May 14, 2007

Aren't There Some Dumb Questions?

Research papers are due for peer evaluation tomorrow. Papers were assigned weeks ago. This isn't the first paper we've written this year. The following question from one of my students made me want to poke my eyes out with dull kid scissors:

How do you write a research paper?

I probed him about a few things, but he claimed he didn't know how to do any of it. I could understand if he needed help with parenthetical documentation, or if I had to go over citation tips again, but he wanted all of it?

Did he expect me to give him the simple answer or redo the unit we did last quarter? Oh! He remembered the unit, but he did not do the paper. Between the two of us, we're a disaster. I have obviously not gotten the concept through to him, and he has chosen not to attempt anything that would allow me to give him feedback. It's nice that he's finally reaching out for help, right? This has been going on for weeks, and it took up a good chunk of last quarter and TODAY he decides to play along with the rest of us.

And for goodness sake, is this the first year ever that he has had to write a research paper? Did he just fall off the turnip truck?

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