Cutting and pasting for requirements

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Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby Jean9 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:49 am

I am not sure if this the place for this question, but since it is connected to an Eagle merit badge I thought I would try it here.
I am the MBC for CITW and a scout sent me the answers for requirements 5,6, and 7 via email. I know that they are not in his own words (he has submitted answers before and I sent him back to correct the information). The document he sent included articles cut and pasted, and hyperlinks to other wikipedia articles embedded in the text that he cut and pasted from there. I don't think he meant to do that. I am in a quandary about what to do. I want to send it back and tell him to do it over in his own words. The other thing I am thinking of doing is printing it out and meeting with him and discussing it with him. I really don't think he understands most of what he was writing and is just doing it to get the badge done.
Any suggestions?
Thanks,
Jeannine
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby Bill Pitcher » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:08 am

Tough call. You're the MBC and it's your decision as to what to accept. BIMO, if it says "discuss", then that is it! Technology is the way of life today and maybe he sent it to you by mistake. Sit with him and see what he thinks and remembers! He may be just showing you his research and is letting you know he's on it! When I get to CITC, req. #8 :do a presentation about your community, etc., etc., some Scouts do it the old fashioned way with photo's and posterboard, some do a presentation "speach" with slides (also old!!), some make CD's, and some do powerpoints (I'm still trying to get one of them to teach me how . . . I guess I'll have to take a class at the local Senior Net!!). I feel for that requirement, let them be creative, and they really do a great job.
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby scoutaholic » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:31 am

Jean9 wrote:I am not sure if this the place for this question, but since it is connected to an Eagle merit badge I thought I would try it here.
I am the MBC for CITW and a scout sent me the answers for requirements 5,6, and 7 via email. I know that they are not in his own words (he has submitted answers before and I sent him back to correct the information). The document he sent included articles cut and pasted, and hyperlinks to other wikipedia articles embedded in the text that he cut and pasted from there. I don't think he meant to do that. I am in a quandary about what to do. I want to send it back and tell him to do it over in his own words. The other thing I am thinking of doing is printing it out and meeting with him and discussing it with him. I really don't think he understands most of what he was writing and is just doing it to get the badge done.
Any suggestions?
Thanks,
Jeannine
MBC for CITW, CITN, CITC


You are the MBC. That means you are to decide what you will accept as completing the requirements.

5a says 'discuss', so I would print off what he sent to you and discuss it with him.
5b and c are to show on a map where different types of government exist in the world. Hand him a map and ask him to point out a monarchy, a dictatorship, a republic, etc.
6 is all explain and describe. If he understands what is written, then he should be able to explain/describe some parts of it to you.
7a says 'learn more about'. Ask him what he learned.
7b says 'find a news story'. A simple cut-and-paste would satisfy the letter of this requirement.
7c-e I don't know how a boy could cut-and-paste.
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby FrankJ » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:41 am

If a requirement said "write" I would expect it in their own words, not a cut & paste. Requirement 5, 6, & 7 are mostly discuss so they should not be written anyway. I would sit down & discuss it with him & make him think about what is being discussed. I would not have a problem if he needed a crib sheet to get through the conversation. This is why I am not a big fan of clinics. This is far better one on one or small group.
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby Fred Johnson » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:51 pm

Hold a conversation. Meet in person with the scout. I think this is a great way to get any merit badge done. Your email comment makes me suspect merit badge work sheets are involved. Merit badge work sheets can be useful, but they are too much like just another school assignment. Scouting is about doing, exploring, growing and building relationships. The real value of merit badges is when the scout can benefit from the interaction and your personal expertise in the subject. Make it interesting and fun so that the scout returns to the subject in the future.

This is also a great opportunity to have a real influence. If a student did this at school, he could get in real trouble (grades, flunking, expelled). In a non-accusing way, I'd subtly let the scout know that it is pretty easy to tell that the information was just copied. (“Wow. This looks just like what I read on the internet the other day. Hmmm…. What do these words mean to you?”) Ask him to tell you his understanding in his words. Have him describe, name, show, discuss, explain and share.
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby evmori » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:06 am

#5 & #6 are describe and explain requirements. An e-mail wouldn't meet the requirement in my opinion.

#7 could be done via an e-mail.

As someone else posted, it's your call since you are the MBC. And, in my opinion, Eagle required MB or not, the same interpretations should apply.
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby WeeWillie » Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:23 pm

Cutting and pasting someone elses work without attribution is plagerism and a clear violation of "A Scout is Trustworthy." Give the Scout the benefit of the doubt that he hasn't been taught that in school and go from there!
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:48 pm

WeeWillie wrote:Cutting and pasting someone elses work without attribution is plagerism and a clear violation of "A Scout is Trustworthy." Give the Scout the benefit of the doubt that he hasn't been taught that in school and go from there!

Absolutely Mike If they cut and paste in school it is an F
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:56 pm

New Scout or Older one???? Emailing requirements is a convenience and we're not yet to the point of electronic signing of MBs. Take what he sent you and go over the following guidance with him.

From the BSA Requirements Book:

Show Your Stuff. When you are ready, call the counselor again to make an appointment to meet the requirements. When you go, take along the things you have made to meet the requirements. If they are too big to move, take pictures or have an adult tell in writing what you have done. The counselor will ask you to do each requirement to make sure that you know your stuff and have done or can do the things required.


Requirements. You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated -- no more and no less. You are expected to do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says "show or demonstrate," that is what you must do. Just telling about it isn't enough. The same thing holds true for such words as "make," "list," "in the field," and "collect," "identify," and "label."
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby kwildman » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:06 am

provided that the youth did the work to research the info and cut and pasted from several sources i would be okay with it provided that he understood the material. Guess it depends on the situation and what the scout learned in the process.
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby lambeausam » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:41 am

One other thing I would consider...is the scout using the information as notes for a discussion with the MBC or just as the answer?

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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby Nuts4Scouts » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:30 am

Jeannine - Were these the last requirements he had left to do for the badge? Does he have a "blue card", or something similar, that you must yet sign off on officially?

You should not sign off on a merit badge via email, text, or some such. You should be having at least one more face-to-face with this Scout. At this meeting, discuss requirements 5,6, and 7 with him. If you are comfortable that he completed the requirements, and knows his stuff, than accept them. If you are not comfortable, than discuss with him what he needs to do to complete the requirements.

You are the merit badge counselor, and the final say is yours, alone. However, keep in mind that while you can make sure he has completed the requirements fully, you can NOT add to the requirements.

Personally, I do not have a big problem with cut and paste. This is not school. This is not a writing class. Nowhere does it state in the requirements "in your own words".

Requirement 5a states to "discuss" the differences. While discuss can mean a talk, or debate, it can also be a written examination of the subject.

Numbers 5b, and 5c can easily be done in writing, and cutting and pasting maps.

For 6a, and 6c, again "explain" can be done in writing as well as in a speech. For 6b, you can easily, and appropriately, "describe" things in writing.

As for #7, it does not state to "share" in person, or in depth. I am assuming he did 7a, and 7b. Both of these can be shared via email by cutting and pasting - 7a) the link for the page on the State Dept site that brought up the issue he researched. The links that showed where he found more information on the issue. Cut and paste articles from other sources on the issue that he found interesting. - 7b) Cutting and pasting an article from a foreign news source,or government web site on what would be, to us, a human rights violation, covers the requirement.

As I said, the final decision is yours, not ours. You can see his email, we can't. However, unless there is a real problem with what he sent, I would be inclined to accept it after a brief discussion with him of what he learned (to verify that it was indeed him who did the reading, research, cutting, and pasting).
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby alex gregory » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:55 am

Nuts4Scouts wrote:Personally, I do not have a big problem with cut and paste. This is not school. This is not a writing class. Nowhere does it state in the requirements "in your own words".

As I said, the final decision is yours, not ours. You can see his email, we can't. However, unless there is a real problem with what he sent, I would be inclined to accept it after a brief discussion with him of what he learned (to verify that it was indeed him who did the reading, research, cutting, and pasting).


EXACTOMUNDO! This is not school. Discuss means you sit down with Junior and talk; it does not mean that Junior writes a law review article with correct citations.

A scout who does the research, gets the answers, and meets the requirements has earned the merit badge. I encourage scouts working on CIC, CIN and CIW to look up the answers on-line (with mom and dad's permission) before we sit down and talk. I usually have a discussion where we discuss the requirements and what I want Super-Scout to go find out, then we meet again and talk about what he learned. I don't care where he gets his information as long as it is reasonably correct.
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby WeeWillie » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:45 am

Plagerism is plagerism regardles of the context. Character is character regardless of the situation. When an employer or college recruiter sees Eagle Scout, he or she has an expectation of character.
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby FrankJ » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:36 am

Plagiarism is when you take credit from some one else's work. Cut & paste that is clearly cut & paste is not plagiarism. Whether or not it meet the requirements of the merit badge is a different question. A 11-14 year old is still developing character. It is not something you are born with.
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby WeeWillie » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:15 pm

Cutting and pasting is palgiarism and it has become so prevelant with the Internet that is not even recognized as such. Here is a source on the issue.

http://www.plagiarism.org/plag_article_ ... arism.html

You build character by insisting your Scouts act with integrity in all situations and EXPLAIN to them when they don't. Making a Scout do the right thing is not punishment.
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby FrankJ » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:15 pm

You build character by insisting your Scouts act with integrity in all situations and EXPLAIN to them when they don't. Making a Scout do the right thing is not punishment.


I am with you on that.
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby Jean9 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:33 pm

Hi all,
Thank you all for your replies to my post. I will be meeting with the scout and discussing what he sent me. Plagiarism is a huge thing to me because along with being a teacher, I also write for publication. I know what it is like to have others take your work and not give you compensation or recognition. That is something I stress with my students and have given a "0" for an essay that I knew had been cut and pasted. I gave the student another chance to write the essay (first test of the year) and gave a stern talking to the class about how if it happened again I would give the offender a "0" for the test. They got the point quick. I will explain to the scout (and all future scouts I get) that cutting and pasting won't be tolerated without siting and that I need them to list their sources. I encourage my students and the scouts to research, but then to take what they have learned and put it in their own words.
Thanks again for reminding me that it isn't the filling out of the worksheet that is most important, but the molding of the character.
Jeannine
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby razor_strop » Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:07 am

Jean9 wrote:I encourage my students and the scouts to research, but then to take what they have learned and put it in their own words.


The operative word above is "encourage". Be very careful that you do not add to the requirements by insisting the Scout tell/name/list/explain "in their own words", which is not specified in most MB requirements. Remember, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
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Re: Cutting and pasting for requirements

Postby FrankJ » Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:52 am

The operative word above is "encourage". Be very careful that you do not add to the requirements by insisting the Scout tell/name/list/explain "in their own words", which is not specified in most MB requirements. Remember, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.


Actually I can think of no requirements that say "Cut & Paste". A few say find articles which I guess would be close. Write & discuss both implies in the scout own words. At least that is my view. :)
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