Again, your message came to my personal mailbox.
The disclaimer I quoted appears in
Ian McEwan, Atonement. Vintage Canada, 2002 edition
Giles Blant, By the time you read this. Vintage Canada, 2007 edition.
A similar disclaimer appears in
Zoe Heller, Notes on a scandal. Picador, 2003.
I like the notion of unmarked quotations!
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: Plagiarism & Dead Poets]
Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 09:47:07 -0600
From: Gloria Michalchuk <[log in to unmask]>
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I've been away and have just returned to reading the discussion. I'm
wondering Natasha if you could tell me which novel has the disclaimer?
The reason I ask, and it perhaps touches on Charlotte's question
regarding the boundary between academic and "creative" writing and her
own process of poetry writing, is that examinees writing story
prose-forms in the Alberta ELA examination contain ingenious displays
of "unmarked quotation". I found the linguistic concept of unmarked
quotations, which in many cases are full sentences, extremely helpful
in analyzing their rhetorical functions. To suggest that these
sentences were "copied" (and thus, plagiarized) just doesn't work
since overall, the responses were so incredibly diverse and
rhetorically rigorous (or not). I realize the reader-response type of
writing is produced in an assessment context but it certainly
highlights an interesting intersection- plagiarism meets creativity.
I'm wondering what kind of looks I would receive if I used this
terminology and asked "Now, what was your reason for not marking
this(or embedding this unmarked) quotation?" "What rhetorical purpose
does it serve?" Although I'm attempting to add humour to the
plagiarism debate, I often initiate plagiarism discussions with a
intertextual and rhetorical-function approach. It re-frames the
embarrassing "plagiarism" tango and transforms it to a
"language-learning and writing" rhumba and occasionally, a creative
free-dance. As discussed by others, students often move to a "no
time", "desperation to get into the business faculty" or "But they
write it so well, so much better than I could" beat. More often than
not, at least with the international students that I taught, the
rhythm slowed to a " I have a general idea that the meaning or main
point is somewhere in the unmarked paragraph or two..." These
responses were fair. At least I had something to work with. As for
those who handed in a paper-mill essay, well, there was always that
final do-or-die, pass or fail English-proficiency exam. Gloria
> I agree with Natasha that we are too obsessed with plagiarism....it brings
> out all our teacherly authoritarian tendencies, like tapping the black board
> with a sharp pointer... It's true too that in literature, sources of
> inspiration have included dreams, the fickle muse, various illegal
> substances and, of course, the work of other writers.
> One of the things my poetry workshop students do are imitations or "talk
> backs" to poems of well-known poets. Stephen Dunning & William Stafford
> (1992) have a good description of it in "Getting the Knack: 20 Poetry
> Writing Exercises." (Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English).
> Like weekend painters in the Louvre, poets have had a long tradition of
> apprenticing with those that came before them. I remember in my youth
> carrying William Carlos Williams and then Shakespeare on my person at all
> times--they were intimate companions and I knew their poems inside out. As
> for imitations, they go likes this:
> (1) Read the selected poem out loud a few times.
> (2) Copy it by hand.
> (3) Note down what strikes you about it.
> (4) Expand these notes into a page or so of discussion as to why you chose
> this poem to work with. Mention what techniques you are planning to imitate,
> or themes you will "talk back to" in your own poem.
> (5) Write your poem and give credit in your title to your poet----, ie.
> "After Yeats's "Wanderings of Oisin"
> At first students can't believe I am asking them to do this....It goes
> against all they have been told about plagiarism and originality. Copying by
> hand seems sketchy too. But after they have done so, they say things like "I
> can understand the subtle use of punctuation much better and why the lines
> break where they do. I get all this now, as if by osmosis and without a lot
> of theorizing!" They come to like doing this a lot. It's reassuring, even
> relaxing. Some of their best poems come from doing imitations....Also it
> helps them jump-start their writing. "I can always do any imitation on those
> days when I sit staring at the blank page," they tell me.
> I don't know how, if at all, this translates over to writing academic
> essays, but my students and I have gotten some good discussions going about
> plagiarism and their need to "talk back" to a dead poet. Charlotte Hussey
> On 5/16/07 8:26 PM, "Natasha Artemeva" wrote:
>> I was reading a modern Russian novel the other day, and in the foreword
>> the editor was saying that in this novel a reader would find hidden
>> quotes from various famous Russian authors whose names were then listed.
>> I am sure any of us can provide multiple examples
>> of "borrowing" from other authors in literature, music, film, even in
>> academic papers. Why are we so obsessed with student plagiarism?
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