Themes Fighting Words

Just the other day, Laurie Halse Anderson blogged about a recent uptick in homework requests. On her web site, as she confirms, there is a strongly worded post about not sending her homework questions. I’m sure this is very effective for students who actually read, but as a former high school teacher, I know that there are many students who do not follow instructions. Instead, they email the author and ask for help directly. This is pretty common, and I’m sure a bunch of you have experienced the same thing. I certainly have, although not about my own book.

There seems to be a third type of student, ones who want to take the shortcut but have either read Laurie’s post or have found her unwilling to do their work for them. This third type has cast its research net widely, visiting other websites in search of answers. They have also begun asking me to do their research and to even answer their homework questions.  For example, a research search string of “biggest theme in twis(…)laurie halse anderson” led a visitor to my site. A search for “laurie halse anderson themes” netted a nice email from a nice young lady who needed help with some quotations.

You see, last November, Laurie won the ALAN Award, and I blogged about it. I’ve also recommended a couple of her novels in the past. These Googlecrumbs have led the hungry young academics to my door. As I said, I’m teacher, and my instinct is to help them. However, ethics keep me from doing that. The eternal teenager in me wants to give them answers–all the wrong ones. Ethics keep me from doing that, too. 

So my question to you is, what would you say to ne’er-do-Laurie homework moochers? Inquiring minds want to know. And procure your answers.

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