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Quiet spoken and shy, ******** often came late to class. He was unable to participate group and class discussions. As the college composition class imposed its reading and writing demands, ******** started to miss class, particularly when there were scheduled writing and reading workshops. During the writing workshops, students were required to read and critique each others’ essays, while, during the reading workshops, students answered rhetorical questions about assigned textbook readings. He did not participate in these workshops.
On his first 4-5 page writing assignment, he was given a no credit. His essay did not address the writing task. I referred him to the syllabus which discussed the writing assignment in detail and encouraged him to rewrite the essay. He never did.
On his second writing assignment, a 6-7 page analytical research paper, he submitted his first draft on the last day of class. He had been encouraged to submit the paper a week earlier so that he would have time to rewrite the paper if needed. He did not make that deadline.
Nonetheless, I was excited that he had finished the paper and hoped that he would should signs of improvement but, as I read his essay, there were tell-tale indicators of plagiarism.
First, there was no works cited section at the end of the paper. Second, there were no in-text citations attributing his external source material he used to write the essay.
Because of these two red flags, I googled some of the sentences he wrote in his essay, and to my disappointment, I discovered that he had copied most of his paper from http://en.wikipedia.org. In short, he had plagiarized most of the essay. A form of academic dishonesty, plagiarism resulted in his receiving a failing grade in my English composition class. Additionally, he was reported to Academic Affairs and faces possible probation or expulsion from the university.
******** had passed the TOEFL but was not prepared to handle university level writing and reading. These shortfalls forced him to copy his paper because he could not do it on his own.
In conclusion, I ask you, the student, these questions:
How prepared are you to write and read college level materials?
Do you know how to integrate outside sources into your writing by way of direct quotes, paraphrases, and summaries?
Can you read and understand college level textbooks?
Do you have the academic speaking skills so that you can talk about college level reading with classmates?
If not, what will you do to learn these academic writing, reading, and speaking proficiencies?
My purpose in creating Better TOEFL Scores is not just to help you pass the TOEFL iBT but to prepare you for the rigors of being an undergraduate or graduate student at an English-speaking university. I want you to be successful.
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