NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ776465
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0994
We Won't Get Fooled Again: On the Absence of Angry Responses to Plagiarism in Composition Studies
Robillard, Amy E.
College English, v70 n1 p10-31 Sep 2007
This is an article about the complex relationship between anger and plagiarism in composition studies. Here, the author brings into dialogue two strands of inquiry that have shaped recent disciplinary conversations in composition studies but that have yet to publicly influence each other. Because emotions and authorship have both been perceived and treated as individual, private, and owned rather than social, public, and ideological, the barriers to an understanding of plagiarism's affective effects are thick and invisible. This article begins the work of explicating these barriers and identifying an egregious consequence of their maintenance: idealized representations of writing teachers as disembodied, calm, removed, and objective in their responses to plagiarism and suspected plagiarism. The author's argument begins with an analysis of the function of plagiarism anxiety and its resultant pedagogies of prevention. After then considering the rhetorical aspects of anger, she argues that plagiarism is a threat to a writing teacher's identity and that this threat accounts for the ambivalence with which writing teachers have responded publicly to plagiarism. Because composition studies persuades teachers to enact a particular kind of emotional relationship to students and their writing, teachers who respond angrily to plagiarism or suspected plagiarism find themselves defending conflicting values of their institution and their discipline. She then turns to an analysis of anger as it is represented on teachers' blogs to argue that teachers who represent themselves as angry in the scholarship risk identifying themselves as "bad" teachers, but teachers who represent themselves as angry on their blogs represent themselves as too smart to be fooled by dishonest students. Finally, she suggests that the absence of disciplinarily sponsored anger in response to plagiarism thwarts teachers' efforts to make themselves heard in public discussions about writing in this country. (Contains 3 notes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A