It's the end of semester in all but name, and still the living dead, students without a prayer, toil away when the cause is already lost. I have a couple students like that, who I told from the very beginning that they needed to get remedial help fast from reading classes, etc. They didn't do that, but still they cannot understand why they are not doing well in the class.
Writing research papers requires not only research skills, which can be taught rather quickly, really, but also reading ability and the ability to follow up on tasks independently. These students are simply not ready to do this. Perhaps if they were simultaneously taking a critical reading class, that would help, but they chose not to do that. This, along with their woeful lack of preparation in analysis and writing in previous writing classes has done them in. But since at least one of these students received a very good grade in her college writing class, she blames me. She is trying; I am trying, but at the same time, I have known that it was probably not possible for her to pass this class in one semester for a long time. She didn't want to drop when I recommended it, and because I have so few students left, I have been trying to work with her independently as much as possible. Unfortunately, I just couldn't make up for those shortfalls. I am sure I will hear about this if she fails, which I am afraid looks inevitable right now.