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Date: Jan 22, 2008
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: 2:02 - 478.4KB - 32kbps
Online Test: Recreate the text in this online test.

1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE

Cut-and-paste essays a problem in schools

A survey by Britain’s Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has revealed that 58 percent of British teachers believe online plagiarism (copying work from the Internet) is a serious problem. Estimates are that over a quarter of students’ work includes writing that was cut-and-pasted directly from a website. ATL general-secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: "Teachers are struggling under a mountain of cut-and-pasting to spot….plagiarism." One shocked teacher explained she had work “so blatantly cut-and-pasted that it still contained adverts from the Web page!" Dr Bousted added that putting so much emphasis on passing tests meant students were not learning. "Unsurprisingly, pupils are using all the means available to push up their coursework marks, often at the expense of any real understanding of the subjects they are studying," she said.


 
 

To tackle this issue, many high schools are trying out software that can easily spot plagiarized work. The Turnitin programme is used by universities across the world. Teachers can highlight a block of text they believe was copied and the software searches the Internet to see if it is already online. William Murray, a Turnitin spokesman, said the Internet made it easy for students to cheat. He pointed to the hundreds of sites that offer sample essays and essay-writing services. He added that students often do not know they are cheating when they copy-and-paste from the Web. This view is supported by teacher Diana Barker, who said: "I think the majority of students who engage in plagiarism do it more out of ignorance than the desire to cheat.” Dr Bousted noted that: “Pupils are the real losers because they lack the skills they appear to have.”

WARM-UPS

1. CHEATING: Walk around the class and talk to other students about cheating. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your original partner(s) and share what you found out.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

surveys / copying / cut and paste / struggling / Web page adverts / coursework / software / text / cheats / essay writing / ignorance / losers / lacking skills

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. CHEATING: Talk with your partner(s) about the points below. Are they examples of cheating? Do you do any of them? Rank them: 10 = very serious, 1 = not at all serious. Change partners and share your findings.

a.    _____ looking at the answers in the back of the book

b.    _____ using an Internet essay-writing service

c.     _____ looking at the answers of the person next to you in an exam

d.    _____ copying and pasting text from an Internet site for use in your essay

e.    _____ stealing the answer key to a test from the teacher’s drawer

f.     _____ asking a friend about the questions to a test they had just taken

g.    _____ sharing answers to the exam using Bluetooth

h.    _____ writing spellings and grammar rules on your arm

4. TEACHER PROBLEMS: Talk with your partner(s) about these problems teachers struggle with. Agree on the three biggest and smallest. Change partners and share your findings.

  • students cheating
  • in-class violence
  • marking homework
  • classroom noise
  • technology
  • too many students in a class
  • discipline
  • salary
  • school management
  • resources and materials

5. CHEAT: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘cheat’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

6. QUICK ROLE PLAY: Student A strongly believes that any student caught cheating should be expelled from school; Student B strongly believes cheating is a useful tool to have in life and should be encouraged in schools. Change partners again and talk about your roles and conversations.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

Many British teachers are worried about cheating students.

T / F

b.

Over half of students’ work has been copied from the Internet.

T / F

c.

Some students forget to remove the Web ads from what they copy.

T / F

d.

An expert suggested cheating can lead to more understanding.

T / F

e.

Schools are now using software to detect work copied online.

T / F

f.

A company spokesman said the Internet made cheating difficult.

T / F

g.

One teacher said many students don’t know that copying is wrong.

T / F

h.

An expert said that schools are the real losers when pupils cheat.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

1.

survey

a.

shown

2

revealed

b.

do

3.

struggling

c.

deal with

4.

blatantly

d.

highlighted

5.

emphasis

e.

battling

6.

tackle

f.

obviously

7.

spot

g.

lack of knowledge

8.

pointed to

h.

importance

9.

engage in

i.

questionnaire

10.

ignorance

j.

find

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

1.

online

a.

to cheat

2

copying work

b.

plagiarism

3.

Teachers are struggling under a mountain

c.

they believe was copied

4.

so much emphasis on passing tests meant

d.

their coursework marks

5.

using all the means available to push up

e.

of cut-and-pasting

6.

To tackle this

f.

losers

7.

Teachers can highlight a block of text

g.

issue

8.

He pointed to the hundreds of sites that

h.

from the Internet

9.

more out of ignorance than the desire

i.

students were not learning

10.

Pupils are the real

j.

offer sample essays

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

A __________ by Britain’s Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has revealed that 58 percent of British teachers believe __________ plagiarism (copying work from the Internet) is a serious problem. Estimates are that over a __________ of students’ work includes writing that was cut-and-pasted __________ from a website. ATL general-secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: "Teachers are struggling under a __________ of cut-and-pasting to spot….plagiarism." One shocked teacher explained she had work “so blatantly cut-and-pasted that it still __________ adverts from the Web page!" Dr Bousted added that putting so much emphasis on passing tests meant students were not learning. "Unsurprisingly, pupils are using all the means available to __________ up their coursework marks, often at the expense of any __________ understanding of the subjects they are studying," she said.

 

directly
mountain
online
push
survey
quarter
real
contained

To __________ this issue, many high schools are trying out software that can easily __________ plagiarized work. The Turnitin programme is used by universities across the world. Teachers can highlight a __________ of text they believe was copied and the software searches the Internet to see if it is already online. William Murray, a Turnitin spokesman, said the Internet __________ it easy for students to cheat. He pointed to the hundreds of sites that offer sample essays and essay-writing __________. He added that students often do not know they are cheating when they copy-and-paste from the Web. This __________ is supported by teacher Diana Barker, who said: "I think the majority of students who engage in plagiarism do it more out of ignorance than the __________ to cheat.” Dr Bousted noted that: “Pupils are the real losers because they lack the __________ they appear to have.”

 

services
 block

skills
view
made
tackle
desire
spot

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

A survey by Britain’s Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) _____________________ 58 percent of British teachers believe online plagiarism (copying work from the Internet) is a serious problem. _____________________ a quarter of students’ work includes writing that was cut-and-pasted _____________________ website. ATL general-secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: "Teachers are struggling under a mountain of cut-and-pasting to spot….plagiarism." One shocked teacher explained she had _____________________ cut-and-pasted that it still contained adverts from the Web page!" Dr Bousted added that putting ___________________ passing tests meant students were not learning. "Unsurprisingly, pupils are using _____________________ to push up their coursework marks, often _____________________ real understanding of the subjects they are studying," she said.

_____________________, many high schools are trying out software that can easily spot plagiarized work. The Turnitin programme is used by universities across the world. Teachers _____________________ text they believe was copied and the software searches the Internet to see if it is already online. William Murray, a Turnitin spokesman, said the Internet made it easy for students to cheat. He _____________________ of sites that offer sample essays and essay-writing services. He added that students often do not know they are cheating when they copy-and-paste from the Web. This _____________________ teacher Diana Barker, who said: "I think the majority of students who engage in plagiarism _____________________ ignorance than the desire to cheat.” Dr Bousted noted that: “Pupils _____________________ because they lack the skills they appear to have.”


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘cut’ and ‘paste’.

cut

paste

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • revealed
  • quarter
  • mountain
  • adverts
  • emphasis
  • push up
  • tackle
  • block
  • easy
  • services
  • supported
  • lack

STUDENT PLAGIARISM SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about plagiarism in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

Q.2.

Q.3.

Q.4.

Q.5.

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘cheating’?

c)

Have you ever cheated?

d)

What do you understand about the word ‘plagiarism’?

e)

What do you think teachers need to do to stop their students plagiarizing from the Internet?

f)

What do students need to do if they cut and paste work from the Internet and put it in their essay?

g)

Who do you think of the student who forgot to take the website adverts off the text (s)he pasted from the Internet?

h)

What punishment should students receive for plagiarism?

i)

What means have you used to push up your coursework marks or exam grades?

--------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you think cheating is a good or bad thing?

c)

What do you think of the new Turnitin software?

d)

Do you think the new software will stop students from cheating?

e)

Does cheating get you ahead in life?

f)

Would you use or have you ever used an Internet essay-writing service?

g)

Do you think websites that have sample essays are useful to find examples of good model answers?

h)

Do you think pupils are the real losers if they cheat and then pass all their exams?

i)

Did you like this discussion?

LANGUAGE

CORRECT WORD: Put the correct words from a–d below in the article.

A (1) ____ by Britain’s Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has revealed that 58 percent of British teachers (2) ____ online plagiarism (copying work from the Internet) is a serious problem. Estimates are that over a quarter of students’ work (3) ____ writing that was cut-and-pasted directly from a website. ATL general-secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: "Teachers are struggling (4) ____ a mountain of cut-and-pasting to spot….plagiarism." One shocked teacher explained she had work “so blatantly cut-and-pasted that it still contained adverts from the Web page!" Dr Bousted (5) ____ that putting so much emphasis on passing tests meant students were not learning. "Unsurprisingly, pupils are using all the (6) ____ available to push up their coursework marks, often at the expense of any real understanding of the subjects they are studying," she said.

To tackle this issue, many high schools are trying (7) ____ software that can easily spot plagiarized work. The Turnitin programme is used by universities across the world. Teachers can highlight a (8) ____ of text they believe was copied and the software searches the Internet to see if it is already online. William Murray, a Turnitin spokesman, said the Internet (9) ____ it easy for students to cheat. He pointed to the hundreds of sites that offer sample essays and essay-writing services. He added that students often do not know they are cheating when they copy-and-paste from the Web. This view is supported (10) ____ teacher Diana Barker, who said: "I think the majority of students who engage in plagiarism do it more out (11) ____ ignorance than the desire to cheat.” Dr Bousted noted that: “Pupils are the real losers because they (12) ____ the skills they appear to have.”

1.

(a)

surveillance

(b)

scurvy

(c)

surfing

(d)

survey

2.

(a)

believe

(b)

belief

(c)

believes

(d)

beliefs

3.

(a)

include

(b)

includes

(c)

including

(d)

inclusion

4.

(a)

over

(b)

on top of

(c)

under

(d)

inside

5.

(a)

divided

(b)

subtracted

(c)

added

(d)

multiplied

6.

(a)

meanings

(b)

means

(c)

mean

(d)

meant

7.

(a)

in

(b)

for

(c)

of

(d)

out

8.

(a)

block

(b)

black

(c)

back

(d)

book

9.

(a)

done

(b)

made

(c)

did

(d)

make

10.

(a)

with

(b)

out

(c)

in

(d)

by

11.

(a)

from

(b)

in

(c)

of

(d)

for

12.

(a)

lack

(b)

lacks

(c)

lacking

(d)

lacked

WRITING: 

Write about cheating for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out about plagiarism and the Turnitin software. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. CHEATING: Make a poster about all the different ways to cheat in class or in an exam. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. PLAGIARISM: Write a magazine article about the effects of plagiarism. Include imaginary interviews with a school teacher and a student who cheated.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down new words and expressions.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the head teacher of a school. Ask her/him three questions about plagiarism in her/his school. Give her/him three suggestions on what (s)he should do to stop students from cheating. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. T

d. F

e. T

f. F

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

survey

a.

questionnaire

2

revealed

b.

shown

3.

struggling

c.

battling

4.

blatantly

d.

obviously

5.

emphasis

e.

importance

6.

tackle

f.

deal with

7.

spot

g.

find

8.

pointed to

h.

highlighted

9.

engage in

i.

do

10.

ignorance

j.

lack of knowledge

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

online

a.

plagiarism

2

copying work

b.

from the Internet

3.

Teachers are struggling under a mountain

c.

of cut-and-pasting

4.

so much emphasis on passing tests meant

d.

students were not learning

5.

using all the means available to push up

e.

their coursework marks

6.

To tackle this

f.

issue

7.

Teachers can highlight a block of text

g.

they believe was copied

8.

He pointed to the hundreds of sites that

h.

offer sample essays

9.

more out of ignorance than the desire

i.

to cheat

10.

Pupils are the real

j.

losers

GAP FILL:

Cut-and-paste essays a problem in schools

A survey by Britain’s Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has revealed that 58 percent of British teachers believe online plagiarism (copying work from the Internet) is a serious problem. Estimates are that over a quarter of students’ work includes writing that was cut-and-pasted directly from a website. ATL general-secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: "Teachers are struggling under a mountain of cut-and-pasting to spot….plagiarism." One shocked teacher explained she had work “so blatantly cut-and-pasted that it still contained adverts from the Web page!" Dr Bousted added that putting so much emphasis on passing tests meant students were not learning. "Unsurprisingly, pupils are using all the means available to push up their coursework marks, often at the expense of any real understanding of the subjects they are studying," she said.

To tackle this issue, many high schools are trying out software that can easily spot plagiarized work. The Turnitin programme is used by universities across the world. Teachers can highlight a block of text they believe was copied and the software searches the Internet to see if it is already online. William Murray, a Turnitin spokesman, said the Internet made it easy for students to cheat. He pointed to the hundreds of sites that offer sample essays and essay-writing services. He added that students often do not know they are cheating when they copy-and-paste from the Web. This view is supported by teacher Diana Barker, who said: "I think the majority of students who engage in plagiarism do it more out of ignorance than the desire to cheat.” Dr Bousted noted that: “Pupils are the real losers because they lack the skills they appear to have.”

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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