Well, folks, we are now in day four of Heather’s illness. Dr. Loooove confirmed these viruses are going around, but added that, unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done other than to wait it out while staying hydrated. So fingers crossed that Heather feels better in the morning. I’m trying to make sure she drinks as much water as she can even though it doesn’t sit well with her stomach.
I enjoyed reading the comments everyone left in yesterday’s post and was glad to see that just about everyone finds whippersnappers and their way of writing as annoying as I do! So watch out, kiddies. There’s plenty of us old people judging you, and we’re not turning this world over to you just yet!
In defense of kids today though, I think part of the problem (as many mentioned in the comments) is that technology makes life too easy on them. Spell and grammar checks, for example, have allowed kids to avoid learning how to spell and use proper grammar, and the Internet — as much as we all love it — has made kids, well, lazy. To show you just how lazy, let me tell you a funny story.
Toward the end of the year I assigned a report on The Great Gatsby, and when I suggested the students make a trip to the library they broke into hysterical laughter. The concept of going to the library was absurd to them. The prevailing attitude was: “Why get up and go somewhere when we can just surf the ‘net on our couches?” And, to be truthful, they were right. Everything they needed is on the Internet. However, and this is a big however, to write a paper properly using the Internet you have to spend just as much time reading articles and books as you would at the library, and most kids – thanks to the culture of laziness created by technology – aren’t willing to do that. As a result, many kids tried to cut corners when writing their papers. They might have gotten away with it too if they were a tad craftier, but alas, they weren’t. The following is what far too many papers looked like:
In the book “The Great Gatsby” the main person we read about Gatsby is supposed to be this tight dude, but he ain’t all that. He actually is pretty lame if you think about it. We don’t get that up front though because of Nick and how he tells us how everything is going down.
At first, the only function of Nick in the novel seems to be to act as a reporter, revealing the truth to us through his shrewd, objective perceptions. Then, as the novel progresses, it turns out that the opposite is the case, and he is siding with Gatsby to make this character stand above all others and shine. Nick Carraway could be one of the finest examples of reader manipulation in literature.
That totally is his big prob. The guy is a whack narrator. For real, he is always standing up for Gatsby and not telling it how it really be for everyone else in the story.
You see what they did there? They plagiarized the middle section from an essay they found online. Anyone can see that based on its wildly divergent writing style. But you know what really gave them away? The fact that, after cutting and pasting the plagiarized section off the Internet into their paper, they didn’t even change the font and character size to match the parts of the essay they wrote! In one paper (that made its way through the teacher’s lounge) the online essay was written in blue for some reason, so when the kid cut and paste it into his essay it not only was a different size and font from the rest of his paper, but a different color as well!
Sigh. Here’s hoping that they have been plagiarizing their college essays with a bit more style.
At least back when we had to plagiarize we had to copy it straight out of a book. That was almost more tedious than forming our own thoughts; so not worth it.
.-= Kat´s last blog ..How to Win Four Weddings =-.
Crazy thing now is many times they don’t even have to pick up the book! Remember “Cliff Notes” (yes those saved me a time or two)…the fact is, I had to still read something.
My husband is in college and was given an “F” in a class because he “plagiarized”. They make the kids turn in essays through a system that checks to see if the essay is in other essays. If there is more than 30% the same, it can be plagiarism. Well, my husband had 2 classes that the final paper had to be basically the same thing. He wrote the paper for the one class, then tweaked it for his second. He didn’t realize that it would look at his own work as plagiarism. Well it did. Luckily he was able to fight it because it was his writing but he still had to fight it. Technology has changed a lot but as far as plagiarism in college (and some high schools now), it has gotten a LOT smarter and making the kids actually work.
Haha. That is awesome and hilarious.
Hope Heather feels better soon! (And I hope it doesn’t travel to you and Annie!)
.-= Twenty-Something´s last blog ..breakfast =-.
Kate @ UpsideBackwards says:
Poor Heather! These things are truly miserable. Get well soon.
Plagiarism is becoming more of a problem, I think, with so much information so readily available. It happens at every level, and sometimes not much more craftily than your examples above. The consequences are small, once you’re no longer a student – perhaps you might have to issue an apology, but that’s about it. Shameful!
.-= Kate @ UpsideBackwards´s last blog ..Hooray! =-.
Haha! I sometimes mark university assignments, and I’ve had very similar examples… In one case a student repeating a paper cut and pasted from her own (previously failed) assignment. The case studies weren’t even the same! Unbelievable.
So sorry to hear about Heather
I am a middle school teacher and one classic I had was a student who cut and paste off the internet and left the ‘click here for more information’ part in his project. Sigh
My husband is a college English instructor & he is currently grading final papers. Trust me, the students are not getting any better at the plagiarizing! Not only does he receive papers like the one you mentioned above, but he makes the students turn their own papers into turnitin.com for plagiarism detection, and they still submit ridiculously plagiarized papers despite tons of warnings!
Thanks for the giggles, Mike to all Spohrs – hope we see you soon! xo
Oh my! That’s hilarious! I do a lot of marking for university papers and am always shocked at the things that are handed in.. I definitely appreciated your example though!
Catherine Lucas says:
Too funny… My way of cheating in school was that for one exam, we had to read a book in french (in Belgium, from the age of 9 kids learn french on top of flemish) and make a paper about it.
I took Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables”, sadly enough a pill of a book, but read it in flemish (my mother language) and then made the paper in french. The teacher never found out, that is untill now maybe…
.-= Catherine Lucas´s last blog ..‘t Was May, the lambs =-.
OMG. I’m flummoxed. That was an hilariious example, and I totally agree that technology makes it too easy. I was once an outstanding speller. Now I find myself even relying on spell check more than I’d like.
Although–what troubles me perhaps even more is that with tools like spellcheck the number of mistakes still made. Recently I was hiring for a position where the job description included that an integral portion of the job included being able to communicate effectively via email to respond to customers questions, and to do this in a professional manner. (To me this says: SPELL CHECK before you send it to the person who will or will not decide to interview you. Also, perhaps spell check the email that goes with it) I can assure you neither of those things happened with disturbing regularity. Including a troubling spelling of “customer,” which for a customer service position, still troubles me.
And poor Heather! I hope you and Annie stay well and that Rigby is giving her lots of TLC.
Haha, oh dear! I do agree though, Nick IS a whack narrator.
.-= Sarah´s last blog ..Julie & Julia =-.
I’ve seen that technique used before, but never with such a contrast in writing styles. That was hilarious.
My son is a fetus right now but I’m sure one day I’ll tell him to download the book into his brain and write a report instead of letting the robot do it for him.
Oh man, this is scary. I was wondering what was going on with school papers now that the internet is so prevalent – and now I see. I was thisclose to becoming a high school English teacher – and I definitely would’ve been the one circulating the papers around the lounge. Too hard to resist!
.-= amanda´s last blog ..I may not be great at this parenthood thing, but I guess I’m not new anymore. =-.
Lynn from For Love or Funny says:
I believe the “tight dude” who wrote that paper is currently my plumber, who never arrives on time and often forgets our appointments.
.-= Lynn from For Love or Funny´s last blog ..My husband can burn my eyebrows =-.
Now that is funny! Man, if you are going to cheat..at least do it well!
Hope Heather is on the mend soon!
Seriously??? A student can write like that and will graduate and be accepted by a college? I’m thinking that might be part of the problem!
I hope Heather feels better soon!
As a university professor, I see all that and more. Copy & paste plagiarism is actually quite common, but is also easily detected. I also get students handing in essays from other courses, although this is also usually easily detected. Occasionally students submit essays they’ve bought off the internet, but this, too, is usually easy to detect because the work is either unrelated to the topic assigned or the writing style doesn’t match the student’s other work. In short, as I tell students, it’s usually easier in the end just to submit original work.
My real problem, though, isn’t so much with plagiarism (it’s not too widespread yet) or even with text-speak (at university this is simply unacceptable in formal essays, and I don’t accept it in emails either) — it’s with students using Wikipedia as a source rather than reading some of the just-as-easily accessible scholarly literature. Wikipedia has many good points (and most academics I surf Wikipedia when they need to), but it also has many, many problems. A lot of the entries are incomplete or inaccurate. What I tell students is that it’s okay to start there, but to use it as a basis to find ‘real’ information/literature elsewhere.
I’ve been teaching for almost 15 years, and think students are as smart as they ever were. They’re no lazier than they were a generation ago. Maybe a little bit less literate. The way to deal with this, in my view, is to be passionate about the written word, which is still richly present, including in blogs like this.
Best wishes to you all.
Hope Heather is doing better. She totally deserves to go a long, long time without throwing up after this. … It’s been fun reading your posts though. Scary, but fun. Probably you’ve seen it, but if not, watch the movie “Idiocracy”. 4reAlz duDz.
I second the movie rec!
Good Grief. If you are going to try to cheat at least try to put a little attention into covering your cheating tracks. Wrong Font, color, and style…Oh My!
.-= charlane´s last blog ..Play Cake! =-.
I teach writing to first year law students and see the exact same plagiarism problems. It is pretty sad that one of my first lessons is how to use the “Paste Special”-“paste Unformatted Text” function.
.-= Tamaya´s last blog ..Dating Violence =-.
I’m kind-of a snob about spelling and grammar, but you know what bothers me more than short hand text writing? When ADULTS, who have graduated high school, some even college, and still don’t know the difference between you’re and your, their, they’re and there, it’s and its. Drives me NUTS. Ug, it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard.
On another note, I helped my 15 year old neighbor write a paper the other day and she couldn’t even form a proper sentence! No joke. How she made it to tenth grade without learning sentence structure is beyond me.
That is hilarious. My favorite was always when papers or assignments WRITTEN IN MAMA’S WRITING were turned in. More than once I told a student, “Hey, tell Mom she did a good job on this assignment!”
I’m so sorry Heather’s still sick.
I am hiring a financial reporting and analysis specialist. Qualifications include MBA or CPA plus multiple years of experience. You would be amazed at how many “qualified” candidates” do the same thins with their resume. They “lift” job experience directly from old job descriptions without bothering to rephrase it in their own writing style. It is so obvious! The verb tenses are wrong and the wording doesn’t flow through the document.
They don’t get the job.
Hilarious — puts a new spin on an old favourite of mine! As a TA in graduate school, I ran into one of my students, who introduced me to his room-mate, a graduate student who had written the paper for him — as if to reassure me that the paper would indeed be good! Another time I graded a paper which went on and on about “methods of irritation”. I had a hard time finding the relevance to the archaeology course I was teaching, until I realised he actually meant “irrigation.”
I hope Heather feels better, but I do enjoy your posts too, Mike, you are a “whack narrator” too, for real.
Mike…..ur doin a gr8 job! Sorry, couldn’t resist.
Hope Heather feels better quick….just a little motherly advice (because I am old enough to be her mother)….Gatorade and saltines. Baby sips of gatorade and then a tiny bite of cracker will stay down better than water.
.-= Julia´s last blog ..One Week =-.
What happens when your students plagiarize? Just curious, because I teach at a college and it seems like many of my students haven’t either (1) learned what plagiarism is or (2) haven’t learned that there are consequences.
This probably sounds harsher than I mean it to be, but you provided the opening.
I hope Heather feels better soon. Stomach bugs are awful.
Wow. What else can be said? BIG sigh. I must admit though, I’d hate to be a teenager in these times.
I hope Heather feels better!
Sarah P says:
Eventually, no one will write papers, and they’ll run out of stuff to plagiarize.
Hope Heather is feeling better today.
.-= Sarah P´s last blog ..The Brain on Blog =-.
Anna Marie says:
And to think…I had to read the book and come up with an essay all on my own…and I had to walk uphill to school – both ways – in the snow, and I carried my lunch in a little tin pail. And Laura Ingalls Wilder was my teacher. *sigh*
I hope Heather feels better soon – stomach viruses are the worst.
They actually don’t plagiarize more carefully in college. I had a student turn in a paper last year that was a compilation of three websites. The student is not a native speaker of English, and had written papers for me before, so I knew what to expect. After the introduction, which he wrote, there were several paragraphs of beautiful prose with words that most undergraduate students wouldn’t know. A quick “Google” led me to the websites. He lost his scholarship, got a failing grade, and has a record of academic dishonesty. He did, however, change the font.
Kandi Ann says:
This made me giggle and think, Well, a lot of good changing the font did him. (and sad too.)
I teach high school and that is my very favorite part of getting research papers and grading them! It’s especially fun when they forget to change the font and the COLOR of the font!!!
This is the funniest thing I have ever read. And I needed funny – I ran out of coffee filters Feel better Heather!!
HILARIOUS!! Hope Heather is feeling better soon!
That was too funny! I teach 5th grade and we do a HUGE research unit and basically beat “plagiarism is bad” into their brains. But they seem to forget it all by the time they to a research project for my colleagues in 6th grade!
The funniest spellcheck error I’ve hear of recently was done by a 6th grade teacher friend of mine. She ended up with “pubic system” instead of “public system.” Her class was laughing so hard she thought some of them would either choke or pee their pants!
That’s funny, except that it’s not.
(((Hugs))) from here!
.-= jen´s last blog ..outside looking in =-.
I work in a tutoring lab at a community college and I can tell you, at least on this level, they do not use any more creativity with their cheating! They think we are stupid and reuse papers from previous semesters…papers that earned failing grades. *Sigh*… the future of America.
.-= Karen´s last blog ..Smart Boy… =-.
Good thing that the font was different. I don’t think I would have noticed it, just based on the content. (Seriously… how did they think you would not notice?) Wow…
(And I was being sarcastic. We need a sarcasm symbol.)
.-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Wednesday’s Words =-.
Ugh, I’ve seen something like that before! I once marked a paper that was entirely cut and pasted from different places on the internet – it didn’t make much sense, and I could see where one section ended and another started because the font/style etc. would change. They even left in the HYPERLINKS in some cases!! It’s like student think that we wouldn’t have the good sense to pop a passage into Google to find out where it came from!
.-= Trista´s last blog ..Sublet =-.
Actually many universities, colleges and high schools are now using a computer program that matches the student’s paper (submitted electronically) to everything else on the Internet. It’s a quick and easy way to catch those who plagiarize.
Isn’t it so sad that they are that lazy they can’t even change the font or colour haha and if they had a Mac it would only take one sweep of the little brush..
The last year I was in University in certain classes they started making students hand in their papers electronically to turnitin.com – they had rallies to try and stop having teachers do this as the program is designed to give percents on how little or how much is plagiarized on your paper.. essentially assuming we all plagiarize – anyway my sister is in University now and every paper she hands in HAS to be turned in to turnitin.com first..
And sadly, I came across something similar in a report on an endangered species that a Boy Scout gave me for an Environmental Science merit badge requirement at summer camp. He tried to turn in a paper that started in the middle of a sentence, and still had the website info printed on the bottom of the sheet. I had downloaded that very same site as a reference source for scouts at camp, and recognized it right off the bat. Then he tried to argue with me that he had indeed written it and that his teachers had told him that he ‘wrote above his grade level’! Maybe so, sonny, but you didn’t turn in work of that caliber earlier in the week.
Let’s see, what’s the first point of the Scout Law? Oh, yeah, a scout is ‘trustworthy’…. Truly a low point for me at camp….
Lindsay from Florida says:
Really? REALLY?! I mean, the kid didn’t think that his/her teacher, an educated adult, would catch on?! Heck, forget an educated adult, I think an average-intelligence household cat would see plagiarism there.
Feel better, Heather!!!! Stomach viruses are the worst!
Hehehe, that is too funny. You would think with all their “computer savvy” they would have figured out how to adjust the fonts, my word.
Hope Heather is feeling better. Sending healthy vibes her way.
.-= Lisa´s last blog ..Bubbles, Bubbles, Everywhere Bubbles!! =-.
Here is some hope to you.. I am 32 years old and there was ONE teacher that REALLY changed my life. Becasue of this teacher I went to college and appreciate the fine arts. Now I know you are saying that why would one need a teacher for that well here is why.. This teacher taught 11th grade literature to inner city school kids. MOST of our parents did not speak english and therefore they would not really tell us about the amazing books out in the world. Thanks to this teacher I read some of the most moving stories ever. It has been a long time since I last saw this teacher BUT everytime I go to the Met or I crack open The Great Gatsby I ALWAYS think of her and the positive experiences she brought into my life.
Mike maybe out of hundreds of teenagers you taught, a few will walk away from your teachings having gained SO MUCH MORE!!!
High School Literature teachers do some great work. Especially now when so many kids consider “twilight” literature.
I hope Heather feels better – my little guy had that same stomach virus for a week last month. I can’t even tell you how much laundry I had to do.
and excuse all my typos – it is 9am here in New Jersey and I am exhausted.
Here’s hoping that they have been plagiarizing their college essays with a bit more style.
According to a friend who teaches at the college level, they haven’t been.
.-= J+1´s last blog ..Pillow Talk =-.
Jess L. says:
PLEASE tell me that person got a big giant F and maybe some sort of punishment for academic dishonesty.
Hmm, on second thought, it was so blatant it may not even count as dishonesty.
Can Heather hold down gatorade or powerade? It might be easier on her stomach and is packed with electrolytes that will keep her hydrated!!!
Is it too much to hope that natural selection will weed out these people?
Hope Heather starts feeling better soon! I can’t imagine feeling that sick for so many days.
.-= Deborah´s last blog ..Food and Art and Focus =-.
Wow, that’s pretty bad!!
.-= Candice´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday =-.
I’m an English teacher (and will be for another three weeks before I am finally done) and let me tell you: I’ve seen it all. I think my favorite was a student who plagerized from Wikipedia and when he copy-and-pasted, included the links to the footnotes! So not only was the writing style completely wrong, and the font, but also the  and  next to some of the words! It was mildly insane.
I mean, I love my kids, but god almighty.
Thank you for a good laugh in the morning!
First, I hope Heather feels better soon! I was also plagued by this virus and it is NO FUN!
Second, I was just having the same conversation with my CEO. He doubles as an Englisher professor at a local community college and we talked about this same topic and using http://www.turnitin.com. It is amazing that we even need something like this but it is also pretty cool that for educators there are these tools.
I worry about my 15 month old and how she will be exposed to things like this but all I can do is teach her from right and wrong – and maybe locker up from society when needed. Just kidding.
Jen at Cabin Fever says:
Goodness… that sadness of that is just funny. You have to laugh at the absurdity of that!
At every school I have ever been to they take plagarism so seriously that you could be thrown out/expelled. I hope that this fellow gets a serious lesson in respecting other people’s hard work… as in a big fat “F” or “S”– for summer school. ha
Cabin Fever in Vermont
.-= Jen at Cabin Fever´s last blog ..When My Husband Teaches. =-.
It’s things like this that make me lose complete hope in my generation.
Mike, I am laughing hysterically! I teach at the college level, and plagiarism is indeed a huge problem, one that students don’t seem to comprehend as a problem. Sigh.
I hope Heather is feeling better!
My husband’s a professor and I used to be one. College students seem to have caught on to making the color/font match the rest of the paper…but the style difference still jumps out.
One college professor friend had a student plagiarize The Communist Manifesto for a history paper. He was outraged that the student wouldn’t realize that he, a German history professor, wouldn’t recognize it.
Wow hilarious!!! Thanks for the laugh, hope heather feels better soon!
.-= Nicole´s last blog ..Birthday Party Fun =-.
Just Jiff says:
I remember the days of going to the library and looking for the encyclopedia only to find the ONE volume I needed was already taken! AAAHH!
I also remember typing on a TYPEWRITER and using a correction pencil. In college, I purchased a word processor and was impressed with the small digital screen. My desktop computer was HUGE and took up my entire desk.
Now I’m back in college and use a laptop. I do most of my research online but still know how to look up how to cite my sources. I took an art class (required, not by choice) and we had to write an art history paper. I was the ONLY person to cite my sources. My instructor (a grad student) was so angry that she told everyone she almost failed every one of them. They had no idea that not citing your sources is plagarism. Sheesh.
.-= Just Jiff´s last blog ..5. =-.
Ugh. This post and the last one make me sad. Facebook/text speak annoys me, though I’ll admit to using OMG and BRB in my own chats. I certainly do not use any webspeak in essays for a class! And not wanting to go to the library? Well, I’ll admit that the internet is very handy, but when it comes down to it (and you need to cite sources), the library is the best tool for the job.
Hope Heather recovers from this nasty bug soon!
.-= Alison´s last blog ..IQ =-.
oh god…I (used to as of yesterday) teach College writing and English. No- they do not plagiarize with more style, but they do fight charges of it with more. My favorite was when a student’s mom wrote me a letter saying that it was she–not her son–who was at fault for plagiarizing…sigh.
.-= LD´s last blog ..PSSSSSST! =-.
Sorry to hear Heather is still sick. I hope she gets better soon.
I teach writing at a university and I find the same problems with my students. They constantly ask me how do I know if they have plagiarized anything, and just as you demonstrated, it’s not just the changes in style, but the blatant and mediocre attempts at just copying and pasting.
My university prof told us of two great plagiaized essays – the first still had the URL on the bottom of each page – the guy didn’t even paste it into a word processing program, rather just printed it straight from the internet!
The other (my personal fave) was an essay that the prof said was one of the best he had ever read… because he had written it himself for a psychology journal! It’s always good to make sure the paper you are ripping off wasn’t written by the guy doing the grading!
Oh too funny! And imagine the pleasure the prof got pointing that out to the class!
I hope Heather recovers soon! A bug this long is just hard to deal with.
And . . . I would say they plagiarize their college essays with a bit more style, but they don’t— my latest bout with plagiarism happened when a student took a (decently-written) essay on abortion, chopped it up and rewrote it in her terrible syntax, and made up citations to make it look like she hadn’t!
Well, maybe it’s a little more sophisticated than a font change. xD
Sigh… I know how you feel! I’m an ESL teacher as well as a college level Spanish adjunct. Try teaching a foreign language to students who have barely mastered their own!! I’ve taught English as a Second Language in both here in the US and abroad and am always amazed at the consistently high levels of written English of my international students… Obviously making the extra effort to communicate in a language that’s not their own makes a difference, but at the risk of sounding like yet ANOTHER old fart… How LOW can we go?!?
Love your writing here… Wishing Heather a speedy recovery!! Take care and stay well…
Valerie from Ohio
now that, that was funny. sad. but funny.
.-= c.c.´s last blog ..cinco de mayo! =-.
Oh no! I was thinking of Heather this morning, hoping she was feeling a bit better! I’m not sure if her Dr. mentioned this or not…and I apologize in advance for inserting my opinion here…but our Dr. told us that giving water on an empty, already sick tummy, makes it worse. Water is actually very hard on an empty/sick tummy and your best bet is to drink Powerade or Gatorade…something about what’s in them??? I tried it with my very ill daughter and it worked! After 3 days of throwing up everything that hit her stomach, she snapped back from it within 24 hrs. Just a thought…:) Feel better soon Heather and thank you, Mike, for keeping us posted!!!:)
I miss teaching.
Sorry Heather is sick and makes a recovery soon and that no one else comes down with it. But I have to say the last two posts have cracked me up.. because I will read something on my facebook, a text or a tweet, sometimes up to 3 times, then have to google to see what the heck they are trying to say! I’m only 34 and i’m already out of it;)
I have a confession to make!
….I have copied and pasted from websites and other online sources during my high school years. HOWEVER, I was smart enough to learn HOW to work Microsoft Word and change font styles, types, sizes and colors and make it blend seamlessly. I also would go back through and re-write parts to make it sounds more me.
*wink* I was never caught.
The internet actually MADE me a better speller and better at grammar (though I am sure you can find plenty of problems in this comment). I started role playing in junior high. Magic, sorcerers, dragons, castles.. that sort of thing. Started out terrible, but as I got more into, and started to meet the ‘Elites’ I had to improve my writing, become more descriptive and more creative in order to avoid being called a ‘N00b’. I improved and my English grades went from Cs to As by the time I got to Junior year of High School.
Even now with my cellphone, I REFUSE to use ‘u’ for a text.
Oh and Role playing? I still do it.. and I’m seeing it slide slowly backwards.. it breaks my heart.
They didn’t change the color or font because they put it together 2 minutes before they left for school that morning. I have 2 teenage boys who would totally do that and probably have a minute to spare.
.-= Diane´s last blog ..Bye Bye gallbladder =-.
You are so right! We didn’t have the luxury of spell check and computers when we were younger. My daughter is 6 and a beginning reader-when she gets older I have every intention (I’m sure she won’t be happy) of having her go to a library for research and HAND WRITE out reports before typing them. We also have a dictionary and if she wants to know how to spell a word – we look it up. Do you know how many people no longer use dictionaries and a thesaurus? It’s kind of sad….
Feel better Heather!!
Man, kids these days. When I was in high school (I graduated in 2000.), I was convinced there was some machine the teachers all had access to that scanned our papers and cross referenced them with published books and internet articles. The way our teachers scared us into not plagiarizing all had us convinced they would totally know if we didn’t write something. Which looking back now I’m sure they could easily tell if we plagiarized because our papers would all of a sudden become well informed or sophisticated.
I can’t hate on the kids today on being reliant on spell check. If I spell out a long word that I don’t use often and don’t see a red line underneath, I always think my spell check is off or broken or something. I go back and spell the word wrong on purpose to make sure my spell check in working. Which probably only ingrains the wrong spelling in my head. I would bet money that if spell check ceased to exist, at least 90% of the internet would look like fourth graders wrote it.
I hope Heather feels better soon. We had one of those evil viruses hit our house hard this past winter. Apparently the Norovirus is classified as an epidemic this year. Just about everyone I know got at least a touch of it. Hope Heather is feeling back to normal soon!
I haven’t read any of the comments, but PLEASE don’t tell me that someone turned in an essay that said “whack” and “lame” and “dude”!! PLEASE!!!
My mom is a French teacher and she can always tell when a student has used an online translator program. The grammar and congugations are just years beyond what these students should know. They’re always amazed when she calls them out on it. “How did you know?” Plus, of course, the online translator, does not know exactly what word you want translated, and these kids don’t know any better.
.-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Proof Positive =-.
Omg! What boneheads!! Are they really allowed to use words like “whack”, “for real” and “dude”
Those damn kids these days!! lol
Hope Heather is feeling better this morning!!
Heather@Triple Blessing says:
That’s hilarious! I have had students copy an entire essay and then GIVE CREDIT to the person that they copied. I had to actually teach them that it’s not ok. Even if you give them credit, your paper cannot be one giant quote. oy vey!
I hope Heather feels better today. I went through that a while back and my doctor said water was actually hard on the system so I drank gatorade. Also, no dairy for a week. That certainly helped.
.-= Heather@Triple Blessing´s last blog ..A Winner! =-.
I once had a classmate in my highschool english class who had gone and plagarized part of a work he had found on a book we were supposed to be analyzing.
Little did he know…that the teacher we were writing the paper for had extensively studied this book.
And written papers on it.
If this classmate of mine had looked a little closer instead of rushing to plagarize…he would have realized that he was plagarizing the work of the teacher he was submitting his paper to.
Epic, epic fail.
.-= Erin´s last blog ..Crazy Cute =-.
I don’t know what I would have done in high school without my cliff notes.
Hope Heather feels better soon!!
.-= Karen´s last blog ..Bargains. =-.
Sorry to Heather’s got such a nasty virus! They can be rough! Has she tried to drink ginger ale? It will help settle her stomach & it’s as ‘heavy’ as water (which can really weigh a sick stomach down).
Hope she feels better soon! Thanks for the chuckle over the language – ahhh, the good ole days when kids ‘hung out’ in the library.
.-= Amie´s last blog ..A Hard Few Days… =-.
Sorry – meant to say ginger ale is NOT as heavy as water! Oops!
.-= Amie´s last blog ..A Hard Few Days… =-.
I…don’t even know what to say. That they thought they could get away with that is just so assinine. (Or, totally whack, dude.)
.-= Amanda´s last blog ..Wonder Day =-.
In my English classes we were taught that words like “very” and “really” were not appropriate for an essay. I don’t know that my teachers would even know where to start with words like “dude” and “whack”. I can’t even listen to somebody say them in every day conversation without cringing a little.
Hope Heather feels better soon. I had the stomach virus for about 2 days last month. The worse feeling. Ginger ale helped for me. Chicken broth and crackers.
Most of the kids in college today were born with a computer on their laps They are too technology savvy. I always told my kids don’t depend on the spell check.
On that note, it’s when you go to a store and the cash register is not working to par and the person behind the register isn’t sure how much change to give back to you. One of my petpeeves. But that’s technology for you!
Have a good day!
Oh my gosh. That is just so sad. Well, pitiful really. And shows that they have a complete lack of common sense as well.
Side note – do they really think that “dude” and “tight” and “whack” are ok in an essay??? Sigh. Just shaking my head over here.
.-= Sarah´s last blog ..It’s my Birthday! =-.
ugh, sorry to hear that heather is STILL under the weather. I was an english major in college, and if we even THOUGHT about plagiarizing, we would be breaking the honor code, failed out of the class and possibly kicked out of the university. In this example you don’t even need a sophisticated program to catch them cheating, but our university invested in a program that would catch the more tech-savvy cheaters. It scours the internet and online journals for similar work. Our professors used it on our final papers (which always resulted in grade delays uggh) but kept everyone honest.
Yikes!! Please, please, please tell me it wasn’t advanced English that you taught?!?!
.-= wonderchris´s last blog ..Backyard FUN…. =-.
sheesh… at least back in the day if you were going to plagiarize, you had to type it in yourself! Change a few words around and wha-la! (not that I EVER did that) .
I hope Heather gets better soon, but I have enjoyed reading your posts!!
.-= Kristin´s last blog ..More of Mollie =-.
Amanda M. says:
Wow. WOW. That is brilliant. This is why I taught math.
.-= Amanda M.´s last blog ..How to Get Manga on Your E-Reader =-.
Jen L. says:
I hope Heather feels better soon. Have her drink Gatorade or Propel. Water does not replace the electrolytes and she may continue to feel crappy until they get replinished. Loved the post.
So true! Not only are they developing their own ‘language’, not learning to spell, have never experienced doing research in a library (and finding someone has already taken all the books out) but they are apparently not learning how to put pen to paper and practice their penmanship.
A local teacher recently pointed this out in the local newspaper. That kids these days do not know how to hand write as in the latter years of school they are doing all their papers via computer.
Hand writing may become an ancient art form for crying out loud!
Get better Heather, poor dear
WOW! Kids can be so stupid (excuse me)
It’s really sad that they didn’t even realize how OBVIOUS their plagiarism was Equally as sad as them feeling the need to plagiarize in the first place. I’m pretty ashamed of my age group – at least some of us use legitimate online resources, and still know how to speak and write…
I’m sure those papers provided a good laugh for you and the other teachers though
mrs ellenoy says:
Well, that explains a lot about my students! This semester I was teaching the research course, and most of them seemed to find the concept of ‘going to the library’ and ‘finding resources’ to be entirely alien. I suppose if they refuse to do so in high school, they will find no reason to change their approach to research in college.
Forewarned is forearmed. My classes in the autumn are getting a forced-march over to the actual building.
I think I just spit on my screen. They didn’t even change the font and color?? That’s not very … erm … smart. Bwa-ha-ha! Hilarious.
Remember to give Heather something with electrolytes instead of just plain water. If she’s getting sick a lot, then her body needs more than just water to recover and stay hydrated. Heather, I hope you feel better soon, sweetie.
I’m a collegestudent and, sadly, I can assure you that it’s not the case. Especially wiki is a popular but obvious choice (with font and coloring ).
But by second year it gets a lot better seeing as most students started figuring out that plagiarizing almost automaticly means you’ll be failing the course.
I totally did a better job plagiarizing when I was in school, I remembered to make all fonts and sizes and colors the same by doing a quick highlight of the entire document and selecting everything from the menu. That made it mine right?
I’d even go through the entire thing and change many words and delete whole sentences and rewrite them all and using a thesaurus for just about every single big word to make a more known word and every little word to make it a more unique word.
.-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Any Botanist Around? =-.
That is the worst plagerism attempt I have ever seen.
You can’t fix stupid.
Increasing those healing vibes to Heather.
.-= Sue´s last blog ..My shopping list for Thanksgiving dinner a la Eric =-.
I used to be a high school English teacher. I ran most of my kids’ essays through Google search engine to find “matching phrases”. It was depressing how many had lifted segments from online analysis.
In the summers, I signed up to mark the provincial exams for some extra money. It was thoroughly depressing what low level of English constituted a “pass”.
Now that I am in another profession entirely, I’m free to rant and rave about “what our written world is coming to” without feeling partially responsible for it.
.-= Mandy´s last blog ..Exposition =-.
Bianca S says:
This problem is possibly the bane of my career, and I’m still quite a young teacher myself at 24. I’m trying to convince them that this copy-paste mentality will not serve them well in life.
However, I think celebrity autobiographies also deserve to have the finger pointed at them; they are so ghostwritten most of the time that it is difficult to persuade kids that effectively plagiarising something is not the way towards a good and successful life when so many of their idols do exactly that
.-= Bianca S´s last blog ..Cosmetics Contemplations: On Being Pampered Press =-.
For whatever it might be worth (doubting much) I was down for a solid week with my two youngest with what seemed like some sort of Star Trek malady that had us expelling, expelling, expelling. We are whole, but I may never eat peanut butter again.
G2 gatorade no longer has HFCS, get her a rainbow of pretty colors to quaff.
.-= Amanda´s last blog ..Look at me! =-.
My lovely twin already said something about this, but I’ll add my two cents.
As a college student (a few months after the big 21st birthday), I can say this. The average high school/college student’s English skills is disheartening and downright disgusting. I go to UC Somewhere and even there it’s bad. No one has held them accountable for grammar/spelling (unless they took an AP English class in high school from the English Maven). EVEN SO. It’s COMMON SENSE to use correct grammar, spelling, etc. Too bad we can’t force kids to take common sense classes.
I feel like an old crazy cat lady in a rocking chair drinking lemonade ranting about irresponsible youth. O wait. I am currently in a rocking chair drinking lemonade with my cats nearby.
Ack! College librarian here who feels your pain. I spend a fair amount of time helping students who “already wrote the paper and just need some sources to cite.” Ack, ack!
I have worked with a few students to show them how to NOT plagiarize (read the article, put it away, then write out the information), but who knows how much it sticks…
.-= Libby´s last blog ..How to throw a surprise (library) baby shower =-.
mrs ellenoy says:
I think you must work at my institution…..!
.-= mrs ellenoy´s last blog ..Hey – getting married in 48 hours! =-.
My Sociology professor accused me of plagiarism in college. She couldn’t prove it because, well, I didn’t do it. She said it “is so well written she could not have done it herself.”
Uv corse it wsnt wrtN N short hand. Or txt lang.
I make my boys write letters, with ink and paper, when issuing an apology for something they did. It can’t be in short txt lang either. Must be completely written out. Fo’ sho’ man.
(PS – Heather I hope you’re feeling better soon! That crud is here in Iowa too.)
.-= preTzel´s last blog ..Eleven Months…and More. =-.
This is great!! My uncle is a history professor, teaches American/Nevadan history at the college level, and he showed me a paper by someone who copy and pasted and didn’t even change the LINKS and left a SIDEBAR PICTURE! And when he (very kindly!) told her to drop the course and receive an F (or he would report her – and that can get VERY serious!) she yelled out in class “YOU DON”T KNOW ME!!”
Nothing else to say but: WTF!
Hope Heather is feeling better soon!!
I am constantly amazed at the number of college students that plagarize their papers and think that they will get away with it. As an instructor, I am very up front with them that I can determine if they copied any of the work they submit. I love when they turn in a paper and the formatting is completely different in certain sections and they completely switch tenses. Ahhh….it is annoying! Stop taking the easy way out and form a thought of your own!
I also hope that Heather is feeling better soon!
.-= Michelle´s last blog ..Ramblings =-.
I work in a student conduct office on a college campus. I had someone who plagiarized a paper ABOUT plagiarism!
Get well soon Heather! (And I’ve enjoyed your posts, too, Mike!)
I love hearing your stories mike! please blog more!
however, as a high school student myself, I’m standing up for my generation! I can proudly say I’ve never written like that… unless as a joke. know that there are kids that do, but there’s some hope left for us!
funny post though!
P.S– I love the library!
Denise Jones says:
With the invention of digital timepieces, kids didn’t learn how to tell time ‘the old-fashioned’ way. Now, with the invention of texting and its crazy spelling and abbreviations, they can no longer spell properly. We’re in for a world of hurt, folks! Kids who cannot tell time OR spell! Makes me proud to be an old dinosaur.–Just sign me Prehistoric in Texas!
Katie C. says:
Wow, that is just pathetic. Kids these days….
The internet is making kids lazy. I can’t believe he didn’t know enough to change the color. I love your teaching stories. Although that love note you found a ways back freaked me out, you know, having two girls and all.
.-= mel´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday =-.
The web is full of a lot of crap that you have to sift through. Students need more training on website evaluation. The ease of plagiarism is crazy on the web… just copy/paste! POOF! A research paper!
The high quality resources are in libraries or accessible in databases via a library subscriptions.
Ohmygoodness! WOW! That paper is just sad and the other paper that you mentioned is sad as well.
“Sigh. Here’s hoping that they have been plagiarizing their college essays with a bit more style.”
^^Hahahaha! Yes, I agree. Here’s hoping!!!
Ok~that’s hysterical. Kids! Geez!
Hoping Heather is feeling better soon!
.-= Mary´s last blog ..Spending Time with my Girl =-.
It’s sad to see, but I was laughing at the example.
Last semester, I had to do group projects as 60% of my grade in Ethics. One classmate would lift my article and change a few words. He was bagged when I made the statement “I remember when Newsday covered this story in 1991,” because I am in my 40’s. Cheater was TWO when it happened.
Then he lifted his portion of the final project completely from the Internet!
Thanks for the laugh-and I hope Heather’s feeling better soon.
Some of my students, while plaigarizing from Wikipedia or other websites, will not bother to remove the blue font and underline found under words that hyperlink to other pages. It’s like they’re asking to be found out!
Funny and sad. Le sigh. ;(