Recently in my AlgPoW service I have been encountered 3 separate cases of a pair of students from the same school, at very nearly the same time, submitting identical answers (the short &/or long parts) to a problem, or so very similar as to raise suspicion of copying one from another. Just today I had the 3rd case where everything was number-for-number, word-for-word, ERROR FOR ERROR the same. (Hey, it's a challenging problem, folks. One not likely that one's own work could be the same.)
So I composed the following reply that I can use in any future such situations. It says:
1- It's obvious that you and a classmate worked together on this problem, because your answers (short &/or long parts) are identical. Unless a student admits, up-front, that he/she is working with a friend, such action is called "plagarism" in my school. And that carries a severe disciplinary action. Here in Algpow, I will just award no credit, even if the answer is correct (which is not true in your case), or until an explanation is forthcoming from your teacher, detailing the situation.
2- The solution? State openly the fact that it was a "group project", and no penalty will result. You see, I actually encourage you to work together. The basic PoW philosophy, as I inderstand it, is learning together and communicating about math, sharing ideas, and so forth. So, do work together, and be honest about it.
3- BUT, here's even a better idea, for you AND me. Submit just one solution with both names attached. As you start your submission process, click the first form where it asks how many students are involved (it allows up to 4 at one time). Select the number needed, and continue the process.
This way, you only have one typing job -- no need for copy-paste even -- but each person gets his/her own credit point. But more important for us mentors is that we have to only grade ONE solution; that means less work for us, and more time to spend grading other solutions. Thus we provide you with a better, more efficient service.
AND EVERYBODY COMES OUT AHEAD! Okay? Thank you.
I trust that this a fair policy to go by, especially as we also need to teach our students about the proper etiquette to be used in writing out their projects for school.