Re: Grading, Plagiarism, Webbed Writing and ...

Eric Crump (wleric@SHOWME.MISSOURI.EDU)
Mon, 5 Aug 1996 16:01:56 -0500

On Mon, 5 Aug 1996, Kenneth Robert Wright wrote:
> One question, will you reward me with a Ph.D. in rhetoric if I write a
> dissertation that is merely a set of links to a large number of
> theorists?

Heck yes!

(but keep in mind I've been waiting for somebody to award *me* a phd
for gabbing on the net, so...)

I like what Chris says here. The student's approach is clever if fit with
the technologies & culture of the net, where connections are the thing &
where new uses of old stuff is what built this world in the first place.
>From a print-based perspective, as traditionally rendered, the student's
work may have seemed a cheap stunt, a cheat.

I think Mike's right, too, though. The student who objected *did* have
cause for complaint. All these years he or she has been assured that
originality **within the confines of the assignment and accepted
decorum** would be rewarded and venturing outside the expected,
especially in troubling ways, would be punished. The complaining student
has reason to feel betrayed. Played the game by the rules and got
leap-frogged by someone who used the rules to his own advantage and who,
perhaps, saw past convention and apprehended new, better rules.


"An ecstatic document is one whose value is not what lies within it but
what it points to. ... The relationship of ideas becomes more important
than the ideas.... The expert is the one who sees how things relate, not
the one who has the most facts."

--David Weinberger, "The Ecstatic Document"
_Wired 3.03_