Today in class we talked about plagiarism and explored the different issues involving it. In high school we always used sites such as turnitin.com that would detect plagiarism. I was not a fan of this site, no matter what I wrote, cited or not, it always seemed to say that it was not “fully” my work. This caused me so much stress, I was not meaning to take others work or ideas. I then noticed that even if I quoted others work it still was detected. I believe that teachers, especially in high school, use these sites to scare the students and make sure that they are not just copying a full essay and submitting it. In my opinion, I think that it can be difficult to write a paper and have it completely be your own thoughts. Although you may think that you are creating an original argument, it is very likely that someone out there has also written a paper about this subject. I also find it difficult because at times I may unconsciously write something very close to what I previously read. When writing a research paper I believe that is it very important to read the sources I am using at a full, then closing it and writing what I think in my own words. Then you can go back and add quotes in places that you believe need them. I do believe that plagiarism is wrong and is a problem in our society today with all of the information available on the Internet, but I do find it difficult to detect what may actually be plagiarism because of this as well.
Today in class we began with discussing what we all believe a writing class should teach students, how to find their own voice or how to master academic discourse. At first I found myself caught in the middle, knowing both were important but questioning which one is more essential. I came to believe that a writing class should teach students more about how to find their voice rather than master academic discourse. Although learning the academic discourse is definitely important and should be taught I believe that the focus should be finding their voice. I think that finding ones voice is better off in the long run, it will teach you things that can be used in the real world on an everyday basis. I also believe that learning your voice is more personal and sentimental, you find something about yourself and can value it rather than learn something just to “master” it. Everyone has a different voice; it is what makes you unique. Finding your voice and portraying it in your writing will also help you master academic discourse in your own way. Once you find your own voice it enables you to question and find a new take on your academic discourse. I think that it is a talent to be able to portray your thoughts and views in writing and have the reader know exactly who wrote it. Personally, I have not taken many writing classes and feel that I am still finding my voice in my writing. I find different pieces such as narratives to be easier to do this but I am still working on illustrating myself in all of my writing. How would y’all describe your voice?
Also, found this quote and thought I’d share is: “Finding your voice is a process, a journey to the center of you.” – April Erwin
Today in class we discussed the idea of what actually counts as facts. We looked into two different quotes from Jaime Story:
“The general public must let facts – not rhetoric – guide important decisions affecting education spending” and,
“Korea – a nation that only recently rose above third-world status – spends half what the US does per student, yet comes in 13 places ahead of the US on an international math assessment.”
I found both of these quotes to be very interesting when looking deeper into them. We discussed that Jaime Story wanted us to conclude that we can’t just throw money at something and expect it to be solved. Although I do think that this is a rational comment and conclusion I also think you need to look more into it. Yes, Korea has a higher rate for education; but I think it is important to look at how these students are treated in school. They may be 13 places ahead of the US, however, as Jae said in class, they have a very high suicide rate. These students are stressed from school and taking their lives because of it. This leads me to the question of would you rather have a healthy student with lower scores or a student who ranks high but is not happy? Personally, I believe that in the U.S. most people strive to be happy and healthy with their schoolwork and lives in general. This leads us to question how different are we culturally and economically? And to what extent can we compare the U.S. and Korea?
Today in class we discussed what we believe to be a real major. At first I thought to myself, whichever ones are offered at school and lead to a career. Then once we got into deeper conversations I realized this is a much broader argument. Many people argue that the toughness or amount of tests or hours spent studying deciphers if a major is real. I could not disagree more. There are many majors that do not require you to take a test once a week yet you have to work at a school for an entire day or write multiple papers a week. These majors are still not only hard but they also very important in the world. There are also many majors that do not necessarily lead you to a specific job. Although you won’t know exactly what you are doing once you graduate this is still a “real major”. I believe that any major that teaches you something you are interested in and can use to benefit from or teach others is considered “real”. There are many jobs needed in this world and it takes a certain type of person to not only work for a specific job, but also to do it well.