Thanks for mentioning it, Sandy.
> Some of you should dig out Russ Hunt's work on plagiarism.
> His questioning approach opened my eyes and gave me a lot to
> think about. I also just came back from CCCC where another
> session on plagiarism questioned the academic perspective (it
> is something bad, needing to be rooted out and the writer
> punished). They used a lot of digital text from the internet
> and showed how the "sharing" of material is common and
You don't have to dig my stuff out: slightly different versions
are on my Web site and the Inkshed Newsletter.
I wish I'd been to the Cs, for a number of reasons, of which
missing that session is one. Sandy, do you have a reference so
I could check out the folks who did the session?
This is dead right:
> I also see that my students do it mainly for two reasons:
> they didn't leave enough time to write the report; they don't
> know how to use sources well--how to integrate them properly
> into a text. Both of those problems can, and should, be
> better addressed in the classroom. An as has been said
> here--plagiarism is particularly tough for ESL students, many
> of whom have been taught that copying is a form of respect and
As you might guess, though, I'd go further: in a fundamental
sense 90% of my students are AESL (that is, Academic English as
a Second Language) and posing plagiarism as a problem -- a
deadly pitfall to be avoided -- for them is about as useful as
posing the avoiding of grammatical malfeasance as the main thing
for beginning writers to be concerned about.
This is, or ought to be, about learning to use language
effectively in context (a hint: context is everything. Come to
Gimli next month and we'll talk).
St. Thomas University
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