Educators can specify at least 100 reasons to assign critical precis, reports, reviews, theses, and other types of academic writings to mentees. Such tasks enhance the brain functions and critical thinking, help students shape an opinion intelligibly and argumentatively, allow them to clarify thoughts on a particular subject, summarize and highlight the crucial information.
Plus, essays are a great way of learning new material, and they help to improve writing skills.
It’s all well and good but tell it to Sweeny, not students! A teacher’s 100 reasons why academic writing is useful will meet a stumbling block of other 100 reasons from a student on why it’s not so.
Academic writing is a nightmare for many. When assigning an essay, a report, or a short story, teachers can see that pain in mentees’ eyes. Students will stop at nothing to avoid that writing fate. Including plagiarism and hiring someone to write essays for them.
The Problem of Custom Writing Services
This story is as old as Adam. Students don’t hesitate to pay for essays, and they hardly understand all the consequences of plagiarism, especially unobvious ones such as spoon-fed iteration, demotivation, atrophy of critical thinking, a weaker immune system, etc.
But why are they ready to risk and cheat teachers?
• Custom essays save time.
• They are relatively cheap.
• Such papers are often written by professionals. (The story of Ed Dante, a professor who created essays for students and got paid for that, shocked educators back then.)
Besides of that, let admit it, many students are lazybones and procrastinators. As a teacher, you can help them fall in love with academic writing, but it’s a quite challenging task. While educators do their best to change students’ mindset and attitude toward homework, some careless mentees continue jeopardizing their reputation and ignoring moral issues as well as the risk of expulsion.
The last but not least reason of choosing those services is the fact they sell fictions that custom essays are hard to detect with plagiarism checkers because authors don’t copy but write them from scratch. So it becomes more challenging for teachers to expose deception.
The Problem of Plagiarism
Hidden plagiarism, in particular.
Teachers are experts in plagiarism disclosure. Especially if a student didn’t even try to uniqualize the piece: wrong paraphrasing and a reference citing give them away.
Online tools like Plagiarism Check, Grammarly Plag Cheker, UniCheck, and others help because they find paraphrase plagiarism and synonyms though don’t flag widely accepted short phrases. But the problem of wrong referencing remains vital because checkers recognize title pages, citations, and references in college papers without considering them a plagiarism.
How to Solve the Problem?
To motivate and encourage students, several tricks are a must-try.
First of all, teachers can practice different types of writing with mentees: poems, songs, texts for commercial – the more options they give, the more chances are students will find a writing form to enjoy. Also, educators might let students choose a topic of a future essay: it often happens that schoolers hate writing because they simply don’t know what to write on the assigned topic.
Here are several options to try:
• Practice daily writing sessions with students.
• Use free writing sessions to develop creativity.
• Encourage students to draw mind maps and use various graphic organizers, which help to remember and manage ideas in writing.
Another way to make students forget about custom services and plagiarism is… blogging in classrooms. AAE Teachers reveal the reasons why today students enjoy this instrument and what teachers get from blogging: educators use it to enhance writing, develop computer skills, and help students build online portfolios.
More than that, blogging could be a great instrument to improve the educational system: it allows students to stay digital and enjoy technologies in classrooms; also, it increases their level of engagement as well as develop students’ critical thinking. Teachers can use blogging to establish their mentees’ sense of ownership, either.
For educators, blogging in classrooms has apparent advantages as well. First, it eases the process of teaching, excusing mentors from paper work: digital platforms are what Gen Z prefer today, so it would be better to post lessons and presentations online. Second, educators could use a blog to post homework as well as create a dashboard for their students to do homework there. And third, blogging has all chances to become that very thread connecting educators and mentees for better networking.
Free writing, mind maps, creative writing forms, and blogging are alternatives to traditional academic papers, able to promote a love of writing for students and bring to naught their temptation of plagiarizing from others. Lessons on proper referencing and citing help a lot, too: in their writings, students will borrow the knowledge of predecessors one way or another; so it’s crucial for them to understand where and how they should cite, as well as where and how they might consider a paraphrase as an option.
A complete giving up of academic essays is not the point here. The idea is that teachers shouldn’t keep themselves inside the boundaries of format when it comes to students’ engagement and success.
Lesley is a language teacher for high school students. Currently blogging for PlagiarismCheck, she also shares her experience by contributing to publications.