If a teacher assigned your child the same essay she assigned last year, would u let your child...

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Posted 12/5/2012 by Lilina* in NSBR Board


PeaNut 526,033
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:31:08 AM
hand in the same one he handed last year? At my 7th grade son's school there is only one Spanish teacher. Approximately every 2 weeks she assigns 1-page essays dealing Spanish culture, and we've noticed that many of the topics she has assigned this year are the same ones she assigned last year. He still has all his last year's work saved on the computer so he asked me what I thought about him just printing out the old one and handing it in again (he got an A the first time). It seems kind of silly to me to make him do the same work all over again, especially when he did it well the first time around. What do you all think?


PeaNut 205,553
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:34:29 AM
I think the level of work expected from a 7th grader is not the same as is expected from a 6th grader, and the essay may not receive an A the second time around. The topic may be the same, but I would assume that the teacher expects a different perspective, a more mature treatment of the topic or more detail as the student progresses through the years.

To answer your question, no, I would not allow my child to hand in the same essay again.


PeaNut 129,041
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:35:14 AM
Did he ask his teacher about it?

I'd probably have him update last year's one and turn it in. Hopefully his Spanish is better this year and he can improve the essay.


PeaNut 526,033
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:37:11 AM

Hopefully his Spanish is better this year and he can improve the essay.

Oops, let me clarify. The essays are in English...they just deal with topics about Spanish and Latino culture.


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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:40:46 AM
In college that won't pass muster. I wouldn't start him on a habit to be broken. He is a year older, a year more mature, a year more insightful.

I would think 6th grade work isn't up to 7th grade standards. Teach him a good work ethic, not how to slide by.

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PeaNut 275,594
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:41:01 AM
I would have him use last year's essay but add more detailed and new information.


PeaNut 434,842
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:45:45 AM
I would have my daughter re-do them since she's older and capable of more than the year before. Also, it's homework and the expectation is that you do some work at home. Handing old stuff in just avoids doing the work. I would let her use the research she did the previous year, but I would expect her to do more research to supplement it with more interesting/detailed/insightful information, and re-wirte in a a more mature way.


PeaNut 13,690
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:49:16 AM
Just because his teacher is lazy doesn't mean he needs to be too. He needs to write a new different essay. Hopefully his quality of writing and level of Spanish has improved over the year.


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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:52:38 AM
Heck no, I wouldn't let him do that.

Do you feel like he learned every thing he could from the topic last year? Because unless he did, there's always *more* to learn.


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PeaNut 82,319
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:55:22 AM
Nope. Because you can get in trouble for plagiarizing yourself.

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PeaNut 104,551
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Posted: 12/5/2012 8:01:07 AM
I would not. He's a year older and I would expect more detailed work out of him. I'd say he could use his own work as a reference, but he needs to rewrite the essay more detailed than before.


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PeaNut 167,524
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Posted: 12/5/2012 8:01:12 AM
No, it's called self-plagiarization and won't pass muster with most teachers. Your son should look for a new twist on the topic and rewrite.


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PeaNut 74,479
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Posted: 12/5/2012 8:05:03 AM
I'm a high school teacher and I think it is ok for him to improve upon his essays and then hand them in. What a dumb teacher. I bet she doesn't take them too seriously if she's repeating topics. Also, I think English essays in Spanish is just creating busy work. It would be way better to do a small paragraph in Spanish then an essay in English. Besides, how much could she expect if she assigns them weekly. I would get she just calls these essays but really they're small research assignments. Even a student in grade 7 writes an essay in more than one page.



PeaNut 259,367
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Posted: 12/5/2012 8:34:45 AM
I think the teacher may be looking for growth.

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Posted: 12/5/2012 8:39:47 AM
I would use the old one as a base, but I WOULD have him step it up.

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Posted: 12/5/2012 9:35:21 AM
No. My child would be writing a new one.

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Posted: 12/5/2012 9:38:25 AM
Have him rewrite it in Spanish. That would show growth.
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PeaNut 15,108
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Posted: 12/5/2012 9:38:27 AM
Universities generally have policies against self-plagiarism, so I would err on the side of writing a completely new essay, as that will be the expectation he will face in the future. Is there a reason he cannot just ask the teacher?

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PeaNut 428,374
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Posted: 12/5/2012 9:41:11 AM
No I would have him do it again. Every time he writes an essay he learns something from it- it's about the process as much as the end result in my opinion.

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Posted: 12/5/2012 10:12:37 AM
While re-doing it or updating at the minimum is probably the "best" answer, aka "correct" answer.

I will fully admit that I have not only allowed, but at times encouraged my kids to re-use work that they have done. When they are sitting there spending hours on homework, studying, etc, stressing about how much they have and how they can't get it all done. Sure have. They did the work the first time, I see no reason for them to re-invent the wheel.

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Posted: 12/5/2012 10:25:58 AM
IF my kid asked me, I would tell him about the essay that I got an A on in high school AP class, which I was sure would impress one of my college professors in freshman year. My prof was so impressed that I got a big ol' C with the comment that my "insights" were pedestrian.
I deserved that.

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PeaNut 271,408
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Posted: 12/5/2012 10:34:28 AM
As long as they update, revise, edit, polish it up as needed - sure. No point in reinventing the wheel.

If my boss wants a presentation on the same topic we presented last year, I just make updates as needed and call it good.


PeaNut 528,538
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Posted: 12/5/2012 10:36:18 AM
I would not, he can write a new one like everyone else in his class. In college reusing a paper for another class is considered cheating and is taken very seriously.
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Posted: 12/5/2012 10:45:58 AM
We encountered this in an English course.

Dd revised and improved the previous work. In the end, it had some of the same elements, but was definitely a more mature essay.

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Posted: 12/5/2012 1:15:00 PM
Redo the essay.

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After first year French, all our essays were written in French. In DD's & DS's experiences, after their first semester, all written work was done in French

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PeaNut 508,279
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Posted: 12/5/2012 2:04:58 PM
I'd have him do a new essay.


PeaNut 486,917
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Posted: 12/5/2012 2:07:05 PM
It is perfectly acceptable to review then expand upon previous works. I would not, however, turn in the same, exact paper.

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PeaNut 52,817
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Posted: 12/5/2012 2:08:30 PM

It's basically self-plagiarism. Turning in the same work for more than one class without specific permission is cheating.


PeaNut 155,670
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Posted: 12/5/2012 3:16:39 PM
Absolutely not. Children are bright and innovative. He should write a new essay.

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PeaNut 12,875
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Posted: 12/5/2012 3:31:13 PM

I think the teacher may be looking for growth.

If it is the same teacher, she may very well be looking to see how much better they are at writing. She may have kept copies of last year's essays for this purpose. I would have him rewrite the paper.


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Posted: 12/5/2012 3:45:54 PM
No I wouldn't.

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Posted: 12/5/2012 4:46:04 PM

Teach him a good work ethic, not how to slide by.


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PeaNut 163,613
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Posted: 12/5/2012 5:28:05 PM
No. I'd have him write a new one. He learns nothing from turning in last years work. And if she actually read them last year shell remember.

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PeaNut 359,333
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Posted: 12/5/2012 6:35:18 PM
In college they consider it plagerism because it still isn't your original work and you aren't referencing your original work as a source. No. I would have them write a new paper.


PeaNut 567,623
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Posted: 12/5/2012 6:35:39 PM
I'd have him write a new one, and as the parent I would write a note to the teacher and tell her to invest a little more time into lesson planning and to come up with some new topics instead of continuing to recycle the old ones. There has to be an investment in education from both the student and the educator.
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PeaNut 60,649
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Posted: 12/5/2012 6:37:16 PM

He is obviously expected to build on last year's attempt.

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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:22:44 PM
I would have him tweek it but i dont see why he should have to redo the whole thing start to finish just update the old one


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PeaNut 81,645
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:28:03 PM
Is the actual essay the same or just the topic? It's possible she taught something in class (say point of view) and wants them to use that to guide the writing of their essay.



PeaNut 65,372
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Posted: 12/6/2012 8:19:41 PM
I am really glad to see the responses about plagiarism. This is a very serious academic violation (plagiarism) and can result in a student failing the entire course. Turning in a paper that you wrote for a different assignment/class is plagiarism. It is never ok. I know it's tempting...but don't do it!


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Posted: 12/7/2012 3:27:08 AM

In a word No.

I would like to think that the student had matured and could write an essay with more depth and understanding of the topic than what was required 12 months ago.


PeaNut 118,730
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Posted: 12/7/2012 3:51:07 AM
Does he have to turn in Bibliography with his essay. If so let him use last years as reference material but he needs a whole new essay and some new material. However he can reference the old stuff. In college once you start publishing papers people are always referencing their old papers.


PeaNut 390,672
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Posted: 12/7/2012 4:53:43 AM
Personally, I would either ask for a new topic or go in a different direction on the same topic.

I would tell my kid the same thing. Handing in the same paper is sort of cheating, and rewriting on the same topic is boring.
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