Hundreds of students get into troubles being accused of academic plagiarism due to inability to properly cite their sources.
15 January, 2014
Good news! Our blog has been nominated for the best educational resource devoted to academic writing of 2013.
When you are struggling with the formatting of any essay or research paper, the best thing you can do is work with a sample. Many students benefit from seeing what a research paper should look like so they can emulate the format using their own words. Students often get hung up on what the paper should look like, so they stumble over their words and thoughts. With a sample by their side, they tend not to cheat. Instead they use the sample almost like a fill-in-the-blank form.
Many instructors are hesitant to give their students sample papers to use when they write their research papers. Instructors fear that those papers will become fodder for cheaters who will try to use them to get out of working or sell them to unsuspecting students who might think they are getting a fresh paper to turn in for credit. What instructors often fail to recognize is the fact that model papers really do help students succeed. Students who are visual or tactile learners benefit greatly from having a model next to them. They do not copy the words or phrases, but they do copy the layout of the paper.
With a sample, students can see what a successful hook, bridge, and thesis statement should look like. They can read the flow and notice the use of the transitions. They can see how many sentences students used for the introduction which allows students to stay close to that number. They might borrow a transition or two, simply because the same transitions tend to be used in an introductory paragraph.
Students also use sample papers to see what to put in the body paragraphs. Students who are new to research paper writing will be able to see how the writer used the topic sentences to refer back to the thesis. They will also be able to see how the writer supported the topic sentences with ideas and then used actual research to help back up that support. Students will also be able to see what the in-text documentation looks like, too. They can also see how the citation referred to the source material listed on the works cited page. This is often the biggest help for students who need to use a sample for support.
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