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Old 09-15-2007, 05:38 PM   #16
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Power trips

I'm not a prof nor have I ever TAed(nor do I ever plan to), but if I were....I'd be lenient. Especially if I have a class full of people taking it purely as a gened requirement that has pointlessly been added to their degree. Just make an honest effort and I'll pass you. That would be my philosophy for those students. I'd probably be a little stricter for those students who are majoring in the subject at hand.
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:00 PM   #17
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Well, there's a HUGE difference between "an honest effort" and just not doing anything at all. I would say 95% of my docking points was because students simply did not read and follow simple directions. Most of the assignments I graded were completely subjective: you got five points for doing this, five points for doing this, ten points for doing that, etc. All they had to do was DO IT!!

We were encouraged to be strict. Not strict as in take off more points just for fun, but not give in to their whining. The point of the course was to prepare them for the type of research required in college, in general. Just passing them on without doing the work would do them no favors. The course was supposed to be a wake up call. A lot of the English and Comp profs teaching the low level Comp courses complained that some of their students had no clue that we even HAD a library database or that credible academic material existed. Their idea of a "source" was wikipedia or cnn.com. That is what prompted the new course and the requirement that all incoming students take it and pass it. The class was not pointless (well it was when I took it, but modifications were made), unless my students were never going to use a campus computer for research or were never going to have to write a paper for any class.

It has nothing to do with power tripping. We were all adults. The school has specific standards that must be met (and the standards for my particular course were still laughably low). I was not getting paid to hold people's hands and spoon feed them their grades.
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:25 PM   #18
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I'm a TA myself right now, and i'm hardly on a power trip. But I'm teaching core writing classes - I'm trying to help them develop skills that will help them throughout their entire time here. Now, we're a public school, so tuition isn't ridiculous, but it still isn't cheap. I just want them to know that I'm serious about the course, whether or not they like it. I don't want to be responsible for them not doing well in the future. If I give them a passing grade on a paper that would fail for another professor, I don't feel like I'm doing my job.

And Liesje, I did kind of horrify them when I told them I wouldn't accept papers citing Wikipedia. Ironically, that same night in Intro to Grad Literary Study, the program director was praising wikipedia in quick-fix situations, emphasizing of course that it is still unsuitable for actual documented research. I couldn't help but chuckle a little bit.
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:29 PM   #19
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Aaaah wikipedia. If they complain about not being able to use it, I tell them to use it as a starting point. Most wiki articles cite their own sources and they are welcome to use those (if they apply). The general rule was that only .edu web sources were acceptable (b/c lots of graduate students and profs publish their work on their websites or through their university). No .coms, .nets, and preferably no .orgs. Find the sources that the web sites are based on, use those. Many profs require peer-reviewed sources, so they had to learn how to find peer-reviewed sources.
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:56 PM   #20
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Our department-wide standard for English 102 is that they have at least 6 sources, and at least 5 of those must be scholarly journals or books. So they have to find the journal articles through an online database, which is our means of deterring reliance of questionable web material. It will be interesting to see how this actually works out.
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Old 09-15-2007, 07:04 PM   #21
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I recently had to write a research paper, back in February/March of this year, and all of our sources had to be 'scholarly' as well. I really hated it. I understand the need to not use questionable web material that could have been put there by anybody, but 'scholarly' limitations block more than that. There could be magazine articles containing information that could be very useful, but it's not 'scholarly', so it can't be used.

'Scholarly' basically means it has to be written by a professor of something from somewhere or a former professor of something from somewhere or someone of equal stature with a PhD. Which is crap. It's elitest. It makes it seem like, if you don't have a doctorate, what you say doesn't matter.
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Old 09-15-2007, 07:25 PM   #22
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We interpreted "scholarly" as "published" (as in, printed, typically in a journal relevant to the topic of the source). There were more specific requirements given if profs wanted only peer-reviewed or only accepted certain journals. There's plenty of published material by John Q Public. Heck, IVE been published and my dog has more letters with her name than I do.
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Old 09-15-2007, 07:47 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje
The general rule was that only .edu web sources were acceptable (b/c lots of graduate students and profs publish their work on their websites or through their university). No .coms, .nets, and preferably no .orgs.
I'm not sure why this should be the rule, to be honest. Nothing I need for my academic research is on a .edu.
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:01 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by namkcuR
I recently had to write a research paper, back in February/March of this year, and all of our sources had to be 'scholarly' as well. I really hated it. I understand the need to not use questionable web material that could have been put there by anybody, but 'scholarly' limitations block more than that. There could be magazine articles containing information that could be very useful, but it's not 'scholarly', so it can't be used.

'Scholarly' basically means it has to be written by a professor of something from somewhere or a former professor of something from somewhere or someone of equal stature with a PhD. Which is crap. It's elitest. It makes it seem like, if you don't have a doctorate, what you say doesn't matter.

The important element in what we require is that the publications are peer-reviewed. Generally, things published commercially are not recommended. There are circumstances when a newspaper article or an editorial in Time Magazine is appropriate, but that's not really my decision. Unfortunately, however, most of the time these documents do not go into the depth you would find in a peer-reviewed journal. Truthfully, the thing that matters most is how the material is integrated into the paper. If the limitations are acknowledged and treated as such, it's not a problem.
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:22 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram


I'm not sure why this should be the rule, to be honest. Nothing I need for my academic research is on a .edu.
Why the .edu is allowed or why the others are not?

Many profs upload all their papers and projects on their own web directories of our .edu so I suppose they thought it would be hypocritical to ban ALL .edu sources. (example: http://www.calvin.edu/~schu/publications/ ). One of our profs is an expert in pre-WWII German propaganda and all of his material (the scans of everything in his collection) is hosted on the school's site (if you Google German Propoganda, the first hit is his page: http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ ). I was once looking for pedigree information on DDR dogs (East German German Shepherds bred behind the iron curtain) and it came up with a hit to that database. Weird.
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:49 PM   #26
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No, I'm wondering why the others are not permissible. You can find a lot on a .org, especially internationally.
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:56 PM   #27
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Who knows. My guess would be that it was b/c the point of the course was helping them learn to use the resources in the libraries and online, so they restricted web sources to force kids to go to the library. If ALL web sources were allowed, I'd wager more than I'm worth that no one would crack a book or search a database.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:56 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by namkcuR
I recently had to write a research paper.... I really hated it.
I thought that was the whole point of research papers.
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Old 09-16-2007, 11:37 PM   #29
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I think you sound like a great teacher, U-L. Are you teaching at a university? I can't tell, and honestly, the overseas tertiary tiers are beyond me. Sorry if that's a dumb question, lol.

I'd honestly quit uni if my degree was handed out and allowed me to fudge my way through things. I'm there because I want to learn. There's only one way to do this, and it does hurt and it is slow going. And with resources, if it isn't peer-reviewed, published, or in an academic database then my uni don't want to know. And neither do I, really. I'll go anywhere for sources and information, but won't cite them. Bibliography yes, reference no. And never wikipedia. Ever. I want Ds and HDs too much to ever fight it.
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Old 09-17-2007, 12:31 AM   #30
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Yeah, I'm working for my master's degree in English at a state school here in Jersey, and because I'm teaching two courses, I get my entire tuition waved and pull in a really nice stipend. Especially since TAs are part of the teachers' union in Jersey.

For some reason I'm wary about saying which school, but the information is readily available in other threads. I'm getting paranoid now. Not really, but still, I feel like I need to be more responsible.

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