Author Topic: S/O PD Student Darwinism  (Read 182701 times)

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jedikaiti

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #360 on: March 29, 2013, 01:10:37 AM »
When your professor tells you multiple times, that he will not give credit to students who submit papers that they have written for other classes, and you ignore him and submit a paper written for another class anyway- be sure to delete the name of the other class from the title page.

*snickering madly* Oops!

At both the unis I've attended, that'd get you sanctioned for plagiarism too - the idea being that if you didn't write a whole new paper for each assignment, it was similar to copying someome else's work off the Internet.

The professor is actually pretty nice about it.  He's OK with the students taking a topic or idea that they've written about in another class and EXPANDING on it.  (Sort of like having a research specialty.) But you would have to show that you did a considerable amount of additional research to explore some new facet of this topic.  He is even willing to give you tips and advice on how to do this.  All you have to do is ask.

And another pet peeve of his.  If he asks for 10 pages, double spaced, one inch margins- that's what he means.  Trust me when I say that he notices a paper that has THREE AND A HALF inch margins.

One of my profs had to specify a font & type size, double spaced, and margins. We weren't allowed to go over 2 pages, so I was turning my weekly assignments in... 1.5 space, Times New Roman, 10 point, half-inch margins. I can be a little verbose at times.
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weeblewobble

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #361 on: March 29, 2013, 07:15:01 AM »
When your professor tells you multiple times, that he will not give credit to students who submit papers that they have written for other classes, and you ignore him and submit a paper written for another class anyway- be sure to delete the name of the other class from the title page.

*snickering madly* Oops!

At both the unis I've attended, that'd get you sanctioned for plagiarism too - the idea being that if you didn't write a whole new paper for each assignment, it was similar to copying someome else's work off the Internet.

The professor is actually pretty nice about it.  He's OK with the students taking a topic or idea that they've written about in another class and EXPANDING on it.  (Sort of like having a research specialty.) But you would have to show that you did a considerable amount of additional research to explore some new facet of this topic.  He is even willing to give you tips and advice on how to do this.  All you have to do is ask.

And another pet peeve of his.  If he asks for 10 pages, double spaced, one inch margins- that's what he means.  Trust me when I say that he notices a paper that has THREE AND A HALF inch margins.

One of my profs had to specify a font & type size, double spaced, and margins. We weren't allowed to go over 2 pages, so I was turning my weekly assignments in... 1.5 space, Times New Roman, 10 point, half-inch margins. I can be a little verbose at times.

Hey, you're one up on the student who turned in a five-sentence paragraph, riddled with spelling errors (including one in the title.)  The assignment?  A ten page research paper with multiple sources and an appropriate bibliography.

And yet he was shocked, SHOCKED, when he got a failing grade. 
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 07:33:39 AM by weeblewobble »

MrTango

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #362 on: March 29, 2013, 08:53:28 AM »
I once almost committed an act of SD...

When I wrote papers, I typed them single-spaced because that way I could fit more text on the screen (it was easier to look up a couple paragraphs to make sure I was being consistent with my wording and style).  If the required format was double-spaced, I would type it up single spaced to about half the length required for the course and then adjust the formatting before printing.  Usually, that put me right in the correct range.  Every class I'd taken so far (this was my 5th year) had required 1-inch margins, double spacing, and either Times New Roman size 12 or Arial size 10 font.

I had a term paper due that was to be 18-20 pages.  I had written about 13 pages of single-spaced type in Times New Roman size 12, and had gone through it several times to edit it down to 9 pages.  I set it to double-spaced and it came out with the last paragraph spilling over onto the 19th page.  Perfect!

Except when I did one last check of the assignment, I noticed the required font: Double spaced, size 12, Courier New.  It's a good thing I checked, because I had 24 pages...

Jocelyn

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #363 on: March 29, 2013, 10:34:50 AM »
I tell my students that if I get to the upper page limit, and I'm so interested that I just automatically turn the page, they're good. But if I get there and I am struggling to make myself read more of their work, I'm stopping at the limit.  ::) So far, I have never left pages unread. I also point out that an additional 4 pages from everyone in the class means an additional 100-160 pages for me to read, so that no, if they don't have anything to say, do NOT pad the paper!
I have FAR more trouble convincing students that if a 3 page paper is assigned, that their grade will suffer if they turn in half a page.  Quite a few of them are confused by this, and by the expectation that if they want an A, they will actually include citations.

Thipu1

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #364 on: March 29, 2013, 10:47:28 AM »
A former volunteer gave her Master's Thesis to the library.  It was a horror.

The paper was padded to within an inch of its life. It was about the  Egyptian Book of the Dead and every time this was mentioned, 'Le Livre des Mortes' was added get a few more words in and sound multi-lingual.

  Every other page was a full-page illustration that added nothing to the text.  The grammar was atrocious and a lot of the paper was factually incorrect.  My High School wouldn't have given credit for it. 

I couldn't believe that any self-respecting Grad School would have accepted the thing.  I came to the conclusion that the school just wanted to get rid of her.

Come to think of it, the library was happy to lose her as a volunteer. 

Nibsey

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #365 on: March 29, 2013, 12:01:40 PM »
I can't believe I forgot about this.

Last year I opened an exam script worth 80% of their final grade. And in it I see the following; "I don't think it's fair for students to get grades so instead of answering the questions I'm going to draw a picture of Homer Simpson" and below was a really bad drawing of Homer Simpson and a Duck.  ???
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ladyknight1

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #366 on: March 29, 2013, 12:59:35 PM »
Maybe the duck was a plea for extra credit?

Once again, the tactics used by schools to keep their athletes amaze me. I just did a transfer summary for a student applying for one of our programs. At the college he is transferring from, he was a varsity football player, and failed every non-football course he took for the first two years, the school gave him automatic grade forgiveness to keep him from being disqualified. The student did not benefit by this practice.

HelenB

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #367 on: March 29, 2013, 01:14:06 PM »
The stories of students turning in one paper for multiple classes reminded me of the Bill Harley story/song "Zanzibar". It's about a student who had to write a report on Zanzibar, and had to write a poem, but had a (self-written song) about Zanzibar stuck in his head instead.

I'd heard it on NPR years ago and had "Zanzibar" stuck in my head for years. Was delighted to find I could buy the CD.  (It's on Youtube -- about 1/2 hour).


White Dragon

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #368 on: March 29, 2013, 01:31:36 PM »
I can't believe I forgot about this.

Last year I opened an exam script worth 80% of their final grade. And in it I see the following; "I don't think it's fair for students to get grades so instead of answering the questions I'm going to draw a picture of Homer Simpson" and below was a really bad drawing of Homer Simpson and a Duck.  ???

I did something sort of similar, but I fully expected to get 0 marks on the question.
It was a math class that I was enjoying, but really didn't understand. (I still think that matrix algebra is cool, I just can't do it!)

So on test, I was totally at a loss on how to solve the problem. So instead I wrote "I'm not sure, but I think this is a rare species of South American tree frog."

The prof told me he liked my response, and no, I did not get any marks for it.  :D
I got a D in that class...which may have been generous.

HelenB

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #369 on: March 29, 2013, 02:38:35 PM »
Remembering some SD from when I was in grad school, teaching a class.

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This one class was senior level, engineering. I kept my advisor's policies, because I liked them.  One of them was that homework and projects were 40% of the grade. The idea was that real-life engineering isn't about being able to solve test questions in an hour, but about working out solutions.

There was a guy in one class whose brother owned an engineering firm in Big Town An Hour Away. He was already working full time for his brother, and rarely came to classes.  I told him after the first test that he wasn't going to pass if he didn't start handing in homework.  At midterm I told him the same (and submitted something to the school that he was failing).  There was a group project, and his teammates reported that he never showed up to the working sessions they had, and never contributed to it, so he got a zero.

Come the end of the semester, and he was shocked that he'd failed and was not going to graduate.  He begged to be allowed to do all the homework and turn it in over Christmas break. His brother tried to raise heck with the school, saying the kid already knew enough and just needed the dipoloma.  My advisor stood behind me, though.  I don't remember where he ended up, but he didn't take the class again with me, and it was required for the track he was on.

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Speaking of the group project, it was big part of that 40% (20%, my shaky memory says).  I'm not a fan of group projects, but depending on what you do, engineers need to be able to work with each other.  There were two versions of the project that my advisor alternated between, and I continued to use. Each semester the numbers in the project , and the type of analysis/results wanted to be shown in the report would be changed. 

One year, as I was grading the projects, there was one that was odd. The numbers were really wrong, and the guys had included some graphs that I hadn't asked for....this year.   I went to my collection of previous years' projects, and found one that was identical in the numbers and analysis.  The written parts were new, but the numbers were the same (as in, they just printed out the previous student's files).

I wrote a big red "0" on it.  One of the guys came to me and said it was his fault.   He'd had the job of crunching the numbers, and he didn't leave enough time so he just used his roomate's file and hadn't told the others.  I wasn't impressed with the whole group -- the idea wasn't that one person did all the engineering and the others wrote a few paragraphs. Again, they tried to appeal and were lucky not to be tossed out (my advisor convinced them to take the zero and not go higher than him).  They were all smart guys, but kinda dumb too.

Jocelyn

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #370 on: March 29, 2013, 11:14:25 PM »
A former volunteer gave her Master's Thesis to the library.  It was a horror.

The paper was padded to within an inch of its life. It was about the  Egyptian Book of the Dead and every time this was mentioned, 'Le Livre des Mortes' was added get a few more words in and sound multi-lingual.

  Every other page was a full-page illustration that added nothing to the text.  The grammar was atrocious and a lot of the paper was factually incorrect.  My High School wouldn't have given credit for it. 

I couldn't believe that any self-respecting Grad School would have accepted the thing.  I came to the conclusion that the school just wanted to get rid of her.

Come to think of it, the library was happy to lose her as a volunteer.
Did the thesis actually have a signed page in it? Because the binding companies will bind anything you want bound, they don't care. I'm wondering if her thesis committee rejected the mess, and she had it bound up, anyway, and wanted to get it into a library somewhere, even if her own school wouldn't accept it.

If, by any chance, you still have the title and author name, I will happily test this theory by running it through Dissertation Abstracts (if you don't have access to that).

GSNW

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #371 on: March 30, 2013, 01:52:03 AM »
I've had a few good ones this year, but my kids are only in the 7th grade, so... I'm hoping they can learn some valuable lessons.

Two kids this year failed their geologic time project for plagiarism.  One kid took his zero quite meekly, the other absolutely insisted the "research" presented was his own work.  I pulled up the website and explained that unless he also wrote for the paleontology department at Berkeley, no, the project was in no way in his own words.  I have a lot of kids that are talented writers, but if you start using college-level terminology and phrasing to explain a concept simplified for the 7th grade, I'm going to start typing your stuff into google. 

I asked the following question on a quiz this year:

- Describe the difference between iron and steel.

The answer I was looking for is that iron is an element and steel is an alloy.  This was one answer I got:

- Steel is when you take something that doesn't belong to you.  Iron is what you use to get the wrinkles out.

I LOL'd a lot at that one.

Thipu1

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #372 on: March 30, 2013, 07:38:06 AM »
Jocelyn, it did have a signed page but the whole thing was decidedly fishy. 

The professor who signed off on the paper was later fired from two museums for shady dealings. He still shows up from time to time on NatGeo.

  The copy we received was photocopied on standard paper.  It wasn't bound. 

I worked with Dissertation Abstracts for about 20 years and this one never showed up.  Believe me, we looked for it. 

Jocelyn

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #373 on: March 30, 2013, 12:46:55 PM »
Thipu1,
GMTA.  ::)

Black Delphinium

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #374 on: March 30, 2013, 06:19:25 PM »
Not going to be SD, but super annoying- one of Simkin's students from multiple semesters ago apparently went and whined to another professor in his department about the fact that her grade(again, from a few semesters ago) will apparently keep her from graduating with a 4.0.

So said professor is now leaning on Simkin and his co- teacher from the course to change her grade.


And this is Graduate Level stuff, too. An adult with a career is whinging about not getting a 4.0 cumulative.
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