get Back to School the Green Way. August 11, 2009. PlanetGreen.com. http://planetgreen.discovery.com/work-connect/school-green.html

Go Back to School Green. September 8, 2011. Denise Reynolds. Examiner.com. http://www.examiner.com/back-to-school-in-national/go-back-to-school-green

Green Back-to-School Supplies: Part 1 - Pens, Pencils, Crayons, Markers. September 2011. Diane MacEachern. Big Green Purse Blog. http://blog.biggreenpurse.com/biggreenpurse/2011/09/green-back-to-school-supplies-part-1-pens-pencils-crayons-markers.html

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Social Networking

Published on by tiimarketing.

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The New York Times recently published an article in it’s Arts Beat section that gave a perspective on dissertation plagiarism from Dora D. Clarke-Pine, a professor of psychology from La Sierra University. Professor Clarke-Pine conducted a study to examine dissertation plagiarism by evaluating a sample of papers from psychology students at universities across the country. She also made a clear distinction between religious and non-religious universities to see if ‘moral values’ played into the incidence of plagiarism.

Her findings were pretty much what we’ve come to expect as far as high percentages of copied materials. From the NY Times:

“Four of every five dissertations examined contained examples of word-for-word plagiarism. Ms. Clarke-Pine found no difference between religious and secular schools.”

The study yielded the interesting notation that there wasn’t any distinction in plagiarism between religious and non-religious schools. Ms. Clark-Pine originally thought there might be a lower incidence of plagiarism in religious schools because of stricter moral codes that would deter students from cheating. The lack of differential could be taken as an indicator that students across the board were accidentally plagiarizing, or didn’t know exactly how to define plagiarism.

One part of the study that took heat was Ms. Clark-Pine’s methods for determining what constitutes plagiarism. In her study, she considered plagiarism as ‘copying 10 or more words without proper attribution.’ Many opponents of the study voiced their opinion that copying 10 or more words could be entirely accidental due to the limited constraints that certain phrases can be structured.

One article comment poster, “norman,” wrote:

“I'd like to see Clarke-Pine's paper. Defining plagiarism as copying 10 or more words sounds awfully slippery. If I write a sentence of 10 words on a common theme that can be found somewhere with a Google search or somewhere in a term-paper database, is that copying or coincidence?”

Although it is true that cases of accidental plagiarism can potentially occur, that doesn’t mean that many of the word-for-word matches in the study weren’t intentional cases of plagiarism. There is only a finite number of ways to structure a particular phrase or sentence, but that’s exactly what makes the content unique.

Some of the greatest words and phrases in written history have been ten words and under:

“Words may show a man's wit but actions his meaning.” - Ben Franklin “An unexamined life is not worth living.” -Socrates “Poetry is what is lost in translation.” - Robert Frost

Though some cases of plagiarism may be accidental, that doesn’t mean papers shouldn’t be checked. Even if one single case of intentional plagiarism is discovered by checking hundreds of papers – it’s worth it.

Citations Cohen, Patricia. “Thinking Cap: The Seemingly Persistent Rise of Plagiarism.” The New York Times. August 23rd 2011. http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/23/thinking-cap-the-seemingly-persistent-rise-of-plagiarism/

Proverbia.net Quotes http://en.proverbia.net/citastemas.asp

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Social Networking

Published on by davidr.

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WriteCheck recently kicked off its first plagiarism checker and prevention newsletter for students, Writing Tips & Advice. The feature story, "Facebook: No Longer Just for Friending," reviewed the details of a recent study by Turnitin that identified the top social networking sites and user-generated web sites that are popular resources for student copying. The study found that one third of all matched content comes from social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Scribd, SlideShare, Yahoo! Answers, Answers.com.

This means students need to make sure that they don't copy and paste from their "friends" on social networking sites and reinforces the need to write in your own words. It's also important to cite correctly and use sources that have merit not only with your friends but your professors as well.

Aside from several other tips and articles that hep students with their writing, the newsletter also included the results of a recent survey conducted amongst student users. The results showed that 87% of students are satisfied with their experience with WriteCheck.

Many recipients noticed the section for sending us a brief "review" of WriteCheck -- thank you to everyone who sent us feedback! If your review is selected to be placed on WriteCheck.com, you will receive a $25 Amazon.com gift card. We will be notifying students by September via email and on this blog. Stay tuned!

To receive the WriteCheck Writing Tips & Advice newsletter, you can sign up for free. By signing up, you will also be able to see the WriteCheck dashboard and see if it might be something you'd like to try this coming Fall semester to prevent plagiarism, improve your writing, and get better grades.

Published on by tiimarketing.

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Here's a video I came across, put out by Cape Fear Community College. In it, they talk about a few different types of plagiarism, illustrated by some Oscar worthy performances. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnTPv9PtOoo

In the video they talk about the following types of plagiarism and plagiarists:

  • The Denny's Sampler
  • The Ghost Writer
  • The Photocopy
  • The Remix
  • The Customer
  • The Misinformer

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Social Networking

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Published on by Ray.

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Twitter: @WriteCheckI started noticing a trending topic on Twitter under hashtag #collegetaughtme, and noticed that plagiarism and Turnitin was coming up a lot. Like all things, there are people that get it, people that don't,  people that are haters, and people that are hilarious. Here are some highlights:

The above quotes were posted to Twitter on December 13, 2010. Names, usernames, and profile pictures were removed to maintain the anonymity of people that chose to broadcast their opinions on the public forum that is Twitter. You can search for similar Twitter statuses by clicking here.

Are you on Twitter? Follow us @WriteCheck.

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Published on by Ray.

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