Jeez, I can't resist the subject line. Been thinking about this,
and getting more confused, for a quarter of a century.
So. I think Rick's absolutely right that it's nothing more or
less than a rhetorical problem. But I'm not so sure about this:
> The preceding, of course, becomes particularly important once
> students learn that more than direct quotations requires
. . . because I'm not so sure it's (what all of us were taught to
think of it as) primarily a _moral_ problem. Morality is what I hear
in "requires." I know, I know, there's all this stuff about
ownership and credit . . . but by and large, that's not what's at
stake when I decide to cite, or quote, Rick's article on "literacy
crises." The rhetorical move there is more like, "Look, this isn't
just my looney idea -- Rick Coe, a published writer, says this too."
Another problem starts with this (with which I totally agree):
> Of course,
> students often don't have much sense of the discourse community they
> are nominally addressing in academic papers, so they will have
> difficulty deciding what needs to be referenced.
This is, of course, because there _is no_ discourse community
they're addressing in those papers. My difficulty, then is with
this next sentence:
> But we can, at
> least, make sure they understand the rhetorical nature of the problem
> so that, as they read and research, they can try to get a sense of
> what the particular discourse community considers common knowledge.
If it were so straightforward I wouldn't have all these problems.
But it isn't enough to "make sure they understand" to _tell them_,
especially if there isn't a real discourse community, but only a
writing teacher trying to synthesize one; and in fact the only way I
can think of to make sure they understand is to _put_ them into a
discourse community. But this is a problem I've been wrestling with
for a decade now.
Russell A. Hunt __|~_)_ __)_|~_ Learning and Teaching
Department of English )_ __)_|_)__ __) Development Office
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