This Always Troubles Me

07 Jul

In addition to history, I’m something of a stats geek. I like to see who’s reading this blog, where they come from, and how they got here. One issue (pretty much the only one) I have with my move to WordPress is that for this separate stats site I use, StatCounter, not as much information is displayed as with Blogger. But there’s still enough to figure some things out.

Today when I went to my stats page I noticed that my review of Romans, Barbarians and the Transformation of the Roman World by Ralph Mathisen and Danuta Shanzer, eds., had received several hits. Cool. Then I looked at search terms used to find this blog.

free essay on transformation on roman and the barbarians
free essay paper on transformation on romans and the barbarians
romans transformation to the barbarian
essay on transformation on the romans and barbarian brothers

In going to StatsCounter I found that all of my pageviews for this review came from a single IP address originating from Sanford, North Carolina. Someone’s looking for a free essay online. I love seeing such commitment to learning, it gives me hope for the future (this was sarcasm in case it didn’t come through).

I suppose I should be used to it. It’s less prevalent than when I was on Blogger but ever since I wrote it my A World Lit Only by Fire review has been the most popular post on this blog. But at least on WP it’s about 5% of my hits, not over 20%. And even though a lot of those searches include things like “sparknotes” in the title, what’s in the review likely won’t be of much help to AP history students. After all, Advanced Placement thinks it’s a viable source.

Romans, Barbarians and the Transformation of the Roman World is a bit different. The review’s pretty lengthy, detailed (over 2300 words) and some of it might actually be worth stealing. Of course it’s also a book worth reading so if it’s for high school at least they’ve raised the quality of what’s being referenced. But I have a sneaking suspicion this may come from the local Community College.

So, if the person who used those search terms happens to come across this, here’s some free advice:


It’s a pretty good one.


Posted by on July 7, 2013 in Blogology


Tags: , ,

3 responses to “This Always Troubles Me

  1. Nathaniel M. Campbell

    July 8, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I’m not sure whether to pile on the disillusion, but in the interests of full disclosure and as I believe I mentioned to you earlier this year, I caught one of my students this spring plagiarizing from one of your posts on Symmachus, Ambrose, and the Altar of Victory controversy.

    (And I’m never sure which I find worse: the fact that the students plagiarize, or just how bad they are at covering their tracks — the change in diction between the student’s own writing and yours was so immediately obvious that Google was my first stop.)

  2. Curt Emanuel

    July 8, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Yes, you mentioned that to me. Unfortunate. I believe Jonathan Jarrett once told me of an online website which evidently “mines” web pages for content which can be packaged into essays and is available. I can’t recall if it’s “pay to play” or if they rely on ad banners to fund it.

    I have studiously avoided going there. I’m considering trying to do a web search for an online course syllabus from Central Carolina Community College which lists this book as one which may be used to develop an essay/report/review from and, if I find it, notify the professor of my review so he/she could be on the lookout for it.

    Not that my intellectual property’s worth all that much but I’d like people to learn something, not learn to plagiarize.

    BTW – is imitation the sincerest form of flattery or intellectual property theft?

  3. Anonymous

    August 5, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    I am in agreement there. Soemthing like this is worth doing, and copying someone else’s work will always catch up with you. I get much more satisfaction for finding that nugget of great work, and others that have read it. Then again, I am a true geek and and have come to class armed with books not only to argue against proffs points, but also as ones that would have been better suited. Often from my own personal library.


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