1 Doramar

Cut And Paste Essays A Problem In Schools

WARM-UPS

1. CHEATING: Walk around the class and talk to other students about cheating. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your original partner(s) and share what you found out.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

surveys / copying / cut and paste / struggling / Web page adverts / coursework / software / text / cheats / essay writing / ignorance / losers / lacking skills

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. CHEATING: Talk with your partner(s) about the points below. Are they examples of cheating? Do you do any of them? Rank them: 10 = very serious, 1 = not at all serious. Change partners and share your findings.

a.    _____ looking at the answers in the back of the book

b.    _____ using an Internet essay-writing service

c.     _____ looking at the answers of the person next to you in an exam

d.    _____ copying and pasting text from an Internet site for use in your essay

e.    _____ stealing the answer key to a test from the teacher’s drawer

f.     _____ asking a friend about the questions to a test they had just taken

g.    _____ sharing answers to the exam using Bluetooth

h.    _____ writing spellings and grammar rules on your arm

4. TEACHER PROBLEMS: Talk with your partner(s) about these problems teachers struggle with. Agree on the three biggest and smallest. Change partners and share your findings.

  • students cheating
  • in-class violence
  • marking homework
  • classroom noise
  • technology
  • too many students in a class
  • discipline
  • salary
  • school management
  • resources and materials

5. CHEAT: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘cheat’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

6. QUICK ROLE PLAY: Student A strongly believes that any student caught cheating should be expelled from school; Student B strongly believes cheating is a useful tool to have in life and should be encouraged in schools. Change partners again and talk about your roles and conversations.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

Many British teachers are worried about cheating students.

T / F

b.

Over half of students’ work has been copied from the Internet.

T / F

c.

Some students forget to remove the Web ads from what they copy.

T / F

d.

An expert suggested cheating can lead to more understanding.

T / F

e.

Schools are now using software to detect work copied online.

T / F

f.

A company spokesman said the Internet made cheating difficult.

T / F

g.

One teacher said many students don’t know that copying is wrong.

T / F

h.

An expert said that schools are the real losers when pupils cheat.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

1.

survey

a.

shown

2

revealed

b.

do

3.

struggling

c.

deal with

4.

blatantly

d.

highlighted

5.

emphasis

e.

battling

6.

tackle

f.

obviously

7.

spot

g.

lack of knowledge

8.

pointed to

h.

importance

9.

engage in

i.

questionnaire

10.

ignorance

j.

find

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

1.

online

a.

to cheat

2

copying work

b.

plagiarism

3.

Teachers are struggling under a mountain

c.

they believe was copied

4.

so much emphasis on passing tests meant

d.

their coursework marks

5.

using all the means available to push up

e.

of cut-and-pasting

6.

To tackle this

f.

losers

7.

Teachers can highlight a block of text

g.

issue

8.

He pointed to the hundreds of sites that

h.

from the Internet

9.

more out of ignorance than the desire

i.

students were not learning

10.

Pupils are the real

j.

offer sample essays

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

A __________ by Britain’s Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has revealed that 58 percent of British teachers believe __________ plagiarism (copying work from the Internet) is a serious problem. Estimates are that over a __________ of students’ work includes writing that was cut-and-pasted __________ from a website. ATL general-secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: "Teachers are struggling under a __________ of cut-and-pasting to spot….plagiarism." One shocked teacher explained she had work “so blatantly cut-and-pasted that it still __________ adverts from the Web page!" Dr Bousted added that putting so much emphasis on passing tests meant students were not learning. "Unsurprisingly, pupils are using all the means available to __________ up their coursework marks, often at the expense of any __________ understanding of the subjects they are studying," she said.

 

directly
mountain
online
push
survey
quarter
real
contained

To __________ this issue, many high schools are trying out software that can easily __________ plagiarized work. The Turnitin programme is used by universities across the world. Teachers can highlight a __________ of text they believe was copied and the software searches the Internet to see if it is already online. William Murray, a Turnitin spokesman, said the Internet __________ it easy for students to cheat. He pointed to the hundreds of sites that offer sample essays and essay-writing __________. He added that students often do not know they are cheating when they copy-and-paste from the Web. This __________ is supported by teacher Diana Barker, who said: "I think the majority of students who engage in plagiarism do it more out of ignorance than the __________ to cheat.” Dr Bousted noted that: “Pupils are the real losers because they lack the __________ they appear to have.”

 

services
 block

skills
view
made
tackle
desire
spot

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

A survey by Britain’s Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) _____________________ 58 percent of British teachers believe online plagiarism (copying work from the Internet) is a serious problem. _____________________ a quarter of students’ work includes writing that was cut-and-pasted _____________________ website. ATL general-secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: "Teachers are struggling under a mountain of cut-and-pasting to spot….plagiarism." One shocked teacher explained she had _____________________ cut-and-pasted that it still contained adverts from the Web page!" Dr Bousted added that putting ___________________ passing tests meant students were not learning. "Unsurprisingly, pupils are using _____________________ to push up their coursework marks, often _____________________ real understanding of the subjects they are studying," she said.

_____________________, many high schools are trying out software that can easily spot plagiarized work. The Turnitin programme is used by universities across the world. Teachers _____________________ text they believe was copied and the software searches the Internet to see if it is already online. William Murray, a Turnitin spokesman, said the Internet made it easy for students to cheat. He _____________________ of sites that offer sample essays and essay-writing services. He added that students often do not know they are cheating when they copy-and-paste from the Web. This _____________________ teacher Diana Barker, who said: "I think the majority of students who engage in plagiarism _____________________ ignorance than the desire to cheat.” Dr Bousted noted that: “Pupils _____________________ because they lack the skills they appear to have.”


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘cut’ and ‘paste’.

cut

paste

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • revealed
  • quarter
  • mountain
  • adverts
  • emphasis
  • push up
  • tackle
  • block
  • easy
  • services
  • supported
  • lack

STUDENT PLAGIARISM SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about plagiarism in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

Q.2.

Q.3.

Q.4.

Q.5.

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘cheating’?

c)

Have you ever cheated?

d)

What do you understand about the word ‘plagiarism’?

e)

What do you think teachers need to do to stop their students plagiarizing from the Internet?

f)

What do students need to do if they cut and paste work from the Internet and put it in their essay?

g)

Who do you think of the student who forgot to take the website adverts off the text (s)he pasted from the Internet?

h)

What punishment should students receive for plagiarism?

i)

What means have you used to push up your coursework marks or exam grades?

--------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you think cheating is a good or bad thing?

c)

What do you think of the new Turnitin software?

d)

Do you think the new software will stop students from cheating?

e)

Does cheating get you ahead in life?

f)

Would you use or have you ever used an Internet essay-writing service?

g)

Do you think websites that have sample essays are useful to find examples of good model answers?

h)

Do you think pupils are the real losers if they cheat and then pass all their exams?

i)

Did you like this discussion?

LANGUAGE

CORRECT WORD: Put the correct words from a–d below in the article.

A (1) ____ by Britain’s Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has revealed that 58 percent of British teachers (2) ____ online plagiarism (copying work from the Internet) is a serious problem. Estimates are that over a quarter of students’ work (3) ____ writing that was cut-and-pasted directly from a website. ATL general-secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: "Teachers are struggling (4) ____ a mountain of cut-and-pasting to spot….plagiarism." One shocked teacher explained she had work “so blatantly cut-and-pasted that it still contained adverts from the Web page!" Dr Bousted (5) ____ that putting so much emphasis on passing tests meant students were not learning. "Unsurprisingly, pupils are using all the (6) ____ available to push up their coursework marks, often at the expense of any real understanding of the subjects they are studying," she said.

To tackle this issue, many high schools are trying (7) ____ software that can easily spot plagiarized work. The Turnitin programme is used by universities across the world. Teachers can highlight a (8) ____ of text they believe was copied and the software searches the Internet to see if it is already online. William Murray, a Turnitin spokesman, said the Internet (9) ____ it easy for students to cheat. He pointed to the hundreds of sites that offer sample essays and essay-writing services. He added that students often do not know they are cheating when they copy-and-paste from the Web. This view is supported (10) ____ teacher Diana Barker, who said: "I think the majority of students who engage in plagiarism do it more out (11) ____ ignorance than the desire to cheat.” Dr Bousted noted that: “Pupils are the real losers because they (12) ____ the skills they appear to have.”

1.

(a)

surveillance

(b)

scurvy

(c)

surfing

(d)

survey

2.

(a)

believe

(b)

belief

(c)

believes

(d)

beliefs

3.

(a)

include

(b)

includes

(c)

including

(d)

inclusion

4.

(a)

over

(b)

on top of

(c)

under

(d)

inside

5.

(a)

divided

(b)

subtracted

(c)

added

(d)

multiplied

6.

(a)

meanings

(b)

means

(c)

mean

(d)

meant

7.

(a)

in

(b)

for

(c)

of

(d)

out

8.

(a)

block

(b)

black

(c)

back

(d)

book

9.

(a)

done

(b)

made

(c)

did

(d)

make

10.

(a)

with

(b)

out

(c)

in

(d)

by

11.

(a)

from

(b)

in

(c)

of

(d)

for

12.

(a)

lack

(b)

lacks

(c)

lacking

(d)

lacked

WRITING: 

Write about cheating for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_______________________________________________________________________

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HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out about plagiarism and the Turnitin software. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. CHEATING: Make a poster about all the different ways to cheat in class or in an exam. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. PLAGIARISM: Write a magazine article about the effects of plagiarism. Include imaginary interviews with a school teacher and a student who cheated.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down new words and expressions.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the head teacher of a school. Ask her/him three questions about plagiarism in her/his school. Give her/him three suggestions on what (s)he should do to stop students from cheating. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. T

d. F

e. T

f. F

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

survey

a.

questionnaire

2

revealed

b.

shown

3.

struggling

c.

battling

4.

blatantly

d.

obviously

5.

emphasis

e.

importance

6.

tackle

f.

deal with

7.

spot

g.

find

8.

pointed to

h.

highlighted

9.

engage in

i.

do

10.

ignorance

j.

lack of knowledge

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

online

a.

plagiarism

2

copying work

b.

from the Internet

3.

Teachers are struggling under a mountain

c.

of cut-and-pasting

4.

so much emphasis on passing tests meant

d.

students were not learning

5.

using all the means available to push up

e.

their coursework marks

6.

To tackle this

f.

issue

7.

Teachers can highlight a block of text

g.

they believe was copied

8.

He pointed to the hundreds of sites that

h.

offer sample essays

9.

more out of ignorance than the desire

i.

to cheat

10.

Pupils are the real

j.

losers

GAP FILL:

Cut-and-paste essays a problem in schools

A survey by Britain’s Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has revealed that 58 percent of British teachers believe online plagiarism (copying work from the Internet) is a serious problem. Estimates are that over a quarter of students’ work includes writing that was cut-and-pasted directly from a website. ATL general-secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: "Teachers are struggling under a mountain of cut-and-pasting to spot….plagiarism." One shocked teacher explained she had work “so blatantly cut-and-pasted that it still contained adverts from the Web page!" Dr Bousted added that putting so much emphasis on passing tests meant students were not learning. "Unsurprisingly, pupils are using all the means available to push up their coursework marks, often at the expense of any real understanding of the subjects they are studying," she said.

To tackle this issue, many high schools are trying out software that can easily spot plagiarized work. The Turnitin programme is used by universities across the world. Teachers can highlight a block of text they believe was copied and the software searches the Internet to see if it is already online. William Murray, a Turnitin spokesman, said the Internet made it easy for students to cheat. He pointed to the hundreds of sites that offer sample essays and essay-writing services. He added that students often do not know they are cheating when they copy-and-paste from the Web. This view is supported by teacher Diana Barker, who said: "I think the majority of students who engage in plagiarism do it more out of ignorance than the desire to cheat.” Dr Bousted noted that: “Pupils are the real losers because they lack the skills they appear to have.”

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

Cut-and-paste essays a problem in schools

A survey by Britain’s Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has revealed that 58 percent of British teachers believe online plagiarism (copying work from the Internet) is a serious problem. Estimates are that over a quarter of students’ work includes writing that was cut-and-pasted directly from a website. ATL general-secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: "Teachers are struggling under a mountain of cut-and-pasting to spot….plagiarism." One shocked teacher explained she had work “so blatantly cut-and-pasted that it still contained adverts from the Web page!" Dr Bousted added that putting so much emphasis on passing tests meant students were not learning. "Unsurprisingly, pupils are using all the means available to push up their coursework marks, often at the expense of any real understanding of the subjects they are studying," she said.

To tackle this issue, many high schools are trying out software that can easily spot plagiarized work. The Turnitin programme is used by universities across the world. Teachers can highlight a block of text they believe was copied and the software searches the Internet to see if it is already online. William Murray, a Turnitin spokesman, said the Internet made it easy for students to cheat. He pointed to the hundreds of sites that offer sample essays and essay-writing services. He added that students often do not know they are cheating when they copy-and-paste from the Web. This view is supported by teacher Diana Barker, who said: "I think the majority of students who engage in plagiarism do it more out of ignorance than the desire to cheat.” Dr Bousted noted that: “Pupils are the real losers because they lack the skills they appear to have.”

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There have always been kids that have chosen to cheat in school, but today’s tech gadgets have made it easier and more common than before. With the majority of teens and tweens carrying cell phones, answers to test questions can zing around a classroom in minutes. Here are some examples of the ways teens are cheating at school:

  • Kids have programmed answer sheets into their iPods or recorded course materials into their MP3s and played them back during exams.
  • Students have text-messaged test questions (or used their camera phones to picture-message tests) to friends outside the classroom.
  • When essays are assigned, some students simply cut and paste text from websites directly into their papers.
  • Some students prep for pop quizzes by inputting math formulas or history dates into their programmable calculators.
  • Students can buy term papers from a growing number of online “paper mills,” such as schoolsucks.com, for up to $10 a page.

 

In a recent survey of 18,000 students at 61 middle and high schools:

  • 66% admitted to cheating on exams,
  • 80% said they had let someone copy their homework, and
  • 58% said they had committed plagiarism.

 

Our society seems to promote that you should do whatever it takes to win or succeed. Children don’t like to lose. Our culture appears to say that it is acceptable to step on others as you climb ahead. Some parents have contributed to the problem by not focusing their attention on instilling positive values – such as honesty, doing your best, and integrity – and instead pressuring their children to excel. Some parents are afraid that their child won’t have a good job or life if they don’t get to the best college, which requires the best grades. Nearly one-third of teens and 25% of tweens say that their parents push them too hard academically, according to a recent national survey commissioned by Family Circle. Additionally, when kids see other kids cheating and not getting caught, it makes them question the importance of honesty. If the cheaters get better grades, an honest youth can feel frustrated.

Consequences of Cheating

The consequences of cheating can be hard for a tween or teen to understand. Without the ability to see the long-term effects, children may feel that the pros of cheating (good grades) outweigh any negatives. That’s why it’s important for parents and teachers to explain the consequences of cheating, such as:

  • Cheating lowers your self-respect and confidence. And if others see you cheating, you will lose their respect and trust.
  • Unfortunately, cheating is usually not a one-time thing. Once the threshold of cheating is crossed, youth may find it easier to continue cheating more often, or to be dishonest in other situations in life. Students who cheat lose an element of personal integrity that is difficult to recapture. It damages a child’s self-image.
  • Students who cheat are wasting their time in school. Most learning builds on itself. A child must first learn one concept so that they are prepared for the next lesson. If they don’t learn the basic concept, they have set themselves up to either continue failing or cheating.
  • If you are caught, you could fail the course, be expelled, and gain a bad reputation with your teachers and peers.
  • When you are hired by future employers based on the idea that you received good grades in a certain subject, you will not be able to solve problems, offer ideas, or maintain the workload in that subject area. A teen is only cheating themselves out of learning and discovering how good they could really do.
  • Experts agree that:
    • students who repeatedly plagiarize Internet content lose their ability to think critically and to distinguish legitimate sources from those that are not.
    • students who cheat in high school are more likely to do the same in college, and college cheaters, in turn, are more likely to behave dishonestly on the job.

 

Ways Schools Can Prevent Cheating

Schools are trying to fight the cheating epidemic. Here are some ways they can be successful:

  • Set up an Internet firewall so students can’t exchange e-mail and instant messages that might contain exam questions or answers.
  • Require students to submit their papers to websites like TurnItIn.com. For about $1 per pupil per year the company analyzes writing assignments for more than 5,000 middle and high schools, comparing a digital copy of a student’s composition to a database of books, journals, the Internet and previously submitted papers. Students and teachers get instant feedback with suspect material highlighted. Of the 100,000 papers TurnItIn.com checks daily, about a third contain unoriginal, unsourced “cut-and-paste” content, from a few sentences to a paragraph or even more.
  • Create a school honor code that clearly spells out ethical behavior and defines academic misconduct.
  • Establish specific penalties for those who plagiarize or cheat on exams, or those who fail to report classmates who do.

Complicating matters is that schools are sometimes reluctant to bring cheaters to justice for two main reasons. First, accusing a student usually results in very angry parents and sometimes lawsuits. Second, the federal government’s No Child Left Behind policy penalizes schools whose students perform poorly on standardized tests by forcing them to close or replace staff.

Ways Parents Can Prevent Cheating

Parents need to provide guidance and support to their teens to keep them from cheating. Education experts have this advice:

  • Talk to your kids about the importance of ethical behavior and how cheating will hurt them in the long term (use the consequences listed above). Point out negative examples when you see them and explain the problems those people will suffer.
  • Be honest with yourself about whether you might be putting too much pressure on your children to succeed at school. Explain to your kids that ambition is fine, but honesty and integrity are more important than academic success achieved through deceit.
  • Be a good role model. If your child sees you cheat at board games or other small things, you are giving them the message that cheating is acceptable.
  • Check your computer history to see if your teens are using websites that sell written papers. If you see anything suspicious, talk to them about it.
  • Stay involved in your teen’s academic life. Review their homework and read your teens’ essays to see how they are doing.
  • Ask school administrators to:
    • develop an honor code.
    • create ways for kids to identify cheaters anonymously so they don’t fear retaliation from others.
    • include lessons on proper paraphrasing and how to cite Internet sources.
    • have teachers develop multiple versions of tests to deter students from sharing answers via text messaging.

 

Final thoughts…

Schools and parents must both actively discourage cheating if we have any hope of stopping this epidemic. Studies show that America is lagging behind other countries in academics. Our nation will not be globally competitive if we raise a generation of undereducated cheaters. Parents and teachers should emphasize the importance of integrity.

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Category: School | Tags: cheating in school, consequences of teens cheating, high-tech cheating, preventing teenagers from cheating, statistics about adolescent cheating, trends in adolescent cheating, ways teens cheat in school, what parents can do to keep their kid from cheating

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