My chin-scratcher turned in his “paper” the other day (and yes; the quotation marks are deliberate). After procrastinating – for perhaps far too long – about what he was going to use for a topic, he decided that the expedient thing to do would be to cut-and-paste his three page paper from four different sources.
Now, here’s the thing; he did not plagiarize. Everything he’s got in there is properly cited. The problem is that I doubt there are a dozen words in there that are actually his own.
I’m putting a zero on the paper and scheduling a conference with the boy and, perhaps, my boss. The point of this exercise was to get the students to focus on analysis and critical thinking, and Chin-Scratcher did neither. What’s more is that I don’t think it occurs to him that he did anything wrong.