Can Teachers Tell How Much Time You Spend on a Paper at School?

Stack of Books by ginnerobot on flickrThis featured guest post is brought to you by Paige One.

The short answer is yes – they can. Of course they can’t narrow it down to the exact number of hours, days, or weeks you spent on your paper, but there are a lot of signs that can allow them to estimate. Can they tell whether or not you actually read the book? Yes, they almost always can. These detection abilities aren’t magical powers or secrets they learned in school. Can teachers tell whether or not you plagiarized your paper? Thanks to modern technology they most certainly can. If you were thinking of looking for a shortcut on your next assignment or desire a rush essay, you might want to think again and take the long road.

Detecting the Amount of Time Spent on an Essay

What does a procrastinated rushed essay look like versus a thought-out and planned slow essay? Essays that are written under a time constraint tend to overlook part or the total point of the assignment, are usually shorter, erratic, unorganized, don’t answer the question, and contain grammatical errors. Essays that are written at the very last minute tend to miss the point of the assignment. Essay questions often contain more than one component, and the serious procrastinator may miss one or both components. These last minute essays are also usually much shorter when compared to their classmates work. Essays put off until a few days before they are due versus a few hours tend to only have grammatical errors. The writer may have had enough time to answer the question sufficiently, but not to proofread. Essays that are given time and attention, however, usually answer the question completely, are organized, and contain few errors.

Deciphering Whether or not a Student Read the Book

For many years, students thought that technology gave them the upper hand over teachers; they had access to Spark Notes, Cliff Notes, Wikipedia, and all sorts of other online summaries written by people that ‘read’ the book. What they didn’t know is that these sites are not monitored and often contain incorrect information. Now, a light bulb goes off in a teacher’s head when he or she sees blatantly incorrect information in a paper.


In the case of plagiarism, technology wins again. Most college professors and many high school teachers submit papers to sites that check for plagiarism. They used to only submit papers they deemed “suspicious”, but today it’s common practice to submit every paper that crosses their desks. Plagiarism checkers will tell teachers what percentage of your paper is original, show them what’s not, and where you found it. In other words, you will get caught. So write an excellent essay with your teacher’s guidance and excel in school!

Paige One enjoys writing a variety of topics, from fashion to fitness. Succeed in school and write an enticing essay that helps you excel!

Image by ginnerobot on flickr, used under Creative Commons license.

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