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View Poll Results: Whats your opinion on the matter?
I think it is a morally correct thing to do. 20 51.28%
I don't think it is a morally correct thing to do. 15 38.46%
I have done it in the past. 10 25.64%
I have never done it in the past. 24 61.54%
Who voted? Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 39
You may not vote on this poll

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(Posted as matinog)
Posts: 898/922
(25-Nov-2008 at 02:49)


Resubmiting College Papers

When I write a paper and I see it could relate to another class I sometimes decide to just submit that paper to that other class as well. Would you do this and do you think it is morally correct. The class demands that all papers are the product of your work and nobody else's, does this justify this action?

RIP John Lennon

Last edited by matinog, 25-Nov-2008 at 02:52.
#1  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Mandraque Add Mandraque to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
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(25-Nov-2008 at 03:05)


I think most places demand that you write a new paper for each time you have to hand something in. I think this is a reasonable demand, as it is unfair if you happen to already have something you can hand in and spend more time on other subjects, while someone else doesn't and has to do it from scratch thereby putting pressure on other subjects and not doing as well as you as a result.

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#2  
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(Posted as matinog)
Posts: 899/922
(25-Nov-2008 at 03:28)


But what if you are told to write about an open topic? is the purpose of the class for the teacher to grade what you know or how much you worked?

RIP John Lennon
#3  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Mandraque Add Mandraque to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
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(25-Nov-2008 at 03:32)


Quote:
But what if you are told to write about an open topic?
I'm not sure what that has to do with it...

Quote:
is the purpose of the class for the teacher to grade what you know or how much you worked?
Irrelevant... the teacher is there to grade how well you have learned, but we are not talking about the teacher, we are talking about the rules and why those rules exist. You are required to write a new paper because it is unfair to allow some students to lighten their workload when other students cannot.

Tax collectors are a valid military target - chobham
#4  
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(Posted as matinog)
Posts: 900/922
(25-Nov-2008 at 03:44)


Originally Posted by Spectre19: View Post
I'm not sure what that has to do with it...



Irrelevant... the teacher is there to grade how well you have learned, but we are not talking about the teacher, we are talking about the rules and why those rules exist. You are required to write a new paper because it is unfair to allow some students to lighten their workload when other students cannot.
The problem is i have never really seen anybody address this issue and im not even sure if it isnt allowed. thats the reason for the poll.

RIP John Lennon
#5  
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Posts: 1321/1971
(25-Nov-2008 at 03:47)


Quote:
The problem is i have never really seen anybody address this issue and im not even sure if it isnt allowed. thats the reason for the poll.
Well it has never been allowed anywhere I have had to hand in papers, so I doubt it is allowed where you go - I would advise you to check.

And nobody addresses it because it is impossible to do so... it is not something that can be easily monitored. It is more of an honesty system, although I am sure they would check occasionally, or if the paper looks slightly off-topic as if it was originally meant for another topic.

-----------

Either way, my point was, whether it is what the teacher marks you for or not is not the issue - the issue is fairness. I think it is unethical because it is not fair to other students who now have a larger workload than you despite having the same class.

Tax collectors are a valid military target - chobham
#6  
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(Posted as matinog)
Posts: 901/922
(25-Nov-2008 at 03:53)


I have always had the view that school was about learning, not about work.

If you rework and improve an easy before you turn it in, does it make it better? You demonstrate what you have learned, yet you still have to do a lot less research and you already know about the topic.

If this was widely allowed would it make it better, since the fairness issue would be off?

RIP John Lennon
#7  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Mandraque Add Mandraque to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 1322/1971
(25-Nov-2008 at 03:59)


Quote:
If this was widely allowed would it make it better, since the fairness issue would be off?
The fairness issue wouldn't be off. It's not because other people follow the rules, it's because not everybody has previously written an essay that can be reused.

Tax collectors are a valid military target - chobham
#8  
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(25-Nov-2008 at 17:41)


Done it once, don't think it's correct. The idea of any such class is that you research and write something new and thereby learn, completely recycling old work fails in that regard. If it was somebody else's work it'd amount to plagiarism, if it's your own older work i don't think it does, but we all know you're not supposed to get pass multiple classes based on one work. If you rewrite and update your own work and then hand it in for a second class, that might arguably be allowed since it does qualify as new work i guess.

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#9  
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(25-Nov-2008 at 18:38)


Re: Resubmiting College Papers

Originally Posted by matinog: View Post
I have always had the view that school was about learning, not about work.
It's through the work that you learn.

If any of my students handed in an essay that they'd already submitted and had marked for another class, and I found out about it, I'd be tempted to fail them on the spot for academic dishonesty.

No Comment
#10  
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(25-Nov-2008 at 19:01)


Re: Resubmiting College Papers

Originally Posted by BrandonC: View Post
It's through the work that you learn.

If any of my students handed in an essay that they'd already submitted and had marked for another class, and I found out about it, I'd be tempted to fail them on the spot for academic dishonesty.
I don't see why this is a form of academic honesty. The point of testing something like this is to check whether the student has the necessary level to finish the course. If a previously written paper is good enough to finish the course then that should be fine for the teacher. What if the students still agrees with his views stated in the earlier paper? Should he write a new one with the same ideas in other words? That would be just silly.

What about someone who had written the paper before the course started but never handed it in before? Would that be okay? Because he can't have used stuff that he learned during the course.

Or what about someone who has written an earlier paper for another course and now wants to use his new information to improve on a mistake that he made in the earlier one. That would be fine right?

It's the teacher's job to teach and test at a sufficient level so that you can't pass the course without using some of the new info that you have gathered. If you can just recycle old papers, the teacher's done a bad job.

Of course I'd never do such a thing myself. I'd feel lazy for not trying to write something better with the extra knowledge that I've hopefully gained during the course.

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#11  
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(25-Nov-2008 at 19:32)


College isn't necessarily about learning, especially undergraduate work. For most people college is about proving you can accomplish something.

The way universities screw people around, like not accepting extremely similar courses for a transfer student, I would have absolutely no issue with using a previous and applicable submission over again. It's my work, it's applicable to the class, and I already know it's good (I would hope no one would resubmit a 'C' paper).

On that note, would editing a previous submission be alright?

Also, if the paper requested is so similar from what the student previously did is it realistic to force a student to forget the research once done and do it all over again?

Man is the only animal that blushes, or needs to.-- Mark Twain
#12  
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(25-Nov-2008 at 20:25)


Well, during High School English, I used to write quite a lot for particular questions for essays. My teacher gave us quite a lot of practice writing essays, and by about the sixth essay, I was starting to cut from my previous essays, because a lot of the questions were layered on top of each other. However, I reworked each paragraph, based on my teacher's comments/criticisms.

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with it, given that it's your own work, and you're not copying from the internet or cutting from your friends' work.

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#13  
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(Posted as matinog)
Posts: 903/922
(25-Nov-2008 at 20:57)


For example, i was just given a paper on an open topic, but since this class is more liberal than my psychology class i will change a lot of things up(the paper is on lobotomies).


Quote:
If any of my students handed in an essay that they'd already submitted and had marked for another class, and I found out about it, I'd be tempted to fail them on the spot for academic dishonesty.
It is good to have the input of a teacher. What do you teach and at what level? i actually told my english teacher i was just going to rework a past essay and he wasn't that disturbed by the idea.

RIP John Lennon
#14  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Mandraque Add Mandraque to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
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(25-Nov-2008 at 21:56)


It's somewhat similar to being assigned papers on topics that students either know or don't know about. For example, a paper could be assigned on... cancer treatment and what is involved and the student recently had a family member who was going through cancer treatment and therefore researched a lot about it on their own. If they're assigned a paper on that, they already would not have to research as much (except citing their sources) as they may already have some sources that they will instantly use. Other students are going to have to research about it.

One has an advantage. Is it fair? Not necessarily, but the other students would just probably say "well, that student is lucky". I know I've said that when other students have a lucky advantage.

In terms of papers, I would probably not support an exact copy being turned in. Maybe 33% needs to be edited. Can you have the same ideas? Yes. But that doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't look for another idea to add to your topic.

I agree that undergraduate work is often about showing that you can accomplish things as opposed to learning. How many times have you taken classes that you just have to take for requirements but which you already know mostly about but have to come to anyway? For example, in my English class last year, I had read all but 3 of the stories before the semester started and knew most of the themes and ideas for what I would write about them. But was I expected to still go? Yes. (Actually I enjoyed it because there were girls... but still)

Also, as a final parting note, life unfortunately isn't fair. Not everyone has a level playing field. As much as we can wish for it sometimes.

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#15  
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(30-Nov-2008 at 18:26)


I've re-tooled ideas I've fleshed out in other classes or papers, but I've never re-used a paper. It seems contrary to the whole point of going to school. If you're taking a class wherein you could submit the exact same piece of work from a different course, then you clearly haven't learned to apply anything new, which says to me that you're wasting your time.

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#16  
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(01-Dec-2008 at 00:01)


I had the perfect example when I was going to school. In my first semester, one of my classes had a paper that had to specifically be written on how Starbucks started, it's business model...ect. I worked with another student and we did very well.

The next semester, I was in another, unrelated class and it called for a paper and a presentation on a business. Since my friend was in the same class, we re-used the Starbucks paper. There was some re-tooling to fit the topic perfectly, but it was essentially the same paper. (The presentation was made from scratch)

I don't find this dishonest at all. I had to make a Starbucks paper, so I did. The next paper's purpose was to research a business - already done. I did write the paper (with a friend), and I didn't plagiarize anything. I wouldn't have learned anything by researching another company from scratch, except for the info about that company which would be irrelevant now anyway, just like how much I know about Starbucks.

I don't agree though with some of the posters above who say that school is about the degree, not learning. I would never buy a paper or cheat on a test, because it goes against why I'm there. But if I write a paper and it happens to be multi-purpose I don't see a problem with using it again.

This is one of those questions that really goes back to personal opinion. As long as you can sleep at night, don't worry about it.
#17  
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(01-Dec-2008 at 00:14)


Spectre, your arguement of "fairness" in terms of coursework isn't all that strong. Where I go, students don't have particular curriculums and set courses they have to follow. They have a general guideline of what classes need to be taken before they can graduate, but not every semester is mapped out in advance. So naturally students who have/decide to take more classes will have more coursework than others. And if we are speaking within that individual course, it shouldn't be about the other students, it should be about yourself and whether you want to learn. Unlike high school, you really can't compare your grades or anything similar because you always have different schedules.

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(01-Dec-2008 at 01:55)


Re: Resubmiting College Papers

Originally Posted by Syke: View Post
I've re-tooled ideas I've fleshed out in other classes or papers, but I've never re-used a paper. It seems contrary to the whole point of going to school. If you're taking a class wherein you could submit the exact same piece of work from a different course, then you clearly haven't learned to apply anything new, which says to me that you're wasting your time.
I thought the point of school was to educate yourself and prepare yourself for a job. If you have already researched something you have been asked to research, what point is it contradicting? For example, if I take a programming course and redo it to improve my grade, and if I was given the exact same assignment; what is unethical about having the same solution if I have it working? Obviously I'd fix the few errors I might have had, but I still put in all the work, would be educated on what I needed for that specific assignment, and learned to apply what needed to be applied. Likewise, would it be unethical for me to study off of a midterm I had in a course I was redoing? What if I studied off a midterm of someone else who was redoing the course? If you were taking a course in poetry, would it be wrong to submit poems you have written on your own?


Yeah, it's lazy, but you've still put in the effort at some point, and you have more important things to deal with that re-researching, so I don't see why it's dishonest. IMO it's the teachers (or schools) responsibility to tell the students at the start of the semester (or program) not to hand in something they've ever handed in before, if it bothers the teacher/s.

Originally Posted by Spectre:
The fairness issue wouldn't be off. It's not because other people follow the rules, it's because not everybody has previously written an essay that can be reused.
By the same standards people shouldn't have read the books in the course guideline, because other students haven't previously read those books, and it will give those students who have done more research, beforehand, more of an advantage going into the course... It shouldn't be about whether you are putting in the effort, it should be about whether you have ever put in the effort and whether you have learned what the course expects you to learn. If you've put in the effort beforehand, good for you - you deserve the little advantage.

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Posts: 1342/1971
(01-Dec-2008 at 03:53)


Quote:
By the same standards people shouldn't have read the books in the course guideline, because other students haven't previously read those books, and it will give those students who have done more research, beforehand, more of an advantage going into the course... It shouldn't be about whether you are putting in the effort, it should be about whether you have ever put in the effort and whether you have learned what the course expects you to learn. If you've put in the effort beforehand, good for you - you deserve the little advantage.
But you don't deserve the advantage. It means you get a higher grade than you would otherwise have received because you have had more time to fuck around with it, and therefore a higher grade as compared to the other students in the class - all in the arbitrary case that you happen to have written a suitable paper beforehand.

And obviously you can't make it a level playing field because people have different classes etc. as Felix said, but it still creates an arbitrary score gap between students that can fairly be - and therefore should be - avoided.

Tax collectors are a valid military target - chobham
#20  
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