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5:20pm on Sunday, 1st May, 2011:

Final-Year Projects


I've been reading final-year projects for the past few days. Only two more to go, then I can look forward to seeing the presentations...

Notes for would-be plagiarists:

  1. If your normal writing style is in a form of badly-spelled broken English which suddenly changes into perfectly-spelled and grammatically correct English using long words, that looks suspicious.
  2. If you normally spell words in British English and then for a paragraph or so switch to American English, that's suspicious.
  3. If you normally can't be arsed to capitalise the names of pieces of software then suddenly you do capitalise them in the strangely-affected way that the software itself uses (eg. javascript turns into JavaScript), that's suspicious.
  4. If your text is normally in one font with one form of line spacing then inexplicably it changes into another font with another line spacing, that's suspicious.
  5. If you write in the wrong tense, for example saying you "will do" something that's in your program code, that's suspicious.
  6. If in some of your program code you exhibit a lack of understanding of basic syntax (eg. not using elseif) and in other parts of your program you use that syntax freely, that's suspicious.
  7. If you use four different conventions for naming your program's variables in different routines, that's suspicious.
  8. If I've spent ages in class explaining novice programming concepts to you and you still didn't get them, yet you turn in a final-year project that's programmed quite well, that's suspicious.

It's safe for me to tell would-be plagiarists all this, because people smart enough to try to cover their tracks are smart enough not to plagiarise in the first place...

Referenced by Reports Report.

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).