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MSBKyle
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17 Apr 2019, 12:23 am

I am supposed to graduate this spring with a degree in history, but I've been accused of plagiarizing on a 30 page paper. I never wanted to write this paper in the first place. I am not the best writer, so I do copy things word for word a lot of the time. I do cite my sources but they say that it is still plagiarizing even when I cite sources. It does not look like I'm going to graduate because I don't think I can rewrite this paper. I hate writing papers and I hate doing research. I thought I liked history, but it is not my thing. I am considering going into digital media productions because I am into video making and video editing. I would like to do it professionally. My heart is not in history or writing papers. I want to do something that I enjoy doing. It is discouraging because that means that I am going to be in school longer. I feel like I've come so far and worked so hard just to have this 30 page paper blow up. History requires a lot of writing and research and that is not my thing. I hate doing research and I hate citing sources. I struggle with putting things into my own words.



jimmy m
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17 Apr 2019, 12:45 am

If you came this close you should give it one more go. I am not the best writer either. But since you already put together 30 pages, paraphrase the information. Thirty pages isn't that much. Just take it one page at a time. Maybe you might start rewriting it from the back forward. Make sure your final summary makes solid sense.



shortfatbalduglyman
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17 Apr 2019, 5:04 am

Jimmy

That's called :heart: sunk costs :skull:


A degree is not all it's cracked up to be


Plenty of people with degrees do not have jobs or underemployed



jimmy m
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17 Apr 2019, 11:11 am

shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
Jimmy
That's called :heart: sunk costs :skull:
A degree is not all it's cracked up to be
Plenty of people with degrees do not have jobs or underemployed


Let's frame the topic on that fact that one should try their best to finish what they start. If MSBKyle was in his first year, changing majors is a good option. But when you are at the finish line, there is great value in just crossing the finish line. College is about more than earning a living. It teaches a person how to think. It gives them very valuable tools for the future. A diploma is an accomplishment that adds to one's self worth.

To the best advise I can give is to get the diploma and then think about changing career fields. I had a friend who had a double degree. He got a degree in mathematics but then figured it would be a poor career field so he also went and obtained a degree in Physics. He is retired now after working for 4 decades. The work he did was very different than his degrees. Computers were in its infancy in those days and he became an expert in coding. His ability to recraft himself using the tools he learned in school, his flexibility, gave him 40 years of productive employment.



jimmy m
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17 Apr 2019, 11:57 am

MSBKyle, I thought about this last night. Basically I slept on it. These are my further thoughts on the subject.

When I was young I underwent very severe bullying during Junior High School. At that point I rejected all criticism in order to maintain my sanity and my self-worth.

Over many years of work, I learned that there were two types of criticism. These are constructive and destructive criticism. Destructive criticism is very similar to name calling. But constructive criticism is a totally different thing. It is something to be cherished. The goal of constructive criticism is to make something better.

If this paper was critiqued by a professor, I would interpret the comments as constructive criticism. The reviewer is only trying to improve the paper and not crush your self-worth. So perhaps you might enlists the help from the reviewer or his peers on what improvements can be made to make it acceptable.

When I write I often look at referenced material like pieces of a puzzle. Something I put these pieces together and glue them together. Sometimes I will quote their material because they have said it so well that I do not think I could improve on what they said. I am not taking ownership of their thoughts. I am not plagiarizing them. I do not own their words. My contribution is the glue and logic that puts the puzzle together.

As a result when I take that approach I generally cite the material in the following manner if it is a direct quote.
* I put the quote in italics
* I indent the quote a half inch on each side.
* I then provide a reference so that anyone wishing to delve deeper into the material can find where the material came from. So they can learn more about the subject if they are interested.

From my perspective I do not consider this plagiarism because I have done everything in my power to make sure the reader of my paper knows that I am not the original source and my paper springboards for these pieces of thought.

Many times I will then insert a short one or two sentence summary that condenses this material to its key elements. This is the glue.

In some cases I will insert questions. I look at other flow paths. I might ask "Is this true or perhaps this other point has merit."

For example I looked at the 
great 
Atlantic 
hurricane 
of 
9‐16 
October 
1780.
 On 10-16 October 1780, a Great Hurricane struck Barbados, Saint Vincent, Granada, Saint Lucia, Martinique, Hispaniola, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Antigua, Saint Kitts, Sint Eustatius [now called Statia], Puerto Rico and Bermuda killing over 27,500 people. The hurricane produced wind speeds (gusts) in excess of 200 miles per hour (320 kilometers per hour). In Barbados, “The winds stripped the bark off trees before the hurricane downed every tree on the island.” In Barbados, the winds and seas moved heavy cannons about 100 feet (30 meters). The hurricane destroyed 19 Dutch ships at Grenada; the British fleet of Admiral Rodney at Saint Lucia; a fleet of 40 French ships off Martinique; many ships washed ashore at Saint Kitts; and grounded 50 ships near Bermuda.

But many accounts of this disaster were downplayed. This may not have been completely intentional. During that time Europe was composed of many colonial empires. So many estimates of the casualties were underestimated because these accounts were reported in different languages. Therefore the British knew their component, the French knew their component, the Dutch their component, etc. but no one put the pieces together to gain an accurate account. The second problem was state secrets. When a colony is virtually wiped out, it means that other colonial powers could easily invade and lay claim to this under defended territory. So I suspect that the colonial powers suppressed the release of this information until the colony could reestablish itself again.

But to come up with a historical perspective, one needs to put the pieces of this historical puzzle together, looking at the account in various languages to understand the full impact. One needs to accurately quote the reference material and translations. One needs to integrate historical perspectives such as colonialism into the narrative.



Antrax
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17 Apr 2019, 3:05 pm

shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
Jimmy

That's called :heart: sunk costs :skull:


A degree is not all it's cracked up to be


Plenty of people with degrees do not have jobs or underemployed


The work already put in is a sunk cost, but what's at stake here is the work needed to get the degree. The work needed to get the degree here is re-writing one 30 page paper. I agree with jimmy it is probably worth the OP's while. A college degree is better than no degree at all.


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