1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Recycling one of your papers?

  1. Jun 5, 2007 #1
    What do you think about recycling one of your old papers? I don't see how it would be plagiarism if it was your original work in the first place. Heres my situation - I wrote a 5 page on the history of a topic I am studying in my freshman intro class. Now, a few years later, I am in this non-technical Bacc core class (same dept) and the professor wants a 3-5 page paper on a topic of our choice that relates to the class. My old paper would work well, and honestly, I just want to be done with the class since I haven't learned a single new thing, its just a timesink.

    Does anyone see a problem with this? Since it was all my own 100% original work, I don't see an issue. Opinions?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 5, 2007 #2
    I don't think there's anything wrong with that, since, like you pointed out, it is your own work. I would, however, remedy any guilt by taking at least some time to refine and tailor the paper. Chances are, you could make the thesis more fitting than the original and maybe even add some new information so it's not a complete recycle. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
  4. Jun 5, 2007 #3
    While not plagiarism, it is not really in the spirit of academic honesty to resubmit a paper you earned a grade for in another class.... If you were submitting a paper to a journal you wouldn't publish the same article in Nature AND Science.

    It might be a good idea to get somebody else to pose a hypothetical situation to the professor so you can find out what the policy is.

    PS - If the class was such a waste of time, why did you bother with it?
  5. Jun 5, 2007 #4
    I tried to get out of it, wasn't going to happen. Its one of the "Baccalaureate Core Courses". Everyone at the university has to take a certain amount of them. This is my "science and technology" bacc core class. I figured if I picked the one in my major, it might be interesting being in there with people from all different majors, not just engineering. Turns out its just stuff I learned in my freshman year, only without any math. Seriously boring, but at this point I need it to graduate. The head advisor can waive just about any course in the curriculum if he wanted, except for the baccalaureate core courses.

  6. Jun 5, 2007 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It is ironic that you complain about not learning anything, and also do not want to do any work writing the paper for it. If you write the paper maybe you will learn something.
  7. Jun 5, 2007 #6
    Mike - whether or not you think it is plagiarism, your university almost assuredly defines what you are doing as self-plagiarism. Proceed at your own risk.

    If you make it clear what you are reusing and cite your old paper it might be okay, but at that point you professor might not be okay with it, either.
  8. Jun 6, 2007 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    write a new paper, you'll be glad you did.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook