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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: December ::
Re: Plagiarism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1327  Tuesday, 22 December 1998.

[1]     From:   Carol Barton <
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        Date:   Monday, 21 Dec 1998 10:23:41 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1325  Re: Plagiarism

[2]     From:   Carol Barton <
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        Date:   Monday, 21 Dec 1998 12:24:15 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1325  Re: Plagiarism

[3]     From:   Jack Lynch <
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        Date:   Monday, 21 Dec 1998 13:13:31 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1325  Re: Plagiarism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol Barton <
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Date:           Monday, 21 Dec 1998 10:23:41 EST
Subject: 9.1325  Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1325  Re: Plagiarism

>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.

Perhaps you should re-read my post.

There is a difference between a lazy scholar (who knows how to use the
library and the reference materials available to him or her, and would
rather take the easy way out) and someone who needs guidance.

Your kind of shoot-from-the-hip response is exactly what you're accusing
me of doing, utterly without warrant (I am in fact a firm believer in
the Socratic method).

I would suggest, physician, that thou heal thyself.

Carol Barton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol Barton <
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Date:           Monday, 21 Dec 1998 12:24:15 EST
Subject: 9.1325  Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1325  Re: Plagiarism

In further support of Simon (and in illustration of the point he and I
have been trying to make), here, with the List's indulgence, is an
unedited e-conversation I had with an inquiring student this morning.

If this is "adversarial," then I am guilty as charged; but I think,
rather, that this is a young man facing a take-home final who has not
bothered to pay attention in class, and as such, that he got more help
from me than he deserved:

RLP Boy:         can I ask you a really quick question about the Inferno of
Dante?
 Cbartonb:       Yes, if it's quick
 Cbartonb:       (I'm really busy right now)
 RLP Boy:        I am just trying to find out how Dante viewed the greeks and
the romans
 RLP Boy:        I am doing a large paper and that is the one topic I can't
find anything on.
 Cbartonb:       That's a question about Dante, not the Inferno.  He writes a
Christian epic that deviates significantly from the classical: it is not
about war, it is about salvation, and in it he invents the modern notion
of Hell (vs. Hades)
 Cbartonb:       What level of school are you in?
 RLP Boy:        Sophomore in College
 Cbartonb:       Okay.  Check references for Dante and Epic as a search
mechanism. Is there a specific question you're answering?
 RLP Boy:        Because this is one part of the paper that I have to right
on.  And the question is how did he feel towards the greeks and the
romans
 Cbartonb:       Okay, I think your teacher is going after what I just told
you.
 Cbartonb:       Not the Greeks and Romans per se (remember, they were
pagans), but their culture
 RLP Boy:        so something to the effect of he felt indebted to them for
the cultural tradition -- but did not overly populate the inferno with
them because of the time break prior to Christ
 Cbartonb:       He does not valorize war, as Homer and Virgil and Tasso and
Ariosto all did
 Cbartonb:       No -- address it generically, epic to epic
 RLP Boy:        but we only read one of them.  All we read was hell.
 Cbartonb:       Tom Maresca's Epic to Novel would help
 Cbartonb:       I mean classical epic to Dante's.  How does his Inferno
differ from the classical notion of hell?
 RLP Boy:        I am confused now?
 Cbartonb:       That's an important difference: Dante is where our entire
modern Christian culture gets hell as a place of torment.  How did the
Greeks and Romans see it?
 Cbartonb:       Your teacher wants you to say how Dante differed in his epic
from the classical notion of epic.
 RLP Boy:        How did the greeks view hell?
 Cbartonb:       He does not write an encomium to war. His main character,
Virgil, is an honored classical poet, but not a Christian. He can only
lead the poet so far . . .
 Cbartonb:       What epics have you read?
 RLP Boy:        CXure of Troy
 RLP Boy:        Odyssey
 Cbartonb:       Well, when Odysseus goes into the underworld, what kind of
place is it?
 RLP Boy:        I honestly don't remember.
 RLP Boy:        I read it so long ago
 Cbartonb:       Sounds like you ought to reread that part, and your notes on
it.
 RLP Boy:        That was from last year .  Dont' think I have the notes.
 Cbartonb:       It isn't the sort of thing one forgets easily.
 Cbartonb:       What course are you taking?
 RLP Boy:        You don';t have a mind for English like I do.
 RLP Boy:        Western Thought
 Cbartonb:       Your teacher didn't go over this?
 RLP Boy:        no
 RLP Boy:        I read the odyssey when I was a soph in high school
 Cbartonb:       That's very strange, in a history of the mind class.
 RLP Boy:        The cure of troy id the only greek piece that we read this
year
 Cbartonb:       Ok.  Research "Hades" and you will find out about the Greek
idea of hell.
 RLP Boy:        ok
 Cbartonb:       It is very different from Dante's vision.
 RLP Boy:        ok, well thsank you very much for your help
 RLP Boy:        I really appreciate it.
 Cbartonb:       Approach the question from the standpoint of Dante's
attitude toward the character Virgil in the Inferno (rather than the
real Virgil, who wrote the Aeneid).
 Cbartonb:       You're welcome

Merry Christmas to all,
Carol Barton

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Lynch <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 21 Dec 1998 13:13:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 9.1325  Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1325  Re: Plagiarism

]John Robinson writes:

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

I'd call that teaching too, as would, I suspect, most people on this
list.  And I'm sympathetic to those who haven't been taught to use a
library.  The problem is students who can't be bothered even to start
looking, and take it for granted that someone else will do their work-a
problem that seems to be exacerbated in the electronic age.  Probably
because I maintain a few popular literary Web pages, including one on
the eighteenth century, I get countless questions from strangers-ten a
week is typical.  I help when I can, either with quick summaries or
(more often) bibliographical pointers. But I regularly receive messages
like this: "Eighteenth Century author: Stephen Duck" (the entire text of
the message; if he can't be bothered to ask a question with a verb, I
can't be bothered to reply); "I need a research paper on Patrick Henry
and if you dont have that can you please send me a lot of info. on this
guy."

Here's another, unedited except for abridgment: "Here's the questions on
18th century literature I neeed to answer.  Plaese answer as many of
these as you can.  1. What were the social, political and cultural
sonditions of the Restoration and of the Eighteenth century?  John
Locke: ... 2. Define empiricism.  How does the term relate to Locke's
writing? ...  John Dryden: 1.  Paraphrase the plot of the poem...."  And
so on.  (I especially like "Paraphrase the plot of the poem" without an
indication of which poem the exam asked about.)

Librarians and educators at all levels have to be more conscious of
students' attitudes toward the Web.  I hope students will be taught that
the Net is a fantastic resource, but that (a) it doesn't replace a
library (electronic text collections don't compare with even small
libraries), and (b) you still have to work for your answers.
 

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