with the ‘P’ that stands for Plagiarised

An open letter to Grade X – you little buggers know who you are.

This is your English teacher. Yes, the gringa one, with the glasses and the bad hair. The new one. The British one who dresses badly. Yep, got it? That one.

It’s been a difficult year for us, and I feel it’s time to talk about our relationship. I don’t want to break any more plates or glassware so I’m going to make an effort to make this a civilised conversation. Please grunt to acknowledge that you’ve understood. Good, thanks.

I was pleased to see you’d done your homework. Well done. There’s a first time for everything, and I’d like to encourage your blossoming steps in the right direction. Let me get that out there right away. This is cause for hope and celebration.

I was also very impressed with some of the varied and interesting vocabulary you used to complete this work. I was particularly glad to see that some of the vocabulary items you usually copy down, look up and then assiduously forget had resurfaced. Well done.

But let us come to the ‘however’ part of this conversation. I can see from the shuffling of your feet that you know it’s coming and you’d rather get it out of the way. And I guess, from the stricken looks on your faces, that you’ve guessed what it might be about. Would anybody like to tell me anything about how they completed this homework? Oh? I see. So because you’d temporarily misplaced your book, you thought it was ok to read an internet summary and then summarise that summary. Using the same words. In the same order. Right.

How about you? We’ve had this conversation before, quite recently, you may recall. You forgot that you’d plagiarised for this assignment as well, I see. And you haven’t looked over any of your work since our last discussion. Well, perhaps there is more than one lesson to be learned from this incident for you, what a bonus.

And you two? Well, thank goodness one of you hasn’t learned enough from classes this year to put the right words in the right order to complain, there’s a silver lining. And the other? Your face pretty clearly says, “It’s a fair cop, guv,” so we’ll leave it at that. After last term’s cheating incident speaking to your mother is going to be a pleasure and a delight, but I guess each of us has our cross to bear.

Well, grade X, it was certainly flattering when you said last week that you’d rather be suspended by me than have lessons with Mr X any day of the week, but this wasn’t quite what I envisioned you meant; I thought you were speaking figuratively, not making a reservation.

Yes, you’re dismissed. Shuffle on out of here and spread the word: the Ms’s plagiarism checker is still plugged in and working at 100% efficiency. Not that she needs it – the day you all stop plagiarising from Wikipedia the whole faculty will be in trouble.

Fortunately, I don’t think that day is coming any time soon.

Assignment part 1

Assignment part 2

Total (of 20)

TOTAL

Comment

Xxxx Xxxx

14

0 0 0

P

Xxxx Xxxx

12

0 0 0

P

Xxxx Xxxx

16

0 0 0

P

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