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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: December ::
Re: Plagiarism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1325  Monday, 21 December 1998.

[1]     From:   John Robinson <
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        Date:   Friday, 18 Dec 1998 19:49:50 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1319 Re: Plagiarism

[2]     From:   Simon Malloch <
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        Date:   Saturday, 19 Dec 1998 13:35:58 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1319 Re: Plagiarism

[3]     From:   Simon Malloch <
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        Date:   Saturday, 19 Dec 1998 13:59:00 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1319 Re: Plagiarism

[4]     From:   Alan Pierpoint <
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        Date:   Saturday, 19 Dec 1998 06:54:31 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1303 Re: Plagiarism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Robinson <
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Date:           Friday, 18 Dec 1998 19:49:50 EST
Subject: 9.1319 Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1319 Re: Plagiarism

>Yes.  There is a difference between helping someone, and doing his or
>her work outright.  I get lots of requests from lazy scholars (since I
>am on a commercial Internet provider, I think), but I also get
>legitimate inquiries from young people who have done their best to find
>what they need, and are stumped as to where to go next.  I send the
>former to the text, or the library . . . the latter merit help, even of
>the "books [or articles] about" kind.

>The folks on Milton-L  just handled a similar flurry of naive questions
>about heroism in Paradise Lost rather diplomatically, I thought, by
>virtual silence.  The kids talked among themselves as if they were in a
>chatroom, then gave up, when they realized none of the "heavy hitters"
>were paying them any attention.

>Carol Barton

Carol Barton seems advocate the adversarial approach to teaching. The
simple fact is that many undergrads don't know how to use the library to
their best advantage. Many undergrads don't have a clue what the MLA
Bibliography is, or that it is available on CD-ROM, or what to do with
even if they did stumble across it. Many people just go to the library
and type "Shakespeare" in computer terminal, see there are 500 books on
the subject and go home dazed and confused.

As an undergraduate I became interested in the fact that there were
three texts of Hamlet. I went to one of the "heavy hitters" and asked
him what this "three texts thing" means and where I could find out more
about the subject.  He rolled his eye's, sneered, and pointed across the
quad to the library-all 3 million volumes of it. Undaunted, I went to
another, more humane, "heavy hitter" who invited me to his office where
he gave me an impromptu 30 minute lecture in which he explained to me
what a quarto was (catch words, sig. marks etc.); what the folio was (he
had a copy of Hinman in his office to show me); he then wrote down a
couple of books I should look at-Wilson's Shakespeare's Hamlet and the
Problems of its Transmission was among them. He explained to me why the
Arden Hamlet was a more useful text than the Signet edition. I learned a
lot in that 30 minutes.

Some might say he did my research for me. I prefer to call it teaching.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Simon Malloch <
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Date:           Saturday, 19 Dec 1998 13:35:58 +0800
Subject: 9.1319 Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1319 Re: Plagiarism

Linda Stumbaugh <
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 >  wrote:

>I had believed that there was a spirit of academic (and even
>non-academic) cooperation and camaraderie that fostered such lists as
>these in the first place.

Linda, I can see your point.  My comments were not directed to students
in your situation and I apologise to you for that.  I must say, however,
that there is out there a spirit of academic cooperation and
camaraderie, as the existence of this list testifies.  I myself do not
refuse help to others, but I do have my doubts with some of the requests
posted.

Simon Malloch.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Simon Malloch <
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Date:           Saturday, 19 Dec 1998 13:59:00 +0800
Subject: 9.1319 Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1319 Re: Plagiarism

Sean Lawrence <
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 > wrote:

>Should everyone be forbidden from asking for bibliographic guidance?  I
>think that I've done so in the past, and it strikes me as being one of
>the greatest uses of a list like this.  While bibliographies will tell
>you what's been published in a particular area, they won't tell you how
>the publications were received, which studies are considered classics,
>etc.

I see you what you say about bibliographies, and I agree about their
worth in providing advice on the publications listed - unless of course
they take the form of bibliographical essays,  which can be excellent
tools (and I think of John Keegan's Battle for History).

But my point is that at least the library and bibliographies are a start
- even if one avoids the MLA bibliography,  for example, and takes the
bibliography provided in a book,  even the most general book,  on the
subject and follows-up the references contained therein.  These are
starting points and provide good training.  I would just prefer students
(who have access to library resources) to attempt finding material in
this way, rather than immediately approach an internet list for help
without even doing minimal work at the library.  Those who have
exhausted that avenue should then seek help, without doubt.

Simon Malloch.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alan Pierpoint <
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Date:           Saturday, 19 Dec 1998 06:54:31 EST
Subject: 9.1303 Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1303 Re: Plagiarism

Responding to Sally Schutz's posting of 12/15: Tell me, Sally, what
"personal code of morals, principles, and ethics" would prevent you from
clueing us high school teachers in on Internet sites for plagiarized
papers.  Is it just a matter of "us versus them"?  If so, what answer
would you give to the teacher who responds that student plagiarism is an
impediment to our efforts to teach writing to our students, preparing
them to succeed in college and beyond?  Wouldn't you agree that students
who write their own papers learn to become better writers, while those
who plagiarize whole papers learn nothing, except how to cheat?  What's
your thinking on this?

Alan Pierpoint / English Department / Southwestern Academy /

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