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ironoctopus69 karma

Sir Patrick, I'm an English Lit teacher, and we're using your film version of the RSC Hamlet with David Tennant to supplement our reading of the text. As someone who's studied the part, what sort of backstory do you imagine for Claudius? How long has his affair with Gertrude been going on? It would be amazing to share any insight you have with my class...

ironoctopus67 karma

As a high school teacher who teaches a very difficult curriculum (IB English A), I would just like to warn students who use these services. I have caught two people in the last few years using these services. Yes, they essays they submitted are 'plagiarism free', but there are obvious red flags. In any writing intensive class, you are going to do a mix of in-class and take home work. Your teacher--if s/he is paying attention--will recognize your style and ability. Getting an essay in different voice is a big red flag.

On two separate occasions, students gave me papers which were going to be submitted (some of their work is externally moderated), and I suspected they were not their own work. It was really just a matter of calling them in, and asking them to explain their argument. I also asked them about some of the sources they cited. Where did they find them? Show me how. What was the overall argument of the paper you cited? etc.

Both of them ended up confessing when we met with the administration, and both were unable to get their IB Diplomas, which meant that their parents wasted tens of thousands of dollars in tuition, and they had their university offers retracted.

So if you're thinking about these services, make sure you read what you paid for carefully and read all the sources too. And if that sounds like too much effort, consider writing it yourself.

ironoctopus37 karma

Maybe if you spent more time making candles and less time doing AMA's, your orders wouldn't be backed up.

ironoctopus34 karma

I don't begrudge you your job, but the people who come to you obviously have some reason why they can't, or choose not to, do the work at the appropriate level. It's not insulting to question the validity of their work, anymore than it would be to question a 1st grader who has been fingerpainting all year and suddenly brings in credible still life portrait in oils.

I'm sure it's easy for the cheaters to pass your essays off in big university classes, but in small classrooms where the teacher interacts with the students on a daily basis, it's as easy to spot as any plagiarism. The IB curriculum has a very serious academic honesty policy. I've just read a report about a student having to redo their diploma because they forgot to attribute one photo in their essay. Teachers are required to report their suspicions, and we have to sign a document with every essay we submit for marking saying that, to the best of our knowledge, this is the student's own work. I told the ones I caught that I wouldn't do that, unless they were able to explain their ideas to me and show me evidence of their research. One broke down immediately and the other kept the charade up for a while and said she would show me her notes and where the links were in her browser history. Of course when she showed me, the notes were all from a document saved the night before, as were the links in the browser history. Even after cramming all night, she still couldn't articulate the thesis of her paper clearly in her own words, or explain the connections to the research. She ended up confessing when the principal got involved.

Bottom line--high school students are going to crack when presented with the evidence. Students should understand there's a risk involved, and it's disingenuous of you to tell them that it will ok if they just stick to your story, act offended that we would have the temerity to question their ability, and then run off to some invented appointment.

ironoctopus16 karma

What is your opinion on the "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" that has recently been in the news, and how it might fit in with some of the Gnostic gospels?