I read preliminary versions of research papers last night and got so discouraged. Every person would have failed one way or another if I had graded them as final versions. It made me wonder what I was doing with my time and why I was even bothering to try to teach since they were obviously not getting the material I had tried to put across. So many of them still did not even understand documenting source material and were committing plagiarism as a result.
I understand that writing is difficult for some people while it isn’t for me. But this kind of systemic failure points to something else–either I did not put the material across correctly or every single person was not listening. Even my typically good writers had major flaws in their papers. I feel that it somehow reflects on me and what I’m doing. It certainly makes me want to give up teaching for good. I don’t know what to do except hand them back with comments on what they’ve done incorrectly and try to encourage them to do better. I’m just kind of at a loss for words.