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Talk About It - My teen wants to turn in plagiarized work

Credit: Derek Gavey
My son refuses to re-write plagiarized work!

My 13-year-old son is really hard-headed. He won't write a two-page paper and he could fail his class!

Talk About It,

Look, I'm at my wits end. What am I supposed to do? My 13-year-old has until Monday to turn in a two-page paper on bone diseases. He told me he was finished and I was so excited and was praising him. But then when I reviewed it, I noticed from doing a basic search that he lifted all of the copy from his online resource. I explained that plagiarism is wrong and it's stealing. I told him that some schools place students who plagiarise in detention or even suspend them. I told him how bright he was and that he could do anything he wanted. He told me that he was still going to turn in the paper that he copied and stole.

His father got him willing to begin to research if there were some basic outlines of how to put a paper together. So, I did this. But as soon as he had to find the definition of his subject matter, he immediately said he couldn't find it. He refuses to even try.

What in the world am I supposed to do?

Headed for an 'F'

****************************************************************************************************

Dear Headed for an 'F',

One of the toughest things as a parent is to see our child not succeed, especially when we already know how to do whatever it is because we have gone through the learning and experience ourselves. Remember, your 13-year-old is not a little boy. So, telling him what to do probably won't get you very far. You can just be the best advisor and encourager that you can. Telling him that plagiarizing is wrong and explaining the consequences of what may happen if he turns in the paper that he currently has prepared is important. But the hard part for you is going to be letting your son make his own choice. If you have explained the consequences of what he faces, you may have done all you can. Sometimes the hardest thing to do as a parent is to watch our child fail and then have that child realize firsthand that his choice really was the wrong one. Other than looking for professional tutoring, which won't help with this paper, there may be a good chance that your son may choose to re-write the paper over the weekend or turn in the plagiarized work, take a zero and then face punishment both in school and at home.



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2 comments on Talk About It - My teen wants to turn in plagiarized work

Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By BusinessLife on March 09, 2011 at 08:15 pm

If he is copying it or lifting it completely from a page online and claiming he actually worked on a two-page paper, I wouldn't call this specifically safe if it's sourced. There should be a bit more effort. But it does depend on the situation.

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Log In To Vote   Score: 3
By Lady D on March 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Ask him why he is writing. And if it is to get a grade kinda answer. Ask him if he would be willing to write the article from the POV of someone who needs to help a loved one ,so they can get the most information to get healthy.

Or maybe he just doesn't care, that is a whole different story.

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