Revolution Lullabye

May 12, 2009

Bowden, Coming to Terms

Bowden, Darsie. “Coming to Terms: Plagiarism.” The English Journal 85:4 (April 1996), 82-84.

In order to understand plagiarism, you must address and study the value systems that define it. This overview of current conversations about plagiarism explains the Latin origin of plagiarism (a person who owns slaves, a master) and shows how plagiarism is a decidedly Western phenomenon, drawing on the the three major problems with plagiarism, all grounded in Western thought and ideology: it disrespects a teacher and an institution, it breaches an ethical academic integrity code, and breaches culture’s adherence to the concept of original thinking. Different cultures have different beliefs about who can own language, thus allowing for the kinds of collaboration that are taboo in Western institutions.

Notable Notes

no real argument, just a kind of “here we are” account of plagiarism in education


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