This semester I am teaching two online classes for my former employer. Today I was grading essays in my Intro to Lit class, and I found an essay plagiarized from an essay on the Internet. The student took the time to change the essay by not including all the sentences and changing some of the wording, but the order of the ideas were the same as were many various phrases in the paper. She likely would have been able to write her own essay with the time it took her to alter the one from the Internet.
Any teacher will tell you that finding a plagiarized paper is the best way to make the teacher mad. It is frustrating to think that the student is trying to pull-on-over on me. Since I usually find at least one plagiarized essay each semester, I now check nearly every essay that I read (unless it is obvious that the paper was not plagiarized). I hate the lack of trust it creates between me and all the students all because one student decided to cheat.
The essay she used came from a blog that another student had created for an American Lit class at another university. I had been thinking about posting some thoughts on various books that I am reading in order to keep up my analyzing skills, but now I do not think that I will because I do not want a student to steal my ideas.