Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Just Saying

Dear student: when you're looking for sources, Holocaust denial and white supremacist websites are probably not the best places to go for information about Jewish immigration. Just sayin'.

14 comments:

  1. But, they were on the internet so they must be true...

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  2. Are you sure you're just sayin'? Or are you super saiyan?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRkOdceXZMo

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    1. I know what you're sayin'

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhCP-kosJKg

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  3. Yah. I had a student turn in a term paper with three sources, on global warming: two of them by professional deniers, and the other a book written for 8-year-olds.

    The paper read like it was written by an 8-year-old, so it worked out.

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  4. Ugh. But I did the research and all...

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  5. OMG I love finals/ papers week on CM.

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  6. Had 2 students hand in essays on topics that I had assigned last year. FAIL.

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  7. Similarly, writing a methodology paper about radiocarbon dating using creationist websites is also not a good idea - it is NOT "the greatest pack of lies and hoax ever perpetrated on society, ever!"

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  8. A moment of playing Flakes' Advocate, such sites would be appropriate if one was writing on how not to properly source a scholarly paper.

    As sad as the reality of students' accepting such sites uncritically as legitimate information, the trend I'm seeing from the "It was on the Interwebz, so it must be true" mindset are the number of citation of undergraduate term papers. It appears course assignments are now reachable by The Google because they are posted on some form of university cyber-bulletin board. The flakes skip right over the title page which clearly says "Final paper, Hamster Fur Weaving 101, Big Fat University, by: S.N. O'Flake."

    Of course, for my students, the oversight might be understandable because, as they do not feel obligated to include title pages themselves, seeing one might be too confusing.

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  9. O my dear and fluffy lord, do I feel your pain...Despite showing them how to use the library (we go there) and the electronic databases (O Ebscohost! O LexisNexis Academic! O CQ Researcher!) and how to use NoodleTools (the full version, which my uni pays for), they still rely on the Intertubez. I have a rule, implemented a few years ago, that on their final research project, no more than TWO sources can come from the web-at-large (Google, etc.). That has cut down on the amount of crap that gets cited, but I *still* have students who try to end-run around the requirements. I posted at this time last year about the classes that didn't follow directions, (and I can't figure out how to link in the comments, so here is the link http://collegemisery.blogspot.com/b/post-preview?token=OiFYrz4BAAA.n0IZ4-BHAIGHM7YyHpsfUA.qtzE6-neK6q1UhxCuE77RQ&postId=8955747314946948766&type=POST )

    I am working my way through this semester's batch. Right now the average is a C. Many of them still didn't follow MLA format (despite lessons, worksheets, and conferences). I have plans for drinking as soon as I am done (30 to go). And I have one post I need to write, but that has to wait until the bonfire this student is going to set dies down. The short version is that he doesn't recognize my authority to tell him that he can't write about *emotional topic* for a researched argument. When I tried to re-direct him, he dug in his heels instead, and is threatening the campus (not me personally) with a protest by his organization. I even tried to offer an extension and a chance to re-do the project with more guidance from me. He didn't take it. And his essay sits in the digital box. On the plus side, I'm not going to get to it until after this week is out, and classes are done.

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    1. I will add that website requirement. I may limit it to one (1).

      We use Chicago style footnotes which I much, much prefer to MLA. Alas, the proper Chicago style now requires (according to some guides) that you list the url for a journal article if the student found it in a database like jstor. ARGH. That really clogs up the footnotes. Who cares if you found the journal in jstor, ProQuest or in a hard-copy on the shelf! It's the same damn journal with the same frelling page numbers!!!!

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    2. MLA no longer requires the URL, perhaps for the reason you cite, though the database should be listed. I hate CMS, but that's probably because I teach MLA, and when a journal requires CMS I have to go back in and teach myself.

      Good luck!

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    3. I dislike MLA because I find the inline citations awkward and distracting. And CMS footnotes allow room for discussion of side issues and for the author to make comments.

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