What the Corresponding Colors Mean in the Student Example and in the Source (the Textbook Pages)

Highlight, blue

Facts do exist for this in the source.

Highlight, pink (a reddish one on pages)

This word is from the source. A few words indicates passive reading; many words, plagiarism or “half-copy” plagiarism. Highlighting a single letter in pink (such as leave) means the student just used a different form (such as left) of a word from the source.

Highlight, yellow

This section of the source is misread or the student never read the required source. Highlighting a quotation mark () indicates the student changed the quotation without revealing the changes.

Highlight, green

Highlighting a quotation mark () indicates the student used the required quotation marks correctly.


Click on the specific link for what you want to hear:

·         If you want to hear how to interpret the highlighting of words in the Student’s Essay

·         If you want to understand how the student lacks this essential Good Habit for Evidence: Reliable Sources Only

·         If you want this student’s work placed in the context of a job – Never practice a skill no one will ever want in the workplace and certainly never have as your habit for work actions that will destroy your reputation.


Student 5—How the Student Did Not Use Reliable Sources and Instead How the Student Chose—Unsuccessfully—Not to Work at All

The student did not use the required reliable sources. Nothing in yellow in the student’s essay comes from the source. The words in yellow are not only from a Wikipedia webpage, but also the same words are copied on many webpages. It is therefore easy to prove that the student chose not to do the work at all. The text is plagiarized from the Internet, the content details are not in our textbook, and—in my view—the presentation is not as wise or useful as the one in our textbook.

Student 5 wrote this answer: Grant's goal of the "peace policy" was to minimize military conflict with the Indians. The Indians were to stay on reservations where they would receive government subsidies and training supervised by religious denominations. Indians were no longer allowed to engage in raids or end war parties off the reservations. The Army's job was to force them back. Native Americans were increasingly forced to live on reservations. Grant appointed his aide General Ely S. Parker, a Seneca Indian, as Commissioner of Indian Affairs. The Grant administration focused on well-meaning goals of placing "good men" in positions of influence such as Quakers as US Indian agents to various posts throughout the nation. 


On the other hand, the Dawes Act of 1887 authorized the President of the United States to survey American Indian tribal land and to divide it into 160-acre plots for individual Indians to assimilate them. The act also provided that the government would open the lands up for settlement by non-Indians.


The good habit for evidence that Student 5 did not follow is:




For your source of facts, use only sources your boss (or professor) accepts as reliable. — For example, unless your boss (or professor) specifically tells you “Google this for me and copy anything you like from the Internet and email it to me,” don’t.



You must use reliable sources to verify everything that you write or say. To verify a fact means to confirm that the reliable source specifically states that fact (whether you wrote the words or the author did). — With bosses (or professors), you will be in trouble if you are incorrect, so never guess and instead verify before you write or speak.



If a boss (or professor) asks you for the proof of something that you said or wrote, you must be able to state the name of the reliable source and exactly where (a specific page) in that source that each fact came from (whether you wrote the words or the author did). — With bosses (or professors), you cannot just claim that a specific page provides evidence. If a reasonable person using a reliable dictionary and reading the entire passage on that page would not agree that you provided evidence, then neither will your boss (or professor).



If you use words (even phrases) created by another person, then follow standards for using quotation marks (“”) to reveal clearly to your reader what words you created and what words the author created. — This is a requirement in courses, and in some jobs failure to do this is a firing offense.



If you use quotation marks (“”) to reveal words created by another person but you change those words, then carefully reveal those changes by following standards for using quotation marks (“”), ellipses (…), and/or square brackets ([ ]). This may not be just a punctuation error. — Instead, by your changes, you may be misleading your reader about the evidence, and never mislead a boss (or professor) about the evidence.


In most of the other 4 Student examples, this section provides highlighted pages from the textbook. In this case, that is not useful because nothing in yellow in the student’s essay comes from the source. It’s from many webpages that had the same words. It is plagiarized from the Internet.


If you think TurnItIn.com is necessary, it is not. Usually—if a professor is accustomed to language as it is used to explain different content and experienced in a discipline—a professor can recognize plagiarized sources. Entering the right search phrase can prove the work is plagiarized.


If you want to see the pages from the source, click on the links for what our textbook says about Grant’s “Peace Policy” and about the Dawes Severalty Act. 













Think about this for a moment:

·         If students can use any source, professors cannot efficiently prove that the student’s statements are factually incorrect.

·         If students must use required, reliable sources, students must prove their accuracy.

This model for responsibility is closer to the business world: bosses will know if you are inaccurate or, if they believe you and if you are factually incorrect, you will face the consequences.













As for the grade, the student earns a 0. (See the rubric and the syllabus on 0 for these actions.)




Copyright C. J. Bibus, Ed.D. 2003-2014



WCJC Department:

History – Dr. Bibus

Contact Information:

281.239.1577 or bibusc@wcjc.edu

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