Rogetism: A Form of Plagiarism with Varying Results

There's more than one way to plagiarize another's work. Some are going so far as to resort to copying, pasting, and replacing phrases and words with synonyms from the thesaurus — an effective technique with varying results.

There's no denying that some students take the easy way out when end-of-year essay deadlines creep ever nearer. The stress of completion may overwhelm some in such a way that they believe there's no other option than to cheat by plagiarizing someone else's work. Ultimately, teachers will run papers through software or a Google Search to make sure nothing was copied, and plagiarists are caught. However, Discover Magazine brings up an interesting technique some people are using to thwart detection, though the results may leave some questionable wording.


It's called Rogetism after Roget’s Thesaurus and there have been previous cases of students and some questionable research sites using the technique to replace words with synonyms in order to evade detection. Though, Discover references one teacher, Chris Sadler, who caught someone replacing the phrase “left behind” with “sinister buttocks.” The Times Higher Education sat down a few months ago with Sadler who described the Rogeting technique as:

“Disguising plagiarism by substituting synonyms, one word at a time with no attempt to understand either the source or target text.”

Indeed, it would be more difficult for teachers to detect through conventional software. However, some educators should be aware that a peculiar turn of phrase may not be an editorial mishap created by an all-nighter fueled by too much Red Bull.

Read more at Discover Magazine.

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