July 21, 2007

Why vocabulary makes a difference

Notes on student misunderstandings of vocabulary, and how that affects performance:

  • citation vs. quotation. One is acknowledging one's sources, and the other is using exact passages and making those passages typographically distinct. Some students misunderstood my advice to cite several sources and turned in drafts where more than half of the words were quoted. I think I cleared that one up... and fortunately, one student was honest enough to explain the misunderstanding.
  • argue vs. agree. I think one paper has used argue when agree was meant in the following sentence:  I want to argue with Mr. Quieto about his point that one dropout is too many.

There is nothing for a student to be ashamed of when she or he doesn't know a word. But there are consequences for not clarifying one's understanding or for misusing words.

For the record, these are notes rather than a response to the batch of papers I'm currently reading. I've already come across a paper with a solution in our simulated case that is entirely original and delightfully so.

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Posted in Teaching on July 21, 2007 1:54 PM |