Today students will be utilizing resources available through Turnitin.com to identify possible plagiarism and grammatical issues in their research paper drafts. Before we get started with that, I want to make sure that all students have an appropriate title on their paper and have gotten their papers properly formatted using MLA. Students will be instructed to brainstorm a list of at least 5 possible research paper titles which articulate both the topic of the paper and the author's "side" of the topic. These should be somewhat catchy, but I'm more concerned about them clearly showing the topic of the paper and using vibrant, unique words. After they have crafted their lists, they will share these possible titles with their neighbor and edit them to "spice up" word choice using a thesaurus where necessary. Finally, students will pick a title for their paper (which can be edited later if they would like) and add it to their existing near-final draft.
Once titles are added, I will give students a few minutes to use the OWL'S Sample Research Paper to confirm that their overall paper formatting is consistent with MLA style. Students needed to complete their Works Cited for homework, so many will probably have to copy/paste this onto the bottom of their draft at this time.
Before students upload their research paper into Turnitin.com for review, I will preview what kinds of results they will be seeing and review what they need to accomplish today. If I wait until after they have uploaded their papers, I know that their attention will be lost forever and I'll be forced to answer the same question 1,000 times, so it's really critical to do this "previewing" step. Using the "Using the Originality and Grademark Reports" presentation, I will walk students through both the process for submitting their papers and what their results will tell them. I've included the presentation in the resources section, and a video showing what I typically say to students is posted below. I love making videos like this, because then when absent students, students that need a review of this material, students with questions that were addressed in this presentation, or parents who are seeking more information about their child's projects contact me, I have a quick and complete reference to share with them. The time it took to make this video will be so incredibly small when compared to the literal hours it will save to respond to people with questions. Sometimes I fear looking like a narcissist on my school website, but at least I'm an apparent-narcissist who gets a few more minutes of free time than I would have otherwise!
After the video, I will answer any questions that students have, then model the downloading & uploading process that moves their papers to Turnitin.com using my projector.
After students upload their essays, they will have approximately 55 minutes to work on revising their papers using the processes described in the video. I will help students with any issues they have, but I will also refer them back to the video if they have questions about issues which I have already answered in order to allow me enough time to click through all of the student submissions to generate a Grademark report. All students MUST submit whatever they have done today, even if they did not complete all of their homework. This will ensure that I have an accurate understanding of where each student is and which students need extra help.
At the end of the hour, I will inform students that I have set up a "Revision 1" assignment for their research paper that will be available through 8am on the day of our next class period. After students complete their revisions from today, they need to submit their revised essays to this "Revision 1" entry and review their revised results. I will go through their submissions before they arrive to class so that their Grademark will be available at that time. Students will have time to work on editing and word choice next class period, so the more complete their revisions up until this point, the better off they will be. The handful of students who have not yet had extended comments on their drafts from me yet should also look for those comments to arrive in the next 24 hours.
Before next class period, I will be sure all Grademark Reports have been generated on the revisions. I try to view these a few times a day so that they have reports back pretty quickly, but sometimes my schedule does prohibit it. I will also finish my extended comments on student drafts so that everyone has had a thorough review before their final copy submissions.