I have some high school students submitting assignments where the entire paper is copied from another source. They cited every line. Is this plagiarism? I'm sure they are just being lazy, but they are a smart lazy. I can't find anything to back up my suspicions that they should get a 0 on this assignment. Thanks.
This is not plagiarism, but poor work.
See this discussion on The Chronicle of Higher Education, where several instructors opined that this type of work was not plagiarism but deserved a low grade. One (polly_mer), stated (my emphasis),
I agree with Summers_off that the grade is low for lack of doing the work. My syllabi and assignment sheets now have a comment of "Multiple direct quotations or extensive paraphrasing with little original work will result in a low grade" because I have had too many properly cited assignments that were all cut-and-paste with practically no synthesis.
Plagiarism has an inherent gravamen of dishonesty - that the writer is deceiving the reader into thinking that the writing is the author's when it really isn't. Building a paper that is little more than a collection of quotations and paraphrases with corresponding citations isn't dishonest, it's just crappy work. Think of it like buying a car. If someone says that the car has been scrupulously maintained and has only 20,000 miles on it, but it actually has 125,000 and needs a new engine, that is dishonest, and quite likely leaves them open to legal liability for fraud. If someone tells you that the car they are selling is a hunk of rust and oil, then it's a literal hunk of rust and oil that you aren't going to pay that much for, are you? So, the student gets what they deserve - a low grade for low-quality work.
I’m guessing that the criteria sheet that you’re using has language that says something like “synthesises and analyses multiple data sources into a coherent, logical argument”. If they just quote and cite a bunch of sources without writing anything of their own, they’re not doing any analysis or synthesis, and you can fairly mark them down as a failing grade on that aspect of the criteria sheet (and likely a number of other aspects of their criteria sheet, too).
It wouldn’t be plagiarism or academic dishonesty, though.