MLA Works Cited: Students get creative

My high school students had to write a short (5 paragraph) paper and include three citations. I have been surfing the net all morning looking for the correct citations for the things they put in their papers. I’m sick of the whole thing.

First, the papers are poorly written. There was a specific style request made and they didn’t meet it in their papers. They had to have a certain number of dress-ups, sentence openers, decorations, and triple extensions a la IEW. I am not seeing those.

Second, they had to have three body paragraphs with examples and information in it. The information they got. They left out the examples.

Third, the Works Cited page is as inaccurate as you can get. They didn’t even search the site they were on for the citation information. Several of them gave it.

I have 15 of these to grade. It’s taken me an hour to do two. They’re so bad I don’t want to grade them. But I have to.

Normally I give two grades; one is on content and the other on mechanics. This time I gave them a grade for turning it in. 15 100’s and 1 0. Then I averaged their content and mechanics grade and only gave them one.

So far the grades are 100, 58, and 100, 65. That’s a C and a B- average.

They are awful though, so I guess that’s a reasonably good grade considering.

I guess I should get back to work.

One thought on “MLA Works Cited: Students get creative

  1. To whoever wrote about her students writing terrible papers. I know how you feel. I go to a private school and new students we have this year dont even know how to write a real outline. Public school is an absurd place to learn how to write well. The way they use mechanics is beyond bad. not only is the paper written badly, but the mechanics are ridiculous. the mechanics are supposed to be in the paper to make it better not just for the grade. So when your feeling depressed about bad papers, remember your not the one, even 10th grade students like myself feel the same way.
    PS: You wrote this, “The information they got. They left out the examples.” It should be, “The information they got, they left out examples.

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