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Hey everyone!

I need your help, I had to write an essay with APA reference, but I was too lazy to add the references right away and when the time came to add them I was tight in time so I thought...well let me just randomly reference my work with the articles and the books I was supposed to use... When my teacher checked my sources, obviously the references pages did not correspond to sentences/ideas so I told him something must have went wrong and it is probably the way I work by pulling out information and taking notes aside then writing my paper.. He told me I must prove him wrong with these notes...but I need a good reason why my references do not correspond to my work... Please help.. I want to message him ASAP with a reason!

Thanks in advance :unsure::(

 

*lesson learned for being lazy for once, need solutions*

Edited by fuzzylogician
Edited for privacy at OP's request. --fuzzy
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You want us to help you lie to your teacher to cover up for your laziness? That's not what we do here.

 

I suggest you come clean and explain exactly what you wrote here: that you did things at the last minute and so you just added references you used to your paper without paying attention to what you cited where. You realize it was a mistake and you will fix it (by redoing all of the citations and attributing the correct citations to the correct people). You've already been caught, lying will only make it worse. Own up to your mistake, and fix it. 

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No, I don't want you to help me lie... I just need a solution to this since I don't know what to do..

 

Hear me out, I wrote the work all by myself... but I thought I would have the chance to add the proper references when I was done because it becomes distracting rereading my work with references everywhere, but I was putting it off constantly and when I reviewed it before handing it  in.. I realized I forgot to add my references so I quickly added them by glancing at the sentences and trying to remember my source+page, but I realized I would never finish the work on time so I started adding ''random'' pages of my sources which did not correspond to the paraphrased idea...

 

The teacher did not conclude it was plagiarism, I just need to get out of this.. bad referencing deal with an acceptable excuse why it does not correspond

Edited by Bugaboo
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If you tell him the truth, you will look lazy and it will be embarrassing.

 

If you lie, you will look like you purposefully plagiarized and then lied.

 

Lose-lose, but I'm betting the repercussions from the first option will be significantly better than the second option.

 

Next time, get EndNote and don't be lazy.

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As a tip, I also like to reference my stuff after my papers are done (a procrastination thing as I don't like using APA). So I print off all my journal articles and number them. Then, in bold, I put the number of the paper after every quote or reference. ie (Ref.4, p.10) It prevents you from confusing sources and the bold text prevents your eyes from missing your notation and forgetting to fill it in with a reference after your paper is done.

 

Good luck!

Edited by jenste
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No, I don't want you to help me lie... I just need a solution to this since I don't know what to do..

 

...

 

The teacher did not conclude it was plagiarism, I just need to get out of this.. bad referencing deal with an acceptable excuse why it does not correspond

 

You say you don't want help lying, but you want us to help you come up with a reason for "bad referencing deal with an acceptable excuse why it does not correspond." Unless you just tell your story, sounds to me like you are asking for our help making up a lie. But this is not complicated, you made page numbers (and perhaps also citations) up, and got caught at it.

 

From a professor's perspective, I would guess that one of the following is probably true (and I'm saying this as someone who has taught and done some grading, and has run into all kinds of unlikely situations and excuses for said situations): (1) The student straight up copied things from journal articles (=plagiarized) and tried to cover her tracks by incorrectly citing other work for the material she is discussing.  (2) The student copied another student's work that didn't include proper citations and either made things up, or the original paper already contained the wrong citations. (3) The student just made things up/copied from wikipedia/random websites and tried to back it up with random citations. (4) If the articles are all correct but the page numbers are not, the student probably did not copy down page numbers and thought she could get away with making them up.

 

(4) is the least offensive offense. I think that's basically what you did, or alternatively you marked page numbers somewhere but ran out of time before you could add them to your paper. Either way, you made the page numbers up, that much is clear. I'd try and explain your work process and how it led to this mess, and ask for an opportunity to re-submit the paper with the correct citations. If you indeed did the work, you should be able to add the correct citations. 

 

And in the future, use EndNote, RefWorks, Mendeley, LaTeX or whatever else so you don't need to deal with the references independently. You already know there is no good excuse for what happened here.

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I'm going to echo others who have commented already.  You need to own up to this ASAP.  If you are given the chance to resubmit, be sure to cite everything exactly.  If you are not given the chance to submit, which is completely possible, be gracious and understand that you made a mistake.  

 

Use the resources people have listed previously to make your life easier and be sure that this never happens again. Professors talk to one another within a department, and you don't want this kind of thing sticking with you reputation wise. 

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... it becomes distracting rereading my work with references everywhere ...

 

Surely you read academic journal articles, which are littered with references in text?  I don't mean to come off as snarky, but you're going to have to learn to read around references.  By leaving it to the end, you are creating more work for yourself.  As fuzzy suggested, look into using something like EndNote for the future.

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Another strategy to use in order to prevent this from happening again is to take time before you start writing to create your works cited page. On that document, you not only put your citations, but you also work up the parentetical citations and just leave the page numbers blank.

Having your citations in another document forces you to remember to continually cite, but this way you just have to copy and paste and add a page number. Super easy.

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I use mendeley for citations and organizing papers and really love it. Also, using just numbers for citations like (1) after the text, instead of a long citation makes the text much easier to read. Maybe these things can help in future! I agree with others that at this point, you should just be honest with your professor.

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You really need to change your perspective on this going forward too. It is not distracting to read referenced work; it's distracting to read work that isn't cited at the location of the reference or factual claim (e.g. in mainstream media) because then as a reader you have to wonder when and how the writer will acknowledge the source of the information. A document that is missing references is essentially a document full of mistakes-- at best-- your idea that references are somehow distracting is like saying that reading through a paper that has already been proofread is distracting. How can you correct anything about a paper if you are reading it through in the mindset that you will ignore half the mistakes you see, with no reference for yourself to even check your own work?

 

Find a new way of working that involves putting some form of reference into your paper as you write. Many people don't properly format references until the end, but there is no excuse to not put them in at all. Not only do you run the risk of plagiarism, you just increase the work for yourself later to try to remember what you were referencing.

 

Popular choices:

  • Just type the references yourself as you go, it's really not that hard. By the end of a well-referenced paper, you should have the major points of the style memorized and it will no longer be difficult.
  • Pick your favorite reference manager, put your references in it as you find them (not as some separate step you can procrastinate on) and use it as your primary reference organizer. Use it to cite as you go. It should update the reference order for you if you do a lot of reorganizing; if it doesn't, your reference manager sucks, get a new one.
  • Build your reference library in a citation manager before you start writing. Write references and notes to yourself in brackets or comments as you go. As you do your final proofread, use your reference manager to replace the comments with citations.
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Is it just me, or is this not plagiarism? It's definitely laziness, but plagiarism? Plagiarism to me is blatantly stealing others' ideas and, importantly, claiming them for your own. The OP claimed them for someone else which, while wrong, doesn't seem like that huge of an offense. I've done something similar to this a few times, so I can relate. I always cite the right source, though, but occasionally I have guessed on page numbers. It's not really a problem in grad school, though, since most of my citations don't require page numbers.

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Is it just me, or is this not plagiarism? It's definitely laziness, but plagiarism? Plagiarism to me is blatantly stealing others' ideas and, importantly, claiming them for your own. The OP claimed them for someone else which, while wrong, doesn't seem like that huge of an offense. I've done something similar to this a few times, so I can relate. I always cite the right source, though, but occasionally I have guessed on page numbers. It's not really a problem in grad school, though, since most of my citations don't require page numbers.

 

Plagiarism includes incorrect citations.

 

This was also intentional- not like they had one or two citations that were off, but they just decided to put in all the wrong citations for everything.

 

Ethically, it is probably less severe than other forms of plagiarism, which is why the OP should fess up to it, but it's still plagiarism.

Edited by PsychGirl1
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Festivus,

 

I agree that this is not pure literal plagiarism as in stealing someone else's work and claiming it as your own. But the dictionary link you provided says "using .. the language and thoughts of another author ... [and] not crediting the original author". An incorrect citation is indeed not crediting the original author

 

In addition, this type of academic dishonesty is generally called "plagiarism" in academia. I agree that academics tend to use the word more loosely than the dictionary meaning, but I think of it as part of the jargon that academics use. But I recall that the OP was not directly accused of plagiarism but will just lose points for making up page numbers. 

 

Anyways, semantics aside, the reason why this is a very serious offense, in my opinion, is that academia survives on proper accreditation. When writing a paper for publication, one of the most important things you do is make sure you do a proper literature review and cite everyone who has contributed ideas related to and important to your own idea. This is important because the main way people can find out about your work is to read a citation of your work in another work and if you don't cite properly, then you are breaking the system (and the referees will probably ask you to cite more papers). Although in this case, it might not be as serious (in my field, we don't include page numbers in our citations), it is not a good habit to develop. In addition, the attitude that using proper references is an annoyance instead of part of our job/duty is the wrong attitude for academics to have! And then there is the arrogance that came with asking people to help them get away with something they know they did wrong!

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http://www.ox.ac.uk/students/academic/guidance/skills/plagiarism#

Try this one on for size. The point is that academic rigor (which I have to assume we all respect) must start with self. Sloppy citation takes away from the quality of your argument and thus brings everything else about your work into question. If there is no citation or a wrong citation but your reader is foliar with the corpus of literature in your field that's where the accusation of plagiarism lies. Its a hard lesson to learn but better now than down the road. The secondary argument is that we seem to be focusing on the motive of the act (laziness or sloppiness) but not the act itself (providing fiticious citations)

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