ERIC Number: ED347548
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Collaboration as Plagiarism--Cheating Is in the Eye of the Beholder.
Roen, Duane H.; McNenny, Geraldine
Negative attitudes toward collaborative writing are common, especially in the humanities, and some people view it as a form of plagiarism or cheating. Plagiarism, or the borrowing of ideas from other writers, can be both conscious and unconscious, and can stem from a variety of motives. Even single-authored works are products of many minds, representing a web of "intertextual traces," as numerous critics have argued. Most writers, in fact, admit explicitly or implicitly that they have had lots of help with the writing. Since consciousness and language are social constructs, individual utterance is never entirely original, so that to some degree all writers are plagiarists. The case of Carl Rogers, his influence on subsequent theorists, and the failure to acknowledge Rogers' great influence, although unintended, illustrates the extent of plagiarism. Such lapses in attribution mark recent feminist scholars working in the field of composition theory. Scholars have too often viewed their ideas as a kind of intellectual private property which they alone own, an idea, as Karl Mannheim argues, that makes those who adhere to it "stupid" in the sense that it objectifies the scholar's ideas and leads him/her to take a rigidly defensive stance about them. Also scholars often evade references to collaboration by writing without a sense of location, as if their assumptions were self-evident. Part of the solution to these problems is a stronger sense of true collaboration, in which ideas are everyone's, not just one person's. Focus would then be placed on connections, or"reciprocal interrelationships," thus emphasizing social utility as against private and exclusive gain and bringing about harmony between individual minds and the civilization in which they think. (Notes and 62 references are attached.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Rogers (Carl)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (43rd, Cincinnati, OH, March 19-21, 1992).