The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1874  Wednesday, 4 October 2000.

From:           David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 3 Oct 2000 17:43:17 GMT
Subject:        Student Essays/Topics

Philip Weller's posting raises a question which has often intrigued me -
in the UK we customarily set essay topics in the form, say, of a
quotation from a critic (real or imagined) with the invitation to
discuss it.  I have found, over the years, that students on various JYA
programmes from the US and Canada almost never answer the question as
formulated, but rewrite it into something more generalised. So, for
example, a question on colonialism in the Tempest might quote Paul
Brown, or Meredith Skura or another influential critic - but the answer
I get just puts 'Colonialism in the Tempest' at its head, and refuses
the specific 'take' of the critical quotation.

Is this just an example of different educational practice?  Is this,
perhaps, why plagiarism from web sites is a bit more difficult to bring
off in the UK?  (Though, of course, plagiarism of various kinds is an
ever-present and growing problem.)

David Lindley

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