What Comparing Students’ Sources with Students’ Work Shows Your Instructor, Researchers, and You


The Research

Your Instructor’s Surveys of Students

How Your Instructor Grades with the Source and Your Writing Side by Side

The Research

The research below was done by comparing students’ work with their sources. This research that compares students’ work with their sources shows many students do not understand the basics of evidence:

1.     91% of examples showed that students did not understand the basics of evidence.
The Citation Project
– 20 researchers, 164 papers from “first year composition classes” in many types of institutions in 12 states, and 1,832 citations

If You Want More: For a short summary of the Citation Project, click here. For a link to an article on the Citation project in 2011, click The Citation Project




2.    All of the papers (18 of 18) in a “research writing course” for sophomores at a “well-regarded college” showed they did not understand the basic Good Habit of Evidence that you must read and understand the whole to write about it. You can’t figure something out if all you do is copy sentences.
Quotation from the Article Explaining This 2007 Research: The students “worked at the sentence level only, selecting and replicating isolated sentences and weaving them into their arguments.… A writer who works only at the sentence level must always quote or paraphrase.“ [bold added]


If You Want More: For a link to an article referring to this 2007 research, click “Plagiarism in the Internet Age.”  It is covered in the section entitled “Teach Summarizing.” Their use of the term summarizing requires a minimum reduction in words of 50%.


Your Instructor’s Surveys of Students

Related information comes from students’ statements in surveys collected in my classes since Spring 2011. Year after year, students responses usually showed over 60% did not know prior to the feedback in the class that they needed to be factually accurate and complete when writing about history.

If You Want More: For a link to a table showing the survey results, click Surveys of students from Spring 2011 on whether they need to be factually accurate when writing about history



How Your Instructor Grades with the Source and Your Writing Side by Side

Your sources are where you get your evidence for what you figure out and what you write and say about reality (such as history, biology, technology, and business). In your future, the people who evaluate what you write and say will all be experts in their fields. Upper level professors who might give you a reference if you excel will be experts; your bosses will be experts. They will know if you are faking understanding or, if they can’t be sure, they will ask you for proof in a source they consider reliable. Comparing your work with the source shows everything about the evidence—and your work.

I grade students’ written assignments by comparing side by side what you wrote with the source you were to read.  Click if you want to see:
A visual example of how I grade http://www.cjbibus.com/Getting_Started_FAQs_Evidence_How_the_Instructor_Grades_Your_WrittenAssignments.htm

How grading with a source changes grading itself




WCJC Department:

History – Dr. Bibus

Contact Information:

281.239.1577 or bibusc@wcjc.edu

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