Low Expectations for Tomorrow

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2008
Low Expectations for Tomorrow
7
Tue, 09-08-2009 - 9:32pm

Today I handed back their first research projects of the year. As usual there were plenty who plagiarized, which meant quite a few tears.

I'm not an English teacher so I don't have time to go over and over what plagiarism is. I try to give them a basic understanding, but I don't know how to make it any plainer than "Put everything in your own words." I give them hints how to ensure they don't. Furthermore I tell the kids if they're not sure, bring me the paper about a week in advance, and I'll look at it for them. But this is a college-bound class, so they have to learn how to write now. What if that was a zero in a college class (especially those that only give 4 or 5 grades)?! So I expect tomorrow I'll be getting a lot of phone calls from irate parents. Fun, fun, fun...

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Tue, 09-08-2009 - 11:02pm

Believe me I understand. There are some plagiarism checkers that work very well.

Sherry

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Wed, 09-09-2009 - 12:39pm

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One reason I am cynical about parents and always on my guard when I talk to them.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2008
Wed, 09-09-2009 - 6:35pm

This year I printed off the webpage where I found the plagiarism, so that seems have prevented a lot of the angry phone calls.

But you know one year, my husband had a conversation with an angry parent defending her child's paper when she accidentally said, "When I wrote that..." She quickly changed it to "When my daughter wrote..." Yeah, yeah... And I had someone ask if I couldn't give her kid 20 points just so her self-esteem wouldn't be crushed. So I should try to boost the self-esteem of cheaters? And what kind of self-esteem gets a boost when your score is a 20 anyway?

Parents are frustrating sometimes...

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-2006
Wed, 09-09-2009 - 7:54pm
Well while most of my kids are not copying straight out of a book.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2008
Thu, 09-10-2009 - 6:38pm
Oh, I had one student protest that she didn't plagiarize because she changed "Christopher Columbus" to "he". The rest of the sentence was the same though....
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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2008
Fri, 09-11-2009 - 7:27am

I'm sure the student pleaded that it was paraphrasing, too.

I talk with my students ad nauseum about summarizing and paraphrasing, even spending one entire day on the subject. However, when so many people in the media plagiarize and then gain notoriety for it, it's no wonder students think it's not a big deal.

I saw this article yesterday and I'm going to share it with my students next week:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32657885/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets


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  "Aut dosce, aut disce, aut discede"
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Fri, 09-11-2009 - 11:16am

Did I tell you about the time I caught the PTA president in my room going through my files looking for the social studies tests and worksheets so she could give them to her son in advance? She was also the one who argued with me about failing him because his work was in her handwriting.

Sherry