Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

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ame05d
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Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby ame05d » Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:47 pm

This may be a really stupid question, but I am worried that during the exams I am going to reference my outlines and use relevant sentences verbatim from it.... the problem is that when i'm outlining I don't stop to reword things, if the casebook or hornbook, supplement, or whatever phrases something nicely, I usually just write it down verbatim in it. I realize most of the exam will be analyzing and not explaining rules or policy concerns, but I still tend to write things in my outline w/ an eye for how I would use them on the exam and wonder if professors would look down on it, or worse, if I would get in trouble for it...

For torts I find myself constantly referring to prosser & keeton, and usually the parts I pull out of certain sections pop up somewhere in my casebook's corresponding section, as well as in the actual cases. I feel like my torts professor who is just brilliant and seems to know everything about the law of anything will recognize and be familiar w/ those passages.

Is this even a valid concern?? Or do professors realize students do this and just award points based on you apply the info? Thanks!
Last edited by ame05d on Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cavalier
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby Cavalier » Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:50 pm

You should probably reword it just to be safe. Or put it in quotes if the phrase is famous and recognizable, like "danger invites rescue."

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m311
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby m311 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:56 pm

I think it's pretty safe to say your prof will recognize specific wording from something as popular as Prosser. They do grade a lot of exams. They probably won't care, but it can't be very hard to change the wording around a little- and probably should be done anyway to fit the context.

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kurla88
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby kurla88 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:12 pm

Ask your professors? I don't think they're going to penalize you for it, though.

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ame05d
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby ame05d » Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:29 pm

kurla88 wrote:Ask your professors? I don't think they're going to penalize you for it, though.


I've thought about that, but on the off chance I do amazing on my exams, I don't want to draw attn to the fact that there may be sentences I "stole" from other sources... lol you know what I mean?? If i ask my professors and they generally tell me "don't do it," then I will spend the whole exam being overly cautious about it when it is likely not necessary. So I've ruled that out, just wanted to ask other law students what they thought about it.

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m311
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby m311 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:15 pm

Email your professor anonymously and ask if you really think you can't ask them face-to-face.

JD'izzle
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby JD'izzle » Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:07 pm

ame05d wrote:This may be a really stupid question, but I am worried that during the exams I am going to reference my outlines and use relevant sentences verbatim from it.... the problem is that when i'm outlining I don't stop to reword things, if the casebook or hornbook, supplement, or whatever phrases something nicely, I usually just write it down verbatim in it. I realize most of the exam will be analyzing and not explaining rules or policy concerns, but I still tend to write things in my outline w/ an eye for how I would use them on the exam and wonder if professor's would look down on it, or worse, if I would get in trouble for it...

For torts I find myself constantly referring to prosser & keeton, and usually the parts I pull out of certain sections pop up somewhere in my casebook's corresponding section, as well as in the actual cases. I feel like my torts professor who is just brilliant and seems to know everything about the law of anything will recognize and be familiar w/ those passages.

Is this even a valid concern?? Or do professors realize students do this and just award points based on you apply the info? Thanks!


I seriously doubt they will even notice

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:39 pm

ame05d wrote:This may be a really stupid question, but I am worried that during the exams I am going to reference my outlines and use relevant sentences verbatim from it.... the problem is that when i'm outlining I don't stop to reword things, if the casebook or hornbook, supplement, or whatever phrases something nicely, I usually just write it down verbatim in it. I realize most of the exam will be analyzing and not explaining rules or policy concerns, but I still tend to write things in my outline w/ an eye for how I would use them on the exam and wonder if professor's would look down on it, or worse, if I would get in trouble for it...


If it's verbatim out of the casebook, or even better the prof's mouth, then that's really good. That's pretty much the best way to spit the rule out on the exam. There is no such thing as plagiarism on an exam (no one expects you to cite to things properly on an exam -- that would just be ridiculous, there is a time limit).

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Wahoo1L
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby Wahoo1L » Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:51 pm

Court decisions restate rules using the exact same language all the time. If you're merely writing down the rule from a case, you should be fine. However, if you're using the casebook authors analysis (maybe about policy issues) then I would try to explain it in your own words.

engineer
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby engineer » Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:42 pm

Someone asked my property professor if we needed to cite things using bluebook format on the exam. He just looked at the person with his are-you-fucking-serious face. It was pretty hilarious, and even better when the professor said that he seriously doesn't care what we do.

Plagiarism really only counts in legal writing... for timed finals, no one thinks that you're trying to formulate your own opinions, etc. You're trying to prove to the prof that you know the material. You're not trying to persuade him or her that your answer is the best. If it were the latter, then perhaps citations would matter.

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voice of reason
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby voice of reason » Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:26 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:There is no such thing as plagiarism on an exam (no one expects you to cite to things properly on an exam -- that would just be ridiculous, there is a time limit).


This is dangerous advice. Citation standards may be relaxed on a timed test, but there is certainly such a thing as plagiarism on an exam.

On an open-book test, if you quote another source without putting it in quotation marks, passing it off as your own, that is plagiarism and is therefore grounds to give you an F or refer you to the school's disciplinary committee for academic dishonesty.

When in doubt, cite.

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misformafia
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby misformafia » Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:28 pm

Wahoo1L wrote:Court decisions restate rules using the exact same language all the time. If you're merely writing down the rule from a case, you should be fine. However, if you're using the casebook authors analysis (maybe about policy issues) then I would try to explain it in your own words.



titcr.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:15 pm

voice of reason wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:There is no such thing as plagiarism on an exam (no one expects you to cite to things properly on an exam -- that would just be ridiculous, there is a time limit).


This is dangerous advice. Citation standards may be relaxed on a timed test, but there is certainly such a thing as plagiarism on an exam.

On an open-book test, if you quote another source without putting it in quotation marks, passing it off as your own, that is plagiarism and is therefore grounds to give you an F or refer you to the school's disciplinary committee for academic dishonesty.

When in doubt, cite.


Theoretically you are suppose to even cite anything that isn't your own thoughts-- including things you heard in a classroom lecture on a real paper. So, enjoy getting pwned on the exam by your 99 classmates that don't waste the time to type up case names, what reporter it came from, year, all in bluebook citation like you do.

Did you seriously cite to your professor of the book in your UG exams after virtually every sentence you wrote (since those are all regurgitation)?

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:19 pm

misformafia wrote:
Wahoo1L wrote:Court decisions restate rules using the exact same language all the time. If you're merely writing down the rule from a case, you should be fine. However, if you're using the casebook authors analysis (maybe about policy issues) then I would try to explain it in your own words.



titcr.


You guys do realize when you restate something in your own words that isn't your own ideas, and therefore, on a paper would require a citation (but obviously not quotation marks)? Also, when "court decisions restate rules using the exact same language" they quote it and include citations (they are just edited out in your casebook). Therefore, following this logic you guys should cite every single rule/policy sentence in your exam, using bluebook citation format. Good luck :roll:

engineer
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby engineer » Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:40 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:
misformafia wrote:
Wahoo1L wrote:Court decisions restate rules using the exact same language all the time. If you're merely writing down the rule from a case, you should be fine. However, if you're using the casebook authors analysis (maybe about policy issues) then I would try to explain it in your own words.



titcr.


You guys do realize when you restate something in your own words that isn't your own ideas, and therefore, on a paper would require a citation (but obviously not quotation marks)? Also, when "court decisions restate rules using the exact same language" they quote it and include citations (they are just edited out in your casebook). Therefore, following this logic you guys should cite every single rule/policy sentence in your exam, using bluebook citation format. Good luck :roll:


OH SHIT. we're not allowed to have our bluebook on the exams; I think I'm going to spend the rest of the week memorizing EVERY PAGE so that I can be totally ready.

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misformafia
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby misformafia » Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:34 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:
misformafia wrote:
Wahoo1L wrote:Court decisions restate rules using the exact same language all the time. If you're merely writing down the rule from a case, you should be fine. However, if you're using the casebook authors analysis (maybe about policy issues) then I would try to explain it in your own words.



titcr.


You guys do realize when you restate something in your own words that isn't your own ideas, and therefore, on a paper would require a citation (but obviously not quotation marks)? Also, when "court decisions restate rules using the exact same language" they quote it and include citations (they are just edited out in your casebook). Therefore, following this logic you guys should cite every single rule/policy sentence in your exam, using bluebook citation format. Good luck :roll:




. . . is this guy for real? I'm guessing it was an attempt at a joke? lol. I would love to see this kids exam.

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Wahoo1L
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby Wahoo1L » Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:16 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote: You guys do realize when you restate something in your own words that isn't your own ideas, and therefore, on a paper would require a citation (but obviously not quotation marks)? Also, when "court decisions restate rules using the exact same language" they quote it and include citations (they are just edited out in your casebook). Therefore, following this logic you guys should cite every single rule/policy sentence in your exam, using bluebook citation format. Good luck :roll:


Of course court decisions have a citation where they quote another case. On an exam (where professors don't require citations) there is no need to come up with different language when stating a rule from a case.

However, if there is a quip about some policy rationale in a note after the case and the exam question is a policy question, then you shouldn't use the same language as the casebook author's/source. Instead, you should reword the author's original analysis which will not require a reference. If you really have to quote the casebook author's analysis of a policy issue (not their wording of a rule), then it might be worth referencing that you're quoting that source. On all of my exams, I've never felt the need to quote the casebook author's analysis thus I've never had this problem. The difference between a statement of rule and a casebook author's analysis of a policy is that for stating rules, there is common wording used by multiple courts, whereas a professor's wording when analyzing an area of the law is unique.

Here is my advice: (1) Any wording from a court decision can be included on an exam without citation (since most professors don't require case names), (2) If you are analyzing a policy issue, don't quote the casebook author. Instead, you can use the author's analysis but put it in your own words.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Exam Answers and Plagiarism?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:28 pm

Wahoo1L wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote: You guys do realize when you restate something in your own words that isn't your own ideas, and therefore, on a paper would require a citation (but obviously not quotation marks)? Also, when "court decisions restate rules using the exact same language" they quote it and include citations (they are just edited out in your casebook). Therefore, following this logic you guys should cite every single rule/policy sentence in your exam, using bluebook citation format. Good luck :roll:


Of course court decisions have a citation where they quote another case. On an exam (where professors don't require citations) there is no need to come up with different language when stating a rule from a case.

However, if there is a quip about some policy rationale in a note after the case and the exam question is a policy question, then you shouldn't use the same language as the casebook author's/source. Instead, you should reword the author's original analysis which will not require a reference. If you really have to quote the casebook author's analysis of a policy issue (not their wording of a rule), then it might be worth referencing that you're quoting that source. On all of my exams, I've never felt the need to quote the casebook author's analysis thus I've never had this problem. The difference between a statement of rule and a casebook author's analysis of a policy is that for stating rules, there is common wording used by multiple courts, whereas a professor's wording when analyzing an area of the law is unique.

Here is my advice: (1) Any wording from a court decision can be included on an exam without citation (since most professors don't require case names), (2) If you are analyzing a policy issue, don't quote the casebook author. Instead, you can use the author's analysis but put it in your own words.


Just because you put something in your own words doesn't make it your own thoughts. There was a guy who got disciplined for violating the honor code at my school the other year who didn't cite to things that he put on his memo because he thought he didn't need to since it was in his own words. So theoretically if you are worried about citations and plagiarism on an exam then you should be citing everything including stuff you put in your own words (i.e. if you are rewording your author's analysis that would be plagiarism on a paper). Point being, this is just retarded and no one in their right mind would bluebook cite to anything on the exam (not rules and not policy analysis) (at most I can see throwing out case names because the professor gives points for that).




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