Sunday, February 28, 2010

Extra Credit =)

In my opinion Helene Heggman did plagiarize. I would not consider it mixing because she took a whole page of an author’s actual work. If it were mixing, she would of taken the storyline but changed it excessively so that it would have been subtly recognized. That is what they do in music; they take a piece of the riff change it dramatically so it sounds completely new yet it subtly hints that it is a sample. She also did not mention that her book was a “mix” therefore it is considered plagiarism. Like in any other form of writing sources must be cited.

In Gardener’s post she cited “The guardian suggesting that “Hegemann simply does not understand what she has done—“To her, coming from the cut-and-paste world of blogs and Facebook, what she's done is no more than ‘mixing.’” I do not agree with The Guardian because people know when it is appropriate to use phrases without citation. One cannot compare writing quotes on Facebook to using a whole page in a novel. It does not justify Heggman’s actions. She should suffer the consequences for her imprudent actions. Heggman is also making revenue out of her novel, making her action un-ethical as well. Mixing is also not a legitimate reason for using other people’s work without citation. It should still be considered as plagiarism unless there was permission. Paralleling this back to music, musicians cannot take a song sample without permission even if it is being re-mixed. Many lawsuits have undergone due to these incidents, a recent one being the Black Eyed Peas for Boom Boom Pow. The same should be for “mixing” novels.

Although there are no legal repercussions for plagiarism I think there should be when money is involved. The reason because I think it is un-ethical for other people to make money off of someone’s creativity and originality. Heggman says “There’s no such thing as originality anyway, just authenticity.” I agree with her, but she was not being authentic either. An authentic person would have been inspired by previous works and tried to make something different. By “mixing” the whole page with minimal changes in my eyes is not being authentic. Especially since she tried to hide the fact that she did indeed use another author’s work. Although her motives are unclear (it could be that she wanted to make money or she truly does it for the joy of writing), to me she is not really portrayed as an authentic person in these articles. Although she did admit to using nom de plume Airen she still is justifying herself. An authentic person would have just said sorry I was not thinking etc.
This article reminds me of Gladwell’s article. The playwright stole words from his article in her play. It has some similarities but the big difference is that the playwright did create something completely new. She gathered information from academic journal to create a play. She used this information more as background, Heggman though created the same thing, a novel. As if it should be treated differently I am not quite sure, although they both did plagiarize (knowingly) it can be that playwright was more authentic than Heggman.

Inventing the University

It was interesting to learn how instructors grade our timed- essays for the university placement test. I remember that my essay prompt was “Do you think tattoos effects the person in the workplace”, or something of this sort. It was quite difficult to answer this prompt because, I was not sure on how to write the essay. I knew that I had to have a more “academic prose” as David Bartholomae stated but at that moment I did not know what that was. It is quite difficult for first year students to write in a style of academia simply because students do not know what academic writing is. We are encouraged to write our opinions and simultaneously meet the requirements of the university. The language that is expected is unknown when writing “academic papers” making student’s feel that their writing is inadequate. As writers, we must always write in the language of our reader. In this case the university is our reader, an academic constitution in which first year student are new to. Students then have to take on the persona of the performer self instead of the authentic self. In a way many student’s academic writing may be an imitation just because we do not understand the academic language, it is unnatural to us. This though could be changed if we had a better experience of writing in grade school (especially public schooling where there are fewer resources).

During the group discussions, we had a question regarding if the amount of sentence errors correspond to how well the writers were able to approximate academic writing. Bartholomae said in his article that this is not true. He gave the example of the Clay Model writer and the White Shoes writer. The White shoes writer had a relatively error free essay compared to the Clay Model yet in an “academic setting” the Clay Model writer was better. Many student feel that they must stay in their “comfort zones” to have a clean paper and feel hesitant to expand their writing. Speaking about the White Shoes writer Barthalome says, “He will have to be convinced that it is better to write sentences he might not so easily control, and he will have to be convinced that it is better to write muddier and more confusing prose (in order that it may sound like ours)” p.22. What he means by this is that students have to take risks even if the sentence structure may be mal-structured. I think this is what happens to most students. We are trying to have error free essays that in the end we do not take the risk to go above and beyond due to fear.

I feel that this is what I do. I try my best to have error free essays that I lack ingenuity due the fear of having an unclear or “muddy essay”. If I want to write more academically though, I am going to have to go in deep into the discourse. With these reading I am able to figure out what professors are looking for in academic writing even though I still feel inexperienced.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Blog List.

I don't usually go read Blogs but when I do it is usually for for my entertainment.

I usually go to FMyLife to read funny everyday stories that happen to regular JOE's like us.

I LOVE reading travel blogs because I love to travel and learn about other cultures. I put the link to Greg's blog because like him I have unsual fits to move somewhere foreign in the future.

I like reading my HusbandisAnnoying because husband/boyfriend stories are usually really funny.. Maybe I am a cheesy romantic? haha

I've always loved poetry and writing poetry reading other people poetry is really nice especially because it come from pure emotions.

I usually visit Ben Lyon's blog just to see what's up with celebrities and movies. Not very academic but hey.. some gossip isn't so bad?? =)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Word Chapter 3

Susan Blum’s description of the authentic self and the performance self is totally accurate. I believe that everyone have both these “types” within themselves. There are certainly some people who are either one extreme or the other. I do not relate more with one or the other because I think I am in between both of these types.

I am the type of person whose personality is pretty consistent with everyone. My core beliefs do not change depending on whom I am with. What I think is “good” or “bad” is pretty much set. I related a lot to Edward in chapter 3. He said he was “his own person although he got crazier among his friends” (p.72). That is how I am, like he explained it is all about how comfortable you are in a particular situation. I don’t “act” reserved among new people, I am that person when put in that situation. I am still being true to the person that I am. This is a gray in between the two types. The authentic self should be genuine (which I am) and act the same in every situation. This is simply unrealistic though; we always change according to situations or settings. We cannot behave how we behave with our friends with our professors and I guess this is what makes me have qualities of the performance self.

Blum described the authentic type to have concepts such as, “own, genuine, essence and integral”. I definitely have these concepts especially when it comes to my writing. In my writing I do all that I can to sound original, that the words I genuinely created are my own. I do read other people’s work and try to get ideas on how I am going to write but I always try and make it my own. Going back to the in class essay, I try to be original in my academic writing. In this case I fall into the authentic self “type” when it comes to writing. I also want to the get the good grade, so this is sometimes difficult to be authentic and not the performer. I have been in situations where I have to write in a certain style to make my teacher’s like my work and ultimately get a good grade in the class. As to what is more important, being true in your writing or getting a good grade in the class it is possible that maybe getting a good grade in the class is more important to the student. This is what makes it difficult for students to be authentic and may resort to being more of the performer self.

According to Blum’s quote, the performer self is more prone to cheat and plagiarize than the authentic self. This is quite difficult to agree or disagree just because people are not just performers or authentic but more of a mix of the two. But if we are talking about the two different extremes I agree that the performer is self is more prone to cheat/plagiarize. To them it is about “looking good” rather than being authentic to themselves.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Malcolm Gladwell's "Something Borrowed"

As I was reading the article “Something Borrowed” I was unsure of what to think. A side of me thinks that Byrony Lavery was wrong to use borrow from Gladwell. The reason being that she did use direct quotes from Gladwell’s writing. This is a form of plagiarism. Lavery should have gotten the inspiration from Gladwell but should have changed the words, to make it her own work. This would not have been plagiarism because the idea of her play was unique that was inspired (emphasis on inspired since her idea was different than her source) from Gladwell’s “Damaged”. In my opinion I think she should have given credit to Gladwell, the same way she gave credit to Marian Partington for inspiring her into writing a character for the play “Frozen”. Her reasons/explanations for not doing so, were very inadequate and I do believe her actions were irresponsible.

As for “borrowing” from Dorothy Lewis real life, I do not think it was wrong. I believe writers have used real people as inspiration for their writing and stories all the time. Also she did not steal any work from Lewis, she was simply mimicking the type of person Dorothy is. She needed to base her character off a real person in order to make her character “real”. In a way Dorothy Lewis could say Larvey invaded her privacy, but Lavery did change the name of the character therefore there should not be an issue. It could be that Lavery should have also credited her as inspiration but I do not think it was necessary to do so. I think that one should credit published sources because then all writing would have to cite inspiration. There is no rule for citing inspiration therefore Lavery should not be charged for plagiarism in any way in regards of Dorothy Lewis.

Lavery losing her reputation as a play writer for using a couple phrases is not right. She did not use the quotes for a paper or to discredit Gladwell, but rather to reinforce her creative writing. In no way did she try to steal Gladwell’s work to say it was hers. So would it be considered as plagiarism? I am unsure. She created something completely new it was not used for academics but for art. Art has always been based on inspiration from other artists. Would they have to cite that as well? Like the article was saying with music, there is a complexity on how to pinpoint what is plagiarism in art. I think that it was necessary to “borrow” in order to create something new but I also believe that she could have changed the words around from the quotes because that I do believe was a form a plagiarism. If it were not for that I would defend Larvey to say she did not plagiarize just simply was inspired and created something new.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What is an essay?

Essays are the written responses we have to specific topics. In essays we can display our opinions, the evidence in which makes our opinions true and what it conveys within the piece of work we may be analyzing. In essays the structure of writhing usually comes in an introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion. In grade school we learned about the the 5 paragraph but as we grew up and advancing in our writing this expanded into writing as many paragraphs as needed to prove our points.

Essays are typically the evidence that we understand the topic we are learning about, how our writing skills have developed, and how congruent our thoughts can be in writing.

As for the word essay as a verb we discussed it means to try..

Essays are typically not "fun" but I have enjoyed a couple and hated probably even more. The "crappiest" essay I have ever written was for my first SAT. I hated this essay because the question was not interesting at all and mostly because of the limited time we had to write it. I don't remember exactly what the question was right now, but I remember the frustration I has experiencing.

In class or timed essays are the worst essays for me. The reason being is that I get pressured into writing my "best" writing in a span of 40 minutes. For me writing is a process in which I must think about what I will write about, especially if the topic is already given.