Jump to content

Menu

Should I rat out my dd?


Recommended Posts

She's 17.5. She has to write a paper for school analyzing a book she was supposed to read. She asked me for some help on it.

 

It became clear she had not finished the book.

 

She is on chapter 4 of an 11-chapter book, and the paper is due on Wednesday.

 

She has no intention of finishing the book and is writing her paper based on things she finds on the internet.

 

Dh does not want me to tell her teacher because we are dealing with a major issue with her right now for which she is already in much trouble at home. Basically, Dh (as he told me) wants to take the easy path, not the right one.

 

As for me, I am offended that she is cheating and lying, and I see this as directly connected to the home-based issue we are dealing with. I think I should tell her teacher.

 

What do you think?

 

Tara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 161
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

This happened all the time at my high school. I was one of very few who actually read the whole book when writing about it. I think most didn't read them because it took so much time and was easier to get away with than not doing other homework.

 

Is she plagiarizing in any way?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the path of honesty is always the easiest one in the long run. However, I've not been in that situation, I don't know. I agree about making some coffee and making it family reading time, even if it's just you and her.

 

Can you grab the book and ask her questions about the chapters she obviously hasn't read.

 

At 17.5, I don't know. What are her college plans? I would have a hard time allowing my child to do that knowing college loomed so closely. If I were paying for any of that college down the road, and stunts like that could cause her to take extra classes that *I* was paying for, I might have that discussion now. If this make any sense.

 

Then again if there is a chance she would get caught and embarrassed in class, that might have more power than getting in trouble with you. :grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Notice: My oldest child is 6 so take my advice with a grain of salt.

 

I think you should either prevent her from cheating (require the book to be read tonight, take away Internet privileges, etc.) or stay out of it and let the teacher figure it out (unless the teacher asks you in which case of course be honest). Tattling will not help the situation and will just piss your DD off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As long as she isn't plagiarizing, I think just let her do whatever. She's too old for you to make her do it properly. And it's not immoral, just lazy. Lots of kids don't read their assigned books. Some still manage to write good papers, but most don't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, kinda tough one.

 

I dunno. Honestly, I would base my decision on what to do depending on if I thought the book was a worthwhile read or not.

 

I realize that's not such a great answer, but it's the truth. My stepkids go to public highschool. They're both good kids, and especially dsd studies really hard. She's in AP english and calc. If she did this on a paper for AP English, there's no way I'd contact her teacher. It's quite likely that any book her school is making her read, I wouldn't require her to read. If that makes sense.

 

I would, however, talk to her about how this is not a great idea in GENERAL. That it's basically cheating, and that we don't approve of cheating.

 

But sadly enough, my dsd told me last year that one of her teachers didn't even check her homework she turned in; she just glanced at it to see if there were answers, and gave dsd an A because she's one of the 'good', 'smart' kids. To PROVE this, dsd wrote some crazy answer to one of her questions (something with flying monkeys in it, I believe) that was not even REMOTELY correct.

 

She got an A on that assignment.

 

My point being, if her teacher is really CHECKING the work, then she'll that catch your dd didn't read the book, and grade accordingly. And if your dd gets enough info by googling or whatever to get a good grade, well, then I'm sorta 'meh' about it. That proves she has good research skills, right?

 

But I'm totally open to the possibility that I'm not thinking right about this, so I'll be interested to hear what others think.

Edited by bethanyniez
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I thought the teacher would recognize shoddy work, I would stay out of it, and let her take her lower grade. I also wouldn't help her when it is obvious that she didn't help herself. If the teacher wouldn't recognize or care that would make it harder to decide. It used to make me crazy when my olders would write a long term paper the night before it was due, and get an A, because it was busy work and so easy that learning something new wasn't a factor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest submarines
As long as she isn't plagiarizing, I think just let her do whatever. She's too old for you to make her do it properly. And it's not immoral, just lazy. Lots of kids don't read their assigned books. Some still manage to write good papers, but most don't.

:iagree:

 

I wouldn't provide any help other than proofreading for typos / grammar, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That happens all the time in HS.

 

It sounds like what ever else you're dealing with is large, and you're angry. You probably have every right to be.

 

I would let it go, because it's only going to make it worse. Going behind her back like that might just be the straw that breaks the camel's back-depending on what ever else is happening. And she's not young, she doesn't have long until she can pack up and leave.

 

Let her own lack of work show her out. Hold your tongue, hold your judgment of her decision to not do the work.

 

Sometimes when stuff builds up with them, and they just can't do one thing right in our book because we're seeing everything through our angry glasses, we start yelling at Every. Little. Thing. And they start to feel as if they could never do anything right, so there's no point in trying...and you loose them.

 

If I were you, I would just try and help, and let them accept what help from me they wanted to. And if she bombs, don't say I told you so. Give her a cup of coffee, and a cookie, and ask if she thinks there was anything she could have done to bring up her grade.

 

JMO.

Edited by justamouse
just one camel who has a back
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That happens all the time in HS.

 

It sounds like what ever else you're dealing with is large, and you're angry. You probably have every right to be.

 

I would let it go, because it's only going to make it worse. Going behind her back like that might just be the straw that breaks the camel's back-depending on what ever else is happening. And she's not young, she doesn't have long until she can pack up and leave.

 

Let her own lack of work will show her out. Hold you tongue, hold your judgment of her decision to not do the work.

 

Sometimes when stuff builds up with them, and they just can't so one thing right in our book because we're seeing everything through our angry glasses, we start yelling at Every. Little. Thing. And they start to feel as if they could never do anything right, so there's no point in trying...and you loose them.

 

If I were you, I would just try and help, and let them accept what help from me they wanted to. And if she bombs, don't say I told you so. Give her a cup of coffee, and a cookie, and ask if she thinks there was anything she could have done to bring up her grade.

 

JMO.

 

:iagree:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate to admit this - but most of what I know about literature (which is very little) I learned from reading summaries, many of them online. Even when I read the book, I often don't get it, and have to read a summary to understand what I read in the book.

 

I am not condoning cheating as in plagiarism. However, as a free agent, not a student, I find reading summaries from various places to be a valid way to understand a book...even one I have not read and am not likely to get through anytime soon. Of course it is always best to actually read the book, especially when it is assigned for a class, and I think she should. Her paper will probably show more depth of understanding if she reads it herself in addition to the tidbits she is finding. But I would not discount the value of her looking for information online either.

 

If I had to write a paper in a short time on a book I had not yet read, my strategy would be to read everything I could find about the book first, make notes, start the outline of a paper based on what I had learned, then skim through the book to fill in what I was mentally missing, then write the paper. (This is how an engineering major survives the required literature classes.)

 

And I would not tattle to the teacher about digging for info online. If I saw actual word for word plagiarism, I would treat that as academic dishonesty. But I do not see an ethical problem with writing a paper based on a shallow and incomplete mental version of a book because you only read summaries and highlights. You could reach the same point by skimming through the book in one day and only considering the high point of each chapter. IMO as long as it is your own writing, it's not cheating. It will probably produce a very shallow paper, but it's not the same as copying and pasting paragraphs from papers you found online.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As long as she isn't plagiarizing, I think just let her do whatever. She's too old for you to make her do it properly. And it's not immoral, just lazy. Lots of kids don't read their assigned books. Some still manage to write good papers, but most don't.

 

:iagree:Most of the class won't read the book. The teacher will know, I'm sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ratting her out would not only tick off your daughter, but it sounds like it could also create tension between you and your dh. Is this worth that to you?

 

That said, she's almost college-age. It's time for her to start figuring out things for herself. IF she were already in college, she would have at least these three options:

 

1) cram the assignment by staying up all hours to finish reading the book and writing the paper. Happens all the time in the university world. This would be great practice for getting through some all nighters.

 

2) ask the prof for an extension and hope the prof takes mercy on her; then do the work properly and turn it in with gratitude and humility.

 

3) take the easy/lazy way out; do just what she's currently planning; hope for the best and be prepared to accept a poor grade

 

I would probably talk to her about the options and let her decide which one to take.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She is almost an adult.

 

I think you need to be careful if the teacher tells her where the info on her cheating came from. It could backfire, kwim?

 

I feel the only thing you can do is talk to her -- long after she turned in the paper. And share with her your disappointment. Non hurtful, if possible. But share what you feel. Let her defend herself and get all huffy. Then end the discussion with something like character is more than just good grades, but being able to look at yourself in the mirror. Cheating is wrong.

 

If she chooses to ignore the wise advice, then leave it. No need to start WWIII over it. Who knows, decades from now, when she has kids she will remember the conversation far better than the grade. And she will realize her folly. She is young. We do dumb things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ratting her out would not only tick off your daughter, but it sounds like it could also create tension between you and your dh. Is this worth that to you?

 

That said, she's almost college-age. It's time for her to start figuring out things for herself. IF she were already in college, she would have at least these three options:

 

1) cram the assignment by staying up all hours to finish reading the book and writing the paper. Happens all the time in the university world. This would be great practice for getting through some all nighters.

 

2) ask the prof for an extension and hope the prof takes mercy on her; then do the work properly and turn it in with gratitude and humility.

 

3) take the easy/lazy way out; do just what she's currently planning; hope for the best and be prepared to accept a poor grade

 

I would probably talk to her about the options and let her decide which one to take.

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think she should sit up and read the book. Make a pot of coffee and stay up with her.:cheers2:

 

She couldn't finish it tonight anyway. She is a poor reader. But that's no excuse, because they have had the book for four weeks and she just decided to start reading it yesterday.

 

Earlier this year, she read The Crucible (actually read it, she really enjoyed it and talked to me a lot about it) and wrote a fine paper on it. So it's not lack of ability, it's laziness and lack of concern for honesty.

 

I honestly don't know how teachers can teacher writing in schools these days when all kids have to do is string together stuff they find on the internet. I let her look up stuff online when she wrote about The Crucible because we were visiting my MIL and she forgot to bring the book, but she knows that looking up stuff on the internet for a book she didn't read is NOT the same thing.

 

I don't think the teacher will notice that she didn't read it. I don't know why I feel that way, but that's the feeling I have.

 

I'm so steamed about this because the issue we are dealing with at home is partly a lying issue, too, and we JUST had a LONG talk with her about lying and trustworthiness. When I noticed she didn't know anything about the book in question, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, she originally said she was "almost done." When I said, "I saw you reading that today and you were near the beginning," she got all sheepish and admitted she was only on chapter 4. :angry:

 

Tara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we're seeing everything through our angry glasses, we start yelling at Every. Little. Thing.

 

I understand what you're saying. To me this doesn't feel like a little thing, but I do see what you are saying.

 

I already told dd that I think she's cheating and that I won't help her do that. I said, "If you wouldn't be willing to tell your teacher how you wrote this paper, then you know it's wrong."

 

Tara

Edited by TaraTheLiberator
formatting
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand what you're saying. To me this doesn't feel like a little thing, but I do see what you are saying.

 

I already told dd that I think she's cheating and that I won't help her do that. I said, "If you wouldn't be willing to tell your teacher how you wrote this paper, then you know it's wrong."

 

Tara

:grouphug: It's not a little thing. But the other thing is bigger, it sounds.

 

I really do understand that anger. :grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe that I would tell her what I thought of her plan (in the context of values) and warn her that it is likely the teacher will see through it. I would refuse to help her on the assignment if she didn't at least make a reasonable effort to finish most of the book. But I think I would leave it at that. Honestly, if you rat out your daughter, you may be putting her at an unfair disadvantage compared to the other kids who also did not read the book. The teacher will feel obligated to flunk your daughter just to satisfy your sense of justice. Nobody is perfect. Let the chips fall where they may. That is not the same as supporting her poor choice.

 

Maybe it's a dreadfully dry book for her. Aren't there books you have given up on? Being "required" to read it only makes it more uninteresting. In the "real world," people get away with taking shortcuts. At least this one is not hurting anyone except herself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is she asking you for help on chapters she hasn't read, or is she simply asking you to proof her work? I'd proof her work and let her know that you can clearly see she hasn't read the book. If she wants you to problem solve on how to get the work done with integrity, I'd do that. Options I'd see are letting her skim, read the SparkNotes, ,do the paper on what she has read, or have you help her but acknowledge that she has gotten your help. Of course she needs to be honest with her teacher and now that you know what she's up to, you are responsible for dealing with the situation with integrity.

 

BTW, I do have older daughters and have dealt with one of mine plagiarizing on a paper. I read the paper and was so impressed with the writing that I became suspicious. Just a few clicks showed me that she was clearly plagiarizing. She had to tell her teacher, re-write the paper, and see her grade go down by one letter grade when she turned in her paper the following week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well she's missing out by NOT reading that book. It is one of my favorites. There is power in watching the story through Cassie's eyes. I don't know that you can pick that up never having looked through them yourself.

 

Ds and I read it as a read aloud a few years, we had some powerful discussions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is she asking you for help on chapters she hasn't read, or is she simply asking you to proof her work?

 

She wants help writing the paper, not with editing. She has a list of questions she is supposed to answer in the body of her paper, and she can't answer them because she hasn't read the book.

 

It became obvious when I asked, "What is the major obstacle this family met? Did they triumph, or were they beaten?"

 

She looked at me and said, "Um ... um ..." with a deer-caught-in-headlights look.

 

Tara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe I'm missing something here, but writing a paper on a book that you've only read part of isn't dishonest. It's not smart, to be sure, but it's not anything like plagiarism. I did it several times in college. (Write papers on books I hadn't finished reading, not plagiarism, lol.) I was a lit major working full time besides, and let's just say that I have written three essays on "The Awakening," and still have never read the entire thing. :tongue_smilie:

 

I'm inclined to think you're overreacting a tad, op. Shoddy school work isn't cheating. I'd equate it more to taking a math test when you've only read halfway through the lessons. You probably won't do very well, but you might guess and get one right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand what people are saying about all the other kids not reading the book and finding value in reading the summaries and the like, but to me the issue is this:

 

Dd was assigned to read a book and analyze it. She wants to turn in a paper that is merely a regurgitation (not plagiarized, but rewritten in her "own words") of someone else's (in this case, many other people's) analyses and pass it off as her own effort and thought.

 

It's not.

 

She's shirking her responsibility and being deceitful.

 

It's not about whether the book is bone dry and uninteresting to her or not. It's about lying and cheating. It's about the fact that she is not learning the skills she will need to succeed in college, which is her goal. She claims she wants to be a doctor. Yeah, try cheating in med school, babe.

 

That said, I am not going to tell her teacher. I don't care if it made her mad at me, and in fact I would tell her I did it. I don't particularly care if dh disagrees with me. I'm used to being the hard-a$$ to his push-over. But if most people think I should stay out of it, then I'm probably over-reacting. I've been known to do that on occasion.

 

I'm just really disappointed in my daughter right now.

 

Tara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe you could ask her why she thought the teacher picked this book. I know this book in particular is used in many elementary schools, not saved until high school.

 

So if this book in particular was chosen to enlighten the students in some way, not just give them another mind-numbing check off the box assignment, then what did the teacher want them to learn? Is it relevant that this was assigned near MLK jr day?

 

Is it perhaps that this teacher is trying to have them see something for themselves, not just stand before them and spout off knowledge?

 

She's young and there are many ways the authority figures in her life may try to share wisdom with her down the road. Reading this book could be one.

 

Okay, maybe I'm harping a little, but I think this is one of the books that is worthy investing the time in reading properly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe you could ask her why she thought the teacher picked this book. I know this book in particular is used in many elementary schools, not saved until high school.

 

It's on the school's list of approved books that dd could select from. They have books from varying levels because they serve many poor readers. (The school is for kids who wouldn't get to high school without intensive intervention.) She chose it herself because she wanted to read about slavery. The issue isn't the book itself. It's that dd waited until it was too late to start reading it and now wants to cheat on the paper.

 

Tara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is. She wasn't assigned to look up other people's analyses of the book and summarize them. She was assigned to analyze it herself. She's not doing that.

 

Tara

 

Well, in her defense, reading a variety of analyses on a given work and incorporating them into your mental framework about the book is a normal part of literary study. Of course, there's a difference between using the ideas of others to help you reach for your own ideas, and just rewording someone else's theory. If you do think that is what she's doing, you could suggest that she cite the sources she used. It isn't cheating if her paper says, "So-and-so's statement that such-and-such author blah blah blahs has merit because..."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could you approach her and say something like, "In our family, intellectual dishonesty is something we do not participate in. I cannot know that you are doing this and not take a stand against it. I expect that you will complete the assignment as required, based on your own reading and understanding of the book. If you choose to do otherwise, I will be compelled to let the teacher know that you are using internet sources as a substitue for your own work. "

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I knew many people in my college lit classes who managed to fake their way through such assignments.

 

As did I. Doesn't make it right, though. The whole friends jumping off bridges thing ...

 

Oh well. I'm quite clearly in the minority on this one. Story of my life. :D

 

Tara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She has no ideas of her own because (broken record I am) she hasn't read the book. ;)

 

Tara

 

Oh, you'd be surprised at how creative you can get with four chapters and the sparknotes. :D People have written entire doctoral dissertations on less.

 

And don't worry, I'm done, erm, helping now. :tongue_smilie:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder whether people would feel differently if their homeschooled child was assigned a paper and given a (long) list of books to choose from, and their homeschooled child didn't read the book they chose, slapped together some ideas and quotes culled from some websites, and turned it in. If my child handed that to me, I'd rip it up and throw it in the trash, and then I'd assign two papers in its place. Honestly, I am surprised that a board full of homeschooling moms thinks what my dd is doing is ok/not worth notifying the teacher about.

 

I'll be done now, too. Off to bed.

 

Tara

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't send a note to the teacher. She's 6mos from being an adult. I think turning her in could damage your relationship at this age. It's her problem, not yours. I would feel much differently if she were a homeschooled student and I was the teacher/parent, because then it would be my problem too. It would be my job to catch her and my job to ensure she doesn't get away with it. With your DD, however, she has another teacher who needs to do that job. Sure, it would bother me, but I don't think it would be my place to turn her in. Maybe she would get in trouble at home, she'd definitely get a little talk about ethics and learning vs. merely fulfilling requirements, but the rest is between her and her teacher. Hopefully, she'll get a poor grade and learn from it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder whether people would feel differently if their homeschooled child was assigned a paper and given a (long) list of books to choose from, and their homeschooled child didn't read the book they chose, slapped together some ideas and quotes culled from some websites, and turned it in. If my child handed that to me, I'd rip it up and throw it in the trash, and then I'd assign two papers in its place. Honestly, I am surprised that a board full of homeschooling moms thinks what my dd is doing is ok/not worth notifying the teacher about.

 

I'll be done now, too. Off to bed.

 

Tara

 

:iagree:

 

It's a tough situation. Your daughter admitted to you that she told a lie, and was not behaving well. I feel like it is her best interest to complete the assignment correctly and with due diligence.

 

If this was my kid (whether through homeschool or public school)- I would not allow them to turn in an assignment in that way. I would have the student either pull an all nighter to read the book, then write the paper the following day. Or, I would let her tell the teacher her assignment is going to be late. No excuses, or sick days. No ifs ands or buts. I would also "punish" her at home following the instance- to be sure that she is not skimping out on anything else. To be sure, lying is lying- regardless of whether its a complete lie or a half true.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FWIW I agree with you, and would be very disappointed in my dd if she did this. I definitely wouldn't help with the paper and I would not allow use of the Internet for this or any other paper without knowing the book had been read. Just because others are lazy and dishonest is no reason to accept it from your own child. Hopefully a poor grade will be the consequence of not actually doing the work assigned. Even if it is not there would be consequences at home if it were me, with the intention of teaching honesty and the value of work. Good luck!

Noelle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:iagree:

 

It's a tough situation. Your daughter admitted to you that she told a lie, and was not behaving well. I feel like it is her best interest to complete the assignment correctly and with due diligence.

 

If this was my kid (whether through homeschool or public school)- I would not allow them to turn in an assignment in that way. I would have the student either pull an all nighter to read the book, then write the paper the following day. Or, I would let her tell the teacher her assignment is going to be late. No excuses, or sick days. No ifs ands or buts. I would also "punish" her at home following the instance- to be sure that she is not skimping out on anything else. To be sure, lying is lying- regardless of whether its a complete lie or a half true.

 

 

:iagree:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wrote an A paper once on how the crux of a novel was to be found in chapter 4. Guess how many chapters I had read in the book?:D But having said that, I had to set up my premise and then prove it in order to be able to do that. She has some natural consequences going on right now from not having read the book. She can't answer the questions that you've asked her on the book. I really doubt that she would be able to answer similar questions in the course of writing her paper. I would hug her and tell her that you are willing to stay up and proof read her paper but you will not help her actually write it. And I would not say anything to the teacher.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is wrong to summarize analyses; she should be analyzing summaries.

 

That's a sentence I never thought I would write.

 

By which I mean, if she's not going to do it as assigned, there is an ethical line between the two.

 

Analyzing a summary is analyzing a book in the most shallow of senses. Summarizing the analysis of another person is plagiarism, though in the weakest sense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a thought. Since you've mentioned that your dd is challenged in the area of reading, is there any possibility of getting her an audio version, either via a library download or Audiblebooks.com? The book is about 7.5 hours long to listen to, and you did say she's already read 4 chapters so that would make it even shorter to listen to. It would be a tight time frame to get the paper done in, and perhaps it wouldn't be doable at this late point, but...? My oldest has a reading disability and audio books have been her salvation! :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If what you want for your dd is to have character, then you must intervene, whether directly with her, or less directly with her teacher. Just because there are many kids that do the same thing, or worse, does not mean you have to suck it up and allow it. Avoiding conflict with dh is the chicken sh*t way out. Either you value honesty or you don't. If you don't, then by all means, stay out of the way and let your dd receive a grade for work that is someone else's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are the mother, and you know your dd and her ability level, and you know she is not doing her best. You said she waited too long to start the assignment. There is a lesson to learn here. There is a big part of me that would let my dd turn in the paper and hope the teacher recognizes that she did not read the whole book, then I would let dd know that she can't go anywhere until she does read the book and prove to me that she did so by discussing it with me - and I would be sure to ask questions that are not in the notes she used to write her paper.

 

Maybe I am just stuck in an episode of Cosby where Theo didn't read a book he was supposed to read for class but gets a passing grade on the test, so Claire tells him he still needs to read it and pass a test she prepares.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...