Badly Written Sample Essays

Be Unique! Your ideas matter, they define who you are. Don't try to be somebody else; be yourself. When you are not sure, it is better to cite than to write on without the citation.

The University has an academic honor code, and uses

IDEAS AND WORDS are the PROPERTY of the AUTHOR. If they write, and then you copy and paste or modify and use, you must cite it!

Procrastination, laziness, and not knowing how to cite can all get you into trouble.

The most common types of plagiarism caused by sloppiness are:

  • Copying and pasting quotes into a text, then forgetting to cite them
  • Paraphrasing or rewording a copied quote in an effort to "make it your own"

Other types of plagiarism:

  • Waiting until the last minute, then "borrowing" someone else's paper 
  • Using a paper you wrote for another class - most faculty won't accept "reruns", unless you have done a complete rewrite!
  • Using examples and supporting ideas from a source without giving credit.
  • Buying a paper off the internet

 You might be confused as to what your professor thinks is plagiarism.

The boundary between plagiarism, disorganized note taking, and forgetfulness or sloppiness is easily overlooked when a paper's deadline approaches.

Do yourself a favor, review these rules and tips, and you will find that not only do you understand plagiarism better, but your wriitng may improve as well.


Leadership Theories

      There are a lot of leadership theories. Some of them I  agree with, others I don’t. This paper will discuss the trait approach and the transformational theory .

      The trait approach identifies characteristics and traits of someone who could be a good leader. The trait approach was also studied by Kirkpatrick and Locke (1995). They concluded that leaders possess definite traits, and like Stogdill, they associated effectiveness with the situation and actions of the leader. The leader must set goals, be a role model, and develop a vision (Kirkpatrick & Locke, 1995). Not everyone who has these traits will be leaders but they could be if they wanted to because companies need effective leaders.

      The other leadership approach important today is the transformational theory. This is my favorite theory. A leader who is transformational is inspirational to work with because he or she motivates the employees. This person helps followers think like leaders. The transformational leader works with his or her people, so employees feels part of a team. The followers trust and respect. This is the kind of leadership needed today because so many workers feel as if they are taken advantage of; they hate their jobs. If companies want to keep good workers, they have to have more leaders who are transformational. People don’t put up with being disrespected at work anymore. These two leadership theories are appropriate for the contemporary business world. A  person must possess positive moral characteristics to be a leader, and they must treat workers fairly. Transformational leadership is important in today’s organizations. If a company wants to stay in business, they must take into account the need for effective leaders and hire the right people for the job.


Kirkpatrick, S. & Locke, E. (1995). Leadership: Do traits matter? In J. Wren (Ed.) The leader’s companion: Insights on leadership through the ages (pp. 133-143). New York, NY: The Free Press.       

Word use: Avoid beginning a sentence with “there is” or “there are.”

Word use: “A lot” is a colloquial or “common” expression. Use more formal diction, such as “many.”

Point of view: Typically APA asks that writers avoid first person (I, me, my). Do not use first person in academic writing unless the assignment calls for it. This sentence is also conversational, not academic.

Mechanics. Never use contractions in academic writing. Write out the words (e.g. do not).

Your thesis should offer your perspective of the trait approach and transformational theory so the essay has real purpose.

The introduction should be the first paragraph and be development with more background information. Separate the developmental paragraphs from the introduction.

Passive voice: Rewrite the sentence to make it active.

This sentence should be paraphrased or quoted because it is taken verbatim from another source.

This author has not been referenced or cited previously. Date needed for proper APA citation.

Run-on sentence. Insert comma before “but.”

Avoid bias so you do not lose the purpose of the essay. A more purposeful thesis will help you avoid this.

Subject/verb agreement. “Employees” is plural, so the verb must be singular (“feel”).

Sentence fragment. Who do the followers trust and respect?

Word choice. Replace with “need.”

This is not really part of the paper’s scope and purpose. The sentence is also too casual for academic writing.

The conclusion should be its own paragraph and separate from the developmental paragraphs.

A transition here helps demonstrate that you are offering further insight to the topic.

Word use. Replace with “he or she.”

This appears to be a real purpose to the paper. Perhaps starting with this concept will help you structure the essay from the very beginning and offer more points for development within the paragraphs and the essay as a whole.

No reference for Stogdill.

Second and subsequent lines must be indented for APA citations.

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