Plagiarism & Grammar

In our final class, we discussed our thoughts on plagiarism and traditional grammar. What stuck out to me the most in Howard’s “Policing Plagiarism” article was that teacher’s are often expecting students to produce original works when assigned unoriginal assignments. As a student, I’ve had teachers who repetitively assign formulaic compositions, where I feel compelled to follow a certain layout, and even—to a certain extent—say certain ideas. I think this stifled manner of writing often leads to impulses of plagiarism. If teachers assign interesting and creative projects, I think many more students would be willing to put in some effort.

In terms of grammar in education, I agree with what a lot of people said in class that kids should learn traditional grammar rules, especially when young, and then begin to question these guidelines in creative ways as they enter higher education. It is true that a lot of my favorite writers use traditionally incorrect grammar, and yet their words have had the most impact on me. Lingual communication already inherently limits one’s ability to convey an idea; why should we further confine ourselves on the page with universal restrictions? Emotion is never grammatical and neither is humor. These elements are tied more closely to timing, imagery, and rhythm. That’s why I think students should definitely learn traditional grammar. To break it.

-Andrew Sommers


One thought on “Plagiarism & Grammar

  1. I agree with both of your claims here. I too have had teachers who force me into writing essays where the subject matter is of little interest to me and the content requires very little original thought. These works are almost asking me to use the works of other authors and submit it as my own. I did however take a creative writing class in high school and there I was able to write much more about my own personal opinion. This was easier for me to create interesting and original thoughts. This brings me to the debate of questions correct grammar. My creative articles did not use conventional grammar, but I am glad that I was taught the “correct” use of grammar as a child. I feel it is esential in providing a foundation that writers can eventually alter in order to create something new and innovative in their works.

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