We got an announcement in Lit class yesterday. Apparently one of the students plagiarized the first paper.
The first paper of the semester. And apparently it was blatant enough that the instructor didn't have to do much to prove it. That student got an F for the entire class. I don't know who it was, but the instructor mentioned informing a coach, so I would say that it was one of the athletes, who will probably now lose their athletic scholarship, as well.
Why is it that people can't even put forth the effort to jot something down? The instructor told us right off the bat that if we ran into a situation where we didn't have a clue, we could ask. If we still didn't have a clue, jot something, anything down, and we'd get some points for effort.
Better a sucky grade on one paper than an F for the entire course, and a reputation for plagiarism.
If they weren't going to do the work, why did they sign up for the course? I mean seriously, what is it that motivates these people to cheat? Our instructor isn't a demanding one, she's supportive and encouraging, she doesn't freak out over minor grammar errors (I'm horrible with 'it's' and 'its' ') and honestly wants us to have fun with the class.
During a lesson on word choice we were paired up and given a passage in a story, and we were supposed to completely change the main character, by changing a few words. My partner and I made the character a speed freak, which the instructor loved.
It isn't hard to make this instructor happy. Just putting forth the effort to write a paper and try to make it coherent and to the point is enough to get a passing grade. A note at the end of the paper saying "I tried, but I just couldn't come up with any more," will be taken into account.
In brighter news, even though I wasn't happy at all with the paper that I turned in (the entirety of which I changed two days before the due date... I was stuck on the topic that I had originally chosen, and decided to change the whole thing rather than turn in a paper full of B.S.) I got a 95.
And a note at the bottom, that the instructor had never seen such an in-depth look at the story that I chose. (Happy Endings, by Margaret Atwood. I compared and contrasted the characterizations and plot lines of the various endings.)
So, good thing for me. The next paper is an Explication paper, and I've chosen (unless I change my mind and do it on something we discuss in class between now and then) The Raven. It's a nice rich poem that will support the 750-1000 word paper.
And it will be all mine.