ARGH. Okay, I know it’s…

ARGH. Okay, I know it's a 100-level class, and they're learning to write English papers, but this is the second paper of the semester. I have told them (before the first paper) that they need citations. I have downgraded them (on the first paper) for not having citations. I have offered them the chance to revise for a better grade (on the first paper) if they would just include citations. And I have gone over the whole paper thing (on handing back the first paper), focusing on the need for sufficient citations.

If multiple students still hand in their second paper with essentially no textual citations, am I doing something wrong here? This is so simple and straightforward, I honestly don't get why they're not at least making a half-hearted attempt to quote a few lines from the text! What is going on???

3 thoughts on “ARGH. Okay, I know it’s…”

  1. Maybe this is silly, but do they know what you mean by a citation? In this situation, I might hand out a one-page handout with examples of citations in text shown the way you want to see them and then maybe some “this is not a citation” examples too.

    I tend to think that if more than 1 or 2 students are missing something key/basic like that that there *is* a communication breakdown somewhere. I do have to say when I first read it, I thought you meant a bibliographic citation at first, not a text quotation.

  2. My kid is a senior in high school, and to be honest the teachers are really confusing with what they mean when they say “citation” or “bibliography”. On top of it, they all want different styles (freshman year was MLA, sophomore year was Chicago, and last year I couldn’t even recognize it, I think the teacher just made it up), and are not consistent with enforcing it for all the assignments handed in. There is also a tendency for teachers in our district to use rubrics, so I think if you do what yasmara suggests, your students will figure it out. 🙂

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