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What is plagiarism in a Physics EE?

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Hey! So I just submitted my physics EE, and I found out about the general concept of plagiarism and I'm kind of freaking out. So what happened is, I have a completely original topic for my EE, which I have done completely on my own. BUT, some parts of it coincide with an existing EE (which has a completely different, yet similar RQ). To be more specific, I have 6 sections, and only the 5th and 6th ones share some similarities. Now, since it is physics, the similarities is just using and explaining the theory. However, I have explained the theory in a relatively different context (as my RQ was different). But still, it being the same theory, there are inevitably a number of similarities between the two. I wouldn't have any problem with it, as none of it is actually plagiarized. But what really freaks me out, is that there are 5-6 sentences in the whole EE that are similar (making around 50 words in total probably). For example, I start the conclusion by saying something like "This is essay gave some interesting results" while the other person said "This investigation gave rise to certain engaging observations". The other 4-5 similarities are also like this. But after them, each of us went on to explain similar things (the theory) in a different context. Also all my graphs and data are original, I created all the diagrams on my own using word etc. But since parts of our topics coincide, AND since there are some sentences that are extremely similar, I'm worried that the IB might think I plagiraized from this person. He wrote his EE on 2007.  I told this to my supervisor and he didn't allow me to rephrase those parts, so I'm really freaked out right now. I put my EE in 3 plagiarism checkers and it said "No plagiarism detected!". But the IB are people, not software, so they may think that it is plagiarised. Everything I used is still cited properly though, using books and online links. Do you think I could be acused of plagiarism because of this? Can anyone recommend me any free plagiarism checkers that are reliable and detect everything online, just to be on the safe side? Any comments appreciated. Thanks!!

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For clarification, plagiarism is intentionally taking others' ideas as presenting them as one's own: it has nothing to do with sentence structure. When these two EEs are on different topics, it CANNOT be plagiarism because you two are applying towards different contexts! You did not steal this person's ideas! Actual plagiarism is not solved by rephrasing, rather by citing all your sources wherever you used someone else's input. There are only commercial "similarity" checkers, that compare your syntax with the database. Not all plagiarism involve similar sentence structures. Not all similar sentence structures are plagiarised.

Of course, your main concern is that IB might think this is plagiarism, but they don't have nearly enough evidence (mostly for the fact that it is not plagiarism!)

In summary (if I am not clear enough), what you have described is not plagiarism. Please stop worrying!

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27 minutes ago, kw0573 said:

For clarification, plagiarism is intentionally taking others' ideas as presenting them as one's own: it has nothing to do with sentence structure. When these two EEs are on different topics, it CANNOT be plagiarism because you two are applying towards different contexts! You did not steal this person's ideas! Actual plagiarism is not solved by rephrasing, rather by citing all your sources wherever you used someone else's input. There are only commercial "similarity" checkers, that compare your syntax with the database. Not all plagiarism involve similar sentence structures. Not all similar sentence structures are plagiarised.

Of course, your main concern is that IB might think this is plagiarism, but they don't have nearly enough evidence (mostly for the fact that it is not plagiarism!)

In summary (if I am not clear enough), what you have described is not plagiarism. Please stop worrying!

Thanks a lot for this reply!! And one more question, for my physics IA there was a part where I had to find the value of kinetic friction, which is supposed to be 0.2 but I found it to be 0.26±5% or something like that. But this was not the main aim of my essay, so I didn't really bother justifying it. And I repeated many measurements and always got 0.24-0.28. Will the IB say something like "this value is wrong so you failed" or will I get points deducted for not getting the exact correct value (if no justification is given)? My physics teacher checked my IA and said it should all be good but I would like to have a second opinion on this :)

Edited by Tasostasouliss

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You should have explain your results regardless of whether they match literature or not. Remember you are not graded on performing an experiment, but on the communication and evaluation of what you did.

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3 minutes ago, kw0573 said:

You should have explain your results regardless of whether they match literature or not. Remember you are not graded on performing an experiment, but on the communication and evaluation of what you did.

I see. Thanks a lot for the quick replies they are most appreciated!!! 

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