Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Word! The Introduction!

As I opened the hardcover copy of Susan Blum's book, I really was not looking forward to it. I expected the same lecture about plagiarism that I've heard every year since I've been to school and it's always been the same. It is always the students that are blamed for not giving someone credit and that we should always be punished. However I was quite surprised with Susan Blum's approach to explaining the problem of plagiarism.

I truly felt that Susan Blum was completely committed to explaining the problem of plagiarism instead of finding a scapegoat in a student. Though I wish she would have been more concise with her words, I was hooked. I was amazed that she spent 5 years researching the topic but I respected her ways of finding her answers. I liked how in her interviews, the interviewees did not make it clear that plagiarism was the main focus. She allowed the interview to be more of a conversation which, of course, will always uncover more information than asking questions. I also liked how she respected everyone included in this project including her helpers, her campus, and those who were recorded.

In Chapter 1, I did not realize that plagiarism had deep roots ranging from authors to activists such as MLK. I thought it was ironic how students are constantly told to not plagiarism yet the action of doing so has been repeated over and over again by the same adults who tell students not to do it. Blum even touched on a good point that adults do not receive the same consequences that students do. I guess that just how hypocritical society is.

I definitely appreciate Susan Blum's approach to plagiarism. I feel that she went into this trying to understand this rising problem from all points of view. She understands that students are so busy these days and that we may not be the right scapegoat after all.