Monday, December 17, 2012

Winter break

Well, yesterday marked the end of my most recent semester. I was in charge of putting our paper through TurnItIn, reviewing the report, and submitting to our professor. It went terribly.

First, I ran the paper through TurnItIn and viewed the Similarity report. The web app was telling me the paper scored a 7% similar to its databases, but had nothing flagged in the paper. Commenting on it being weird to my wife, I downloaded the useless report and submitted the papers.

A few hours later, the rest of my team drew my attention back to the useless papers. Prompted by their concerns, I returned to TurnItIn and scanned around the app's interface. As it turns out, you can toggle off the report display so that it just shows what you submitted. Pointless, as I already have the file I submitted. So I toggled it on, downloaded the less useless report and submitted it again.

After a few more hours, the team contacted me concerned that my whole post was missing. Back to the website, attach the files again, and post.

Today, I got home from work and checked my email and the class page. (Note it is now after the submission deadline.) My attention is drawn, at prompting from my team, to the fact that TurnItIn claims a 3% match to This claim is really bizarre, as we don't even have a reference for in our paper. Looking into it, the service is correct and we submitted a paper with two paragraphs ripped nearly word for word from this paper by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Ridiculous.

In an attempt to save the team from my mistake, I have submitted the following amendment to my Self and Peer Evaluation concerning the paper to the professor.

I need to amend my evaluation.

There are two paragraphs that made it to the submitted TEAMNAME paper which are pulled almost verbatim from without citation and without even a reference to

I had felt I was being harsh on TEAMMATE0 in what I turned it, but it was too light.

He did not attend the work planning, threw together a quick, plagiarized section which required significant maintenance to even look passable, and withdrew his support from any of the post-drafting collaboration.

That said, I was the one who ran the paper through turnitin. I did not catch the two paragraphs in time. TEAMMATE1, TEAMMATE2, and TEAMMATE3 attended the planning, communicated often, and carried out their assigned portions of the work. The failure to prevent the plagiarized paragraphs from making it to submission was on me. My first paper had a 10% score overall, and 9% to SCHOOL papers that I never had seen, so it made me lose any faith I had in the turnitin system, so I didn't delve into what the 7% score was. I didn't trust the scanner, so all I concerned myself with was making sure that the paper didn't hit the 15% threshold.

The majority of the TEAMNAME group performed their responsibilities to satisfaction and deserve to have their grade based on the merit of the writing. The blame for the Internet and User Furnished Device Policy sections falls to TEAMMATE0 for submitting it as his section and to me for not catching it during my review.

Thank you for taking the time to read this,

Matthew Molyett

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