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A moral question

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I want to use the short story I wrote as a class assignment. Should I turn in the story the way I wrote it or Ben's edited version. Is it cheating to turn in a paper that has, in effect, been pregraded and corrected?


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If you use Word, as many people do, it has a rather good spelling and grammer checker.

Is that cheating?

If so, I'm guilty. I'm a reasonably good story teller but a.. wretched speller. :oops:

I REALLY don't think so. Unless you were told specifically NOT to get help with your paper. I've looked over dozens of papers and pointed out glitches for students that asked.

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I haven't yet posted the corrected version on the site.

Re: your question, why not have both available and ask the teacher. Explain that only spelling and grammar were corrected, and you didn't get help on style or content.

If the teacher wants the uncorrected copy, then you have it ready for him/her. I doubt he/she will object to someone looking it over for spelling and grammar only.

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If it is really your work, it is perfectly legal and proper to turn in for a grade.

This happens at university all the time. I'm constantly asked to read over a colleague's paper or some presentation they will hand in. I act as editor for them, not only proofreading and making gramatical corrections, but also offering comments, help with phrasing or suggesting a rewrite of a sentence or paragraph. (I do not change the theme, ideas, philosophy, conclusions etc of the paper - that is up to the person writing it).

I don't rewrite the paper for them, I only edit it. They get the benefit of a better paper to turn in and the person receiving it gets better work.

Now if I totally wrote the paper or worked on major parts of it and they tried to pass it off as their own work either with or without my blessing, then there would definately be a problem with that since it wouldn't be their original work anymore.

If Blue's edit accounts for the fact that 10% or more of it is now him instead of you, then he either needs credit as a contributor/editor or you need to not include his work in the story. But if he is helping you "polish" or improve your own thoughts and ideas, there's nothing wrong with handing such a completed work to your teacher.

AJ edits each chapter of TSOI 3X, he makes suggestions, asks questions and often offers speculation. He looks at grammar, spelling, and all the other things needed to make the story look and read good. But it's my work. Now if he was rewriting whole chapters or adding lots of new material then in all fairness he would have to be listed as a co-author. As it stands I am the author and he is the editor.

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Guest rusticmonk86

Dude, Codey, they teach you to write a rough draft, then correct it and finish your second. Now the way elementary had me do it was to get the second draft corrected, too. So, by the time the third and final draft comes around, it will be perfect. Which makes it fit for turning in as an assignment, or publishing or whatever. That's the editing process. You just had a colleague proof-read your stuff.

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Just to clarify:

I only checked spelling and grammar and didn't make any suggestions regarding style or content on "Remembrances." I knew if he was considering turning it in for a class, that would be a concern. Also, I didn't feel it needed much there. I think it's pretty strong, especially for a relatively new writer. I'm tempted not to even qualify it that way, and to say he is an experienced writer. I *am* sure we'll see more from Codey in the near future.

BTW, I agree with Jamie's comments regarding colleagues' and students' work. It works that way with authors in business or as independent writers too. Fellow writers and other colleagues often help with editing and read-throughs, what's called beta-reading in online fiction.


When I proof/edit outside of work, such as for writers here, I feel freer to make comments on things or suggest changes, including wording. However, when I edit, I feel that it's a primary consideration to make sure the author's style, or voice, shines through.

When I edit/proof for work, then I'm more limited in that, and it has to be more definite. I haven't edited for a book publisher, but those editors are very firm about changing things and why changes need to be made. That simply means that authors have to be equally firm in why they do or don't want something.

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I want to use the short story I wrote as a class assignment.  Should I turn in the story the way I wrote it or Ben's edited version.  Is it cheating to turn in a paper that has, in effect, been pregraded and corrected?

Point of fact: turning in your own work (published, unpublished, edited, or not) is A-OK unless you were specifically enjoined against doing so. It is absolutely NOT cheating.

Secondly, turn in the one you feel is best. If you have moral qualms, turn in your original after re-editing it yourself.

-- wbms

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