“Research” Papers

They were even worse than I’d expected.

Here, much to my horror, are some of the lines that brought me up short.  None of them has been edited or in any way changed or improved by me:

When speaking about the murder of Emmitt Till, one student claimed that “This was the first time that the people form the North actually saw the things that were happening in the South.”  Hmmm; I wonder how  all the abolitionists got so worked up prior to the Civil War…

Another student, who was writing about women’s suffrage, wrote that the Married Women’s Property Law of 1848 (which she misplaced in 1860) was enacted because “any property that was handed down to her through her family, or was gained in the process of being unmarried, it was soon indicated as belonging to the husband as soon as the marriage was final.”  Huh?

I’m not entirely sure what this students thesis was, but she stated quite plainly that “nobody can get anywhere in life without the need for money.”  I just don’t know how to editorialize that one…

Oh, and this one was my favorite:  Todays music culture with by listening to rhythms and explicit lyrics may be advancing civil rights more then Martin Luther King did with his peaceful messages.  Todd Boyd author of the death of civil rights an the reign of hip hop Says this may be true in fact.  Most can understand whats going on in the black community by listening to hip hop than listening to an repeated speech by King.


Two of my lovelies failed outright because of plagiarism.  They just lifted entire passages from different websites and cut-and-pasted themselves a couple of papers.  When one of my students uses the word “whereby,” my red flags go up.  Do they think I don’t know how to use Google?!

Seriously; I know it’s unprofessional to make fun of my students, but if I didn’t laugh, I’d be contemplating a job at my local fast food drive-through instead of looking for another teaching gig.



Filed under composition, concerns, failure, frustrations, funniness, General Griping, hybrids suck, student chutzpah, writing, Yikes!

13 responses to ““Research” Papers

  1. Darci

    I am attempting to get my 7th graders through the 7th grade writing assessment. They want to know if they have to have 5 paragraphs….and how many sentences does have to include…They make me crazy.

  2. Well, at least the last quote was written ‘in style’, matching the topic. You’ve got to give the kid some credit 😉

    But you’re right. You can only laugh about these things. It’s Monday morning, and only laughing the misery away can make me go to school…

  3. That was some fun reading!

    Better you than me, is all I can say!

  4. nhfalcon

    So why, exactly, do you not want to teach high school, Mrs. C.? It sounds to me like you’re dealing with that intellectual / maturity / work ethic level already anyway. Reading this post gave me flashbacks to my internship! 🙂

  5. No, no, Falcon; you misunderstand. It’s not the KIDS I’d have a problem with in a high school – not at all. It’s the useless and unsupportive administrators, the unreasonable (if not downright crazy) parents, and the teachers’ room politics and backstabbing that I couldn’t take…

  6. OK, you write a comment like that and then wonder why those of us that know and love you wish you wouldn’t apply for HS jobs?

    The worst thing about that last one is that I DID understand what the student was getting at and it made me mad!

  7. Holy Mother that’s a big old mess.

  8. When you investigate tools that will be useful to you for your on-line /hybrid courses, many platforms support some nifty plagiarism sieves. (We use Blackboard and there is a module called safe assignment, I think). These tools require the student to submit their papers online, and then the tool scours the net for lifted passages. This is a time-saver.

    Then you can focus on reading the papers rather than searching the web.

  9. I graded a midterm today, with a 20 point discussion question. It drives me nuts when students write 1 sentence! D-I-S-C-U-S-S-I-O-N. I think I am going to force them to all start blogging. Ha ha.

  10. Is Miss Teen South Carolina in your class?

  11. Loved the last one.

    I make fun of my students all the time. I sacrificed professionalism for survival a long time ago.

    Thanks for helping me to start out with a grin this morning.


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