Would anyone pay you for this skill?

The 5 Good Habits for Evidence are essential to figuring things out, problem solving, and to critical thinking. They are covered in Getting Started.


Frequently, students who have been rewarded for their actions in the past seem to reevaluate their assumptions only when I ask “If you got really good at doing this, would any business or group want to pay you to do this?”


5 Good Habits for Evidence

Would a Company Want to Pay You for These Skills?

1 Reliable Sources Only


No one would ask you to "Google this for me and copy anything you like from the Internet" and no one would pay you for doing it.

2 Factual Accuracy That You Verify with the Reliable Source Before You Write

No one would pay you if you cannot figure out the question and the right sources to use for that question and figure out what is going on. For example, if your boss asked you to explain why the Dallas plant is failing and instead you investigated the plant in San Antonio, you better have a very good story.

3 Factual Accuracy That Is Verifiable for Every Statement You Make

No one would pay you if someone has to check your work all of the time.


4 No “Half-Copy” Plagiarism or “Patchwriting”[1]

No one would pay you—at least not well—to copy words and move them around. 


If you think STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are just about memorizing, remember these disciplines may require you to be able to repeat terminology accurately, but they always require you to be able to apply knowledge accurately.


Also see Why I Make a Big Deal About "Half-Copy" Plagiarism and "Patchwriting." The reasons may surprise you.

5 Quotation Changes Revealed Clearly


No one would pay you (or want you around) if you are so careless that you:

·         Change the meaning of what others say and write

·         Make others look like they can’t write a correct sentence.





Copyright C. J. Bibus, Ed.D. 2003-2015



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History – Dr. Bibus

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[1] The quoted terms are explained on page 746 in the ninth edition of The Bedford Handbook by Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers.