One of my friends, a teacher at a college, just posted on Facebook that he received an angry e-mail from a student. She was mad that he gave her a zero. Her response was basically, "Who cared if I plaigerized (sic)? The grammar was good, right?"
It's like the line from "Up the Down Staircase":
Student: Why did you give me a zero? I didn't do anything!
Teacher: That's just it...
During my first graduate school course ever, our first assignment was to write a four-page opinion paper on The Theme of the Class. The teacher specifically asked us not to research and explained that our final exam would be to write a four-page paper on what we had learned during the class and how it had changed our view of the subject.
The assignment sheet specifically noted that said opinion paper should not be musings, but an organized statement. No citations, but we should identify specific experiences and/or previous education that shaped our beliefs. It specifically said we would be graded on how well we organized and explained our thoughts.
Half the class freaked when they got the assignment back. They had notes in the margins like, "I'm not sure what you're saying here." and "How do you reconcile this thought with the one before it?" or "Tell me what shaped this conclusion." And it's not like he was Mr. Meanie, I think the lowest grade was a 3.0. Low for students who needed a 3.8 and above for the program but still...
"But it's not fair for him to grade our opinion!" and "He just hates me because I think different!" One woman hadn't even edited her paper for complete sentences and spelling and said she shouldn't have to because it was "just an opinion."
I went home and wept because my innocence in believing graduate school a high and mighty place for pure thinkers was violated. I got over it by the end of the quarter though.