CLEVELAND, OH—Three classmates foiled an attempt to evade group-work duties on Thursday, Oct. 8, accusing group member Rachel of not doing her fair share of the project. According to one of the whistleblowers, she “used lies, half-truths and manipulations to get away with doing hardly any work at all.”
The group started becoming suspicious on the very first day of class, when the yet-unexposed fraudster announced, “I have a pretty busy schedule this semester, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to make every group meeting.” Her offer to “fill in anything you guys don’t finish” was met with uneasy acceptance.
Another red flag was when the third-year engineering student said, “MATLAB? I’ve never used that program before, so maybe someone more experienced should tackle that part,” despite having definitely used the numerical computing environment before. The naïve trio surrendered to Rachel’s demands once again.
They started raising their eyebrows when she said, “Believe me, you don’t want me writing anything—my grammar is terrible.” Her self-assessment conflicted with Team Leader Andrew’s belief that her grammar was probably fine.
Some other incriminating statements included “I can handle the title page and abstract” and “I think this looks pretty good as is; I’m not sure we even need to add anything.” However what really sent the group over the edge was the claim that “I did a bunch of little stuff everywhere so it’s hard to say exactly what sections I did.” In response to these transgressions, the three other group members confronted the con artist with their record of her damning comments, and demanded she write the entire literature review introduction or face sanctions from poor peer evaluations.