Thanks, Regina: the Ritter piece is very much worth reading.
Once you manage to get access to it: it took me quite a while,
since NCTE is utterly, malignantly stupid about protecting their
journals from unauthorized readers . . .
> There is an excellent article in CCC titled, "The Economics
> of Authorship: Online Papermills, Student Writers, and
> First-Year Comp." by Kelly Ritter that is a must read
> regarding this topic of paper mills and plagiarism. It
> appeared in the 56.4, June 2005 edition (pp 601-631).
> What I liked was Ritter's approach to the problem, which was
> to have students research and write about the paper mills and
> plagiarism, and about student authorship. Maybe educating
> students about these issues, deeply, is the answer. Or at
> least it is an answer...
If you don't want to go to the local university library and pick
up the June 2005 CCC (which is probably at the bindery anyway),
and if you don't happen to have access to one of the baroque
routines for finding the piece on line . . . well, I've just
pirated it and put it on my Web site.
I say it's worth reading, even though I don't agree with many of
Ritter's assumptions. Alhough she waves in the direction of what
Regina says she liked ("educating students about these issues"),
she doesn't ask what seems to me the important question, which
is, "why do we assume that students producing 'good' essays with
'singular student authorship' actually teaches the students much
or shows us anything valuable?"
My view is that Ritter pretty much demonstrates how hopeless the
"war against plagiarism" is, and ought to make us think about
what it is in our larger situation that puts us in the position
to to be unable to escape fighting it. (Yes, I intended that
sentence to have political resonance.)
St. Thomas University
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