Plagiarism and college culture

Blog for Eng 114. Spring 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blog Roll

I hate how blogspot doesnt have categories for you to search other blogs to read, that "next blog" button didn't really help me so I looked through some blogs I have on my favorites. It's sorta sad that most of the blogs I read/used to read don't update regularly or hardly at all, so here are a few that are current to somewhat current:

1) Broke Ass Stuart's Goddamn Website: "You are young broke and beautiful." Tell me you haven't heard of him. :] Check out his San Francisco section and you'll be sure to find cheap/affordable thrills and eats throughout the city as well as anything else interesting that has to do with SF.

2) The Daily Nugget: Fun, somewhat factual, somewhat newsworthy "news" that happens in san francisco. you'd be surprised to know that there was a dead body found in Golden Gate Park and this guy even has a map for it!

3)Street Fancy: A fashion blog with photos of different street fashions in places like San Francisco and New York. I don't consider myself a fashionable person, but I do appreciate looking at people's "in" styles and outrageous outfits.

4) Read my mind: I love her music choice. This is more of a personal blog of someone I don't really know at all, but her blogs are interesting. What first attracted me to her site was her blog on asian plastic surgery. Scary. yes. I didn't think double eyelid surgery was so damn popular in some asian countries and it's damn sad that they find western beauty more appealing.

5) Postsecret!: it was on blogspot so i figured it was a blog. who hasn't heard of it? :] I look forward to every Sunday just so I can read new secrets. It's comforting and amazing when you find a secret that you can relate to and that there's someone out there who feels exactly like you.

Blog #4:My Word Chapter 3: I'm not Performing, I'm Adapting

Like most of the chapters I've read so far, Chapter 3 is another one of those readings that opened up my mind.[hah, you never stop learning right?]

The authentic self and performance self are black and white ideals, but like Blum, I also see that it doesn't apply to everyone and that those two types "may alternate within the same individual."

The performance self "say what is expected, whatever suits the occasion" and is described as goal oriented and to them"all that matters is the effect of their actions." In comparison, the authentic self is quite the opposite and values authorship, uniqueness, and authenticity. As Blum continued to differentiate between the two in the course of the chapter, I started asking, "which one am I?"

Am I having an identity crisis? I've never felt more lost, but I guess I'm just in the gray area, straddling the fence between this or that. At first I thought I was more of the authentic self, I'd never plagiarize intentionally, I stay true to myself as much as possible and I value my words as well as the words of others. However, I would have to say that I am goal oriented and I do enjoy the collaboration of ideas.

My favorite part of the chapter were the interviews on keeping up with appearances and how "performing" affects integrity. It's amusing how I can relate to most of what the students said! So am I afterall just a version of the performance self? Just like the students I do act differently around different people based on the comfort level, but does that mean I'm not being true to myself?

Favorite quote that describes performance selves: "values lie in changing and sharing. integrity may be important, but it is the integrity that is gained from the respect of others in society rather than from a sense of wholeness."

I've never realized how our integrity is constantly challenged, especially around our peers and even in school. One student was interviewed on whether she would write about something she didn't believe in if it meant the difference between passing or failing. The authentic self "would" rather write what they felt despite the consequences and at times students would feel strongly enough to rebuke a professor's opinion, but it's all about the stakes. If it was between an A or a B, sure why not, but an A or an F? The performance self kicks in and adapts.

Hah. I guess that's what the performance self truly's not fake, it's a survivalist, it adapts to an environment/situation in order to achieve the desired outcome. No one can be blamed for that right? So when it comes back to the question of whether people aren't being true to themselves when they act's not so true at all! I know there are some exceptions, but I believe that most of the time people are truly being themselves, but subdue their personalities based on the people they are surrounded with. I don't really think people are being fake when they only choose to reveal or hide a part of themselves to certain people. they're not losing their integrity...they're just choosing to show what they deem appropriate based on the circumstances. As for facebook, myspace, aim, encourages the performance way of keeping up appearances and meeting the expectations of those we associate with.

As for the quote:
"The performance self is more prone to cheat and plagiarize than the authentic self...For a performance self, intellectual property is a quaint yet meaningless notion."

I do agree with Blum's statement. If performance selves only care about that good grade, what would stop them from plagiarizing? Ok, so if a performance self plagiarizes I still think they'd feel guilty about it, somewhat, but then again if intellectual property doesn't mean anything to them...then perhaps thats the cure for any guilt. The performance self wouldn't see plagiarizing as losing integrity because according to them...ideas are not something to be owned, but something to be shared. I think though that if you do borrow ideas/quotes, you might as well "plagiarize" properly with citation.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blog #3: Plagiarism and Forgiveness aka Gladwell article

Gladwell's article was an interesting read. Surprise, surprise, not only did Bryony Lavery pull from Dorothy's work/life, she also copied things from Gladwell's article on Dorothy.

While reading the article I found myself annoyed at Lavery, I thought what she was obviously wrong. I felt the way that Gladwell did. How could she have cited others but not pay the same respect for Lewis and himself? As for her excuse? It seemed petty and it made her seem irresponsible/careless. However, as I neared the end of the article where Lavery paid Gladwell a visit, I realized that, "this woman's morality shouldn't be questioned."

So she WAS careless, but her reputation should not have been defamed. Lavery earned her Tony nomination and any high acclaim for "Frozen." I haven't seen it or anything, but from the article I get the impression that i was well written.

It must've been horrifying for Lewis to find out the way she did, especially since it seemed like it was "her life" on Broadway, but she overreacted. That woman was high on emotion and acted based on what she felt right after finding out. In my opinion, Lewis should have taken Lavery's offer for a talk-back. A lawyer and a lawsuit? So Soon? I think the situation could have been handled better instead of being blown out of proportion and into tabloid/media heaven.

Writers/Journalists must have had fun with that one. haha. Plagiarism is a great disrespect, a big fat no no. For some reason i think that writers take delight on praising great work, but are much more delighted at knocking other writers off their pedestals of praise after any accusation of plagiarism. It's like, "oh you definitely made us fools for believing you could have written anything that good!"

Anyhow...reading Lavery's side of the story helped me understand where she was coming from. She spoke of her experience with forgiveness for the surgeon that pretty much sent her mother to the grave. I now see that was her true inspiration and that Lewis's life and Partington's ordeal[woman whose sister was murdered] were just things that helped her EXPRESS what she felt about forgiveness.

Now that's what I call originality. It was hard defining originalityat first, but after reading Chapter 2 of My Word, I think I have a good idea of it now. Originality is really just taking a piece of yourself/personality and combining it with your influences to create something new.

"The product of this imprinting of the author;s personality on the common stock of the world was a work of original authorship." (Blum, p. 34) And as the interviewee Callista said in Blum's book, "you have to be unique in something you say--atleast the way you tie everyone else's stuff together." (p. 54)

Did Gladwell's article blow anyone's mind? If you guys didn't catch it...

"Frozen was an attempt to understand the nature of forgiveness,"Lavery told Gladwell. Ironically, Frozen forced Lavery to trade places, instead of the granter of forgiveness;she was the one who had to ask for forgiveness from Gladwell and Lewis!

Has anyone ever heard of that saying that forgiveness is not really for the person who has done wrong, but it's for the person giving it? It's not to forget, but it's to allow oneself to move on.

Lavery's take on it was damn good! "Cause if you don't forgive, it's as if you're "frozen" in time, you're still hung up about something that's already been done....and the only way to become "unfrozen" is to let go.

As for Gladwell? He forgave her at the end.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Blog #2: What is an essay?

According to, the verb essay means "an effort to perform or accomplish something;attempt,to test" With that in mind, I am now "essaying" to write atleast 250 words on "what is an essay." :]

In high school the word essay equaled death by procrastination. After reading a fine work of literature, students were typically put up to the task of completing an essay. "You've got till Friday to complete this assignment." which usually translated to "You have my permission to procrastinate until Thursday night." However, in college the word essay was replaced by a much more non-threatening word: PAPER.

Essay=Paper Paper=3, 4, 10 pages

I guess I never really understood what "you will not sleep till you get this done!" meant until college.

So what does come to mind when asked, "what is an essay?"

Maybe I should have paid more attention to the book...500 words! 5 sentences in a papragraph! 5 paragraphs! Intro, thesis, topic sentence, quotes, conclusion. What's up with Holden Caulfield? How has cable news/internet changed the nature of media reporting? What? How? Why? Huckleberry Finn?

After all the torture students are put through, it's pretty easy to lose sense of what an essay really is.

An essay can be a response to an issue or another author's work. The writer states his or her opinion in a thesis, then supports his/her claim by examining and analyzing several ideas. In the process of challenging or "testing" an idea, the writer will eventually prove his/her point and perhaps even reveal something much more intuitive.

Whether it's an essay on your favorite band or how the madisonian model of gov't is reflected in our current gov' thing is certain, an essay always follows one subject, typically whatever is mentioned in the thesis.

So what are we doing when we're writing an essay? We're making the effort to accomplish what the prompt has asked of us, we're testing ideas, and attempting to reveal something meaningful.

So what's the best, most awesome essay experience I've ever had? Junior year! the "golden thread essay."

Prompt? "Write whatever you'd like," my teacher said.

Deciding on what to write about may been hard with so many possibilities to choose from, but in the end I chose to write about my room and what it meant to me. The only requirements were to place the thesis anywhere in the essay except the first paragraph and to use atleast 4 different rhetorical devices. I had so much fun writing the essay since I was allowed to be as creative and as expressive as I pleased!

So forget what I said earlier about a thesis in the introduction/first paragraph, the golden thread essay reminded me that not all essays are boring book report types.