Sunday, January 31, 2010

Intro and Chapter 1

In class when we were discussing our “questions about plagiarism”, I thought it was not important because it has been already hammered into our minds ever since grade school. What is plagiarism? “It is taking other people words, ideas without credit” et cetera et cetera. Yet it is never discussed how often it happens in society without any repercussions. That brings me to another questions, then why is the student stigmatized while the professor is not?
Susan Blum’s quest for answering questions about plagiarism is quite interesting. She is not trying to prove that plagiarism is wrong, (since we all know that) she tries to explore the reasons why it happens in college culture. She states, many factors are causing students to be in a hurry. This is something that every college student relates to; students are bombarded with so much work in a limited amount of time. Also trying to meet the professor’s expectations it quite difficult. It has been openly discussed about how freshman do not meet the college level writing expectations.
One of the questions I had in the free-write was, what kind of facts would require citation? Susan Blum touched on this. She said that common knowledge does not have to be cited but that is another gray area. What is common knowledge to me varies to what is common knowledge to another person. Would citations depend on who our reader is? Or what common knowledge is to me personally. That is something I would like to discuss in our class in order to not commit plagiarism.
The introduction and first chapter was really interesting and I am looking forward to reading more and ultimately answering the questions I have about plagiarism. I think it very important to discuss plagiarism rather than just saying, “It’s bad” as it is often said by many teachers and professors.