Essay writing Homework Help


# Description Question

Ruiz writes “Language is the code for understand and communication

between humans. Every letter, every word in each language is an agreement” (4). In light

of class discussions, your own reading of The Four Agreements, and your work

surrounding Canagarajah’s text on critical reading and writing, please respond to this

sentiment in a single-spaced, typed page. Cite Ruiz or Canagarajah at least once. 


Chapter 1 Understanding Critical Writing

So what happens to writing when you at­tach the word critical to it? Does anything happen at all? Is this another newfangled label that promotes a novel pedagogy or methodior purely commercial reasons or other ulterior mo­tivations without substantially affecting the writing activity? Or, on the other hand, is too much happening-far too much for our liking-shifting our attention to things unrelated to writing? Is this label bringing into composition something ex­traneous to the writing activity, such as political causes and social concerns that are the whims of one scholarly circle or the other? We in the teaching profession are rightly suspicious of anything that claims to be new, fashionable, or revolution-

ary nowadays.

For me, the label critical brings into sharper focus matters

that are always there in writing. It develops an attitude and a perspective that enable us to see some of the hidden compo­nents of text construction and the subtler ramifications of writing. We gain these insights by situating the text in a rich context comprising diverse social institutions and experien­tial domains. In doing so, the label also alerts us to the power­and dangers-of1iteracy. Texts can open up new possibilities for writers and their communities-just as illiteracy or inef­fective writing can deny avenues for advancement. Writing can bring into being new orientations to the self and the world-just as passive complacent, or mechanical writing parrots the established view of things (which may serve the unfair partisan interests of dominant institutions and social groups). Indeed, the text is shaped by such processes of con­flict. struggle, and change that characterize society. By con­necting the text to context (or the word to the world), the erit-



Critical Academic Writing and Multilingual Students

Understanding Critical Writing


ical perspective enables us to appreciate the complexity of writing and address issues of literacy that have far-reaching

social implications.

ests. Also, the scholar must see to it that he or she doesn't bring any biases or predisposition to the analysis. This disin­terested attitude was considered favorable to letting the object speak for itself. At its best, the study of the text could be un­~ertaken ~ithout any involvement of the scholar by employ­mg pre designed procedures and methods. As a culmination of the Enlightenment tendency, Structuralism took the scholar further inside the isolated text. It claimed that if one entered the core of the text, cutting through the superficial clutter of content, meaning, and surface structural variations one would discover the basic underlying rules that account for the text's universal laws of production and reception. This attitude encouraged an abstract and formalistic approach. Schools as diverse as New Criticism in literature, text lin­guistics in discourse analysis, and the "current traditional" paradigm in rhetoric display such an approach today. Liter­acy instruction, influenced by this tendency, has been for­malistic, skill driven, and product oriented.

The cultivation of such an empirical perspective on texts was certainly productive in many ways. It brought a clarity, discipline, and 'rigor to the descriptive activity. Getting the predisposition of human subjects muddled in the analysis, or getting distracted by superficial variations, can be misleading. The approach certainly generated important insights into cer­tain general properties of textuality and literacy. But there is also something lost in this type of approach. For the sake of analytical convenience we are deliberately simplifying the disposition and implications of texts. The text becomes more and more isolated, detached, abstract, and generic. The val­ues that inform its structure and form are ignored. It becomes empty of content, losing its complexity and depth. With the decontextualized approach, the influences of social condi­tions and cultural diversity on text construction are lost. The ways in which texts are shaped by, and in turn shape, so­ciopolitical realities are obscured. Much of this happens be­cause the text has become static, passive, and one-dimen­sional. Writers and readers themselves become automatons who employ pre designed formal procedures with detachment

Defining the Critical

Before I spell out how critical redefines writing, we should consider briefly the currency of the label itself. We have by now come across critical theory, critical thinking, critical ped­agogy, critical ethnography, critical linguistics, critical dis­course analysis, and even critical classroom discourse analy­sis-just to mention a few." We can of course go on attaching this label to any field we want because there is something pre­dictable and distinctive that happens when we do so. It is nat­ural for us to think of uncritical as the opposite of this label. But it is unfair to say that those who don't practice a critical approach are choosing to be apathetic or naive. There are good reasons why someone may choose to adopt an alternative ap­proach. Indicative ofthese more serious motivations are terms like objective, detached, disinterested, pragmatic, formalistic, and abstract. These adjectives are less pejorative antonyms for the term critical.

To understand the ways these terms relate to each other, we

need to take a brief detour through history. The Enlighten­ment movement of seventeenth-century Europe has much to do with the values attached to these terms. Taking pride in adopting a more rational, systematic, and scientific approach to things, the movement initiated radical changes in many do­mains of inquiry. Its effects are still there in certain traditions of the study of writing. In order to understand writing, the movement would have said, we need first to identify and de­marcate the object of our analysis-the text. We should sepa­rate the "text-in-itself" from other related activities and do­mains so that it can speak for itself. For example, the writer's intentions, feelings, values, and interests should be separated from the text. Neither is the text the reader's processing of it in terms of his or her intentions, feelings, values, and inter-



Critical Academic Writing and Multilingual Students

to generate texts. All this amounts to adopting an innocence and complacency toward the literate activity. As a corrective, the critical approach grounds the text in the material world to orientate to its troubling social functions, the value-ridden na­ture of its constitution, and the conflicting motivations be­hind its production and reception.

Now let's return to our original question: how does the criti­cal orientation redefine writing? We may summarize the shifts in perspective in the following manner.

·      From writing as autonomous to writing as situated. The production of texts is not an end in itself. We don't write simply to produce a text-and leave it at that. We pro­duce texts to achieve certain interests and purposes. Fur­thermore, after a text is produced, it gets used in unan­ticipated ways. Launched into the public world, it takes a life of its own and effects results and processes totally unanticipated by the writer. Therefore, texts not only mean but do. Their functionality goes to the extent of re­constructing reality, rather than simply reflecting reality. We need to inquire what the word does to/in the world.

·From writing as individualistic to writing as social. For many of us, the stock image of writing is that of the lonely writer locked away in his small apartment (in crowded New York City) or a cabin (in the quiet woods of New England) pouring his thoughts on paper under mysteri­ously received inspiration. But writing is not a mono­logue; it is dialogical. One has to take account of the au­dience (implicitly or explicitly) while writing. This may involve a set of intended audiences, but it also involves an ever-expanding unintended audience (stretching lim­itlessly across time and space). In constructing a text, a writer is conducting a conversation with all this diver­sity of readers. This process is different from the defini­tion of it we get from communication theory-which is often diagrammed as follows: writer---7text---7reader (or speaker---7words---71istener). Writing is not a one-way

Understanding Critical Writing


transmission of ideas, nor are constructs like writer and text autonomous. The writer's "intentions" and "thoughts" are considerably influenced by the expecta­tions, norms, and values of the audience (or community). The text itself then becomes a mediated construct-one that is shaped by the struggle/collaboration/interplay between the writer, reader, and the community for thought. We have to become sensitive to how the text em­bodies the influences of this social interaction.

·    From writing as cognitive to writing as material. For many, writing is a purely mental activity of putting down on paper the relevant ideas, words, and information that one has the capacity to generate. They view writing as a play between the mind and the text for meaning, order, and coherence. But there are many material resources re­quired to do writing. At the simplest level, one needs a pencil, pen, typewriter, or computer to compose one's thoughts. Which of these one uses is often decided by one's economic status. Each of these instruments pre­sents different levels of advantage to the writer. Further­more, one needs to be privileged to devote the time re­quired for writing. Writers also need the means to tap necessary resources from publishers, libraries, media in­dustries, and the market. The text is shaped out of a ne­gotiation of these constraints and resources. How these material factors impinge upon the text requires exami­nation.

·    From writing as formal to writing as ideological. Another commonsense assumption is that one only needs gram­mar, structure, and rules to construct a text. These are treated as abstract, value-free features of textual form. But writing is more than language or structure. It is also a representation ofreality, an embodiment of values, and a presentation of self. Form itself is informed by diverse conventions of textuality, values of appropriacy, and at­titudes to style. If writing is not just rules but how to use those rules-that is, for what purpose and with what at­titude-then this is a contentious area of cultural differ-



Critical Academic Writing and Multilingual Students

ence and ideological preference. One has to consider what values are implied by the form and whether textual norms can be modified to represent alternate values.

·From writing as spatial to writing as historical. For many, the text (once produced) is an inert object that occupies a space . It is how words populate five pages, structured in a seamless manner, that is treated as the concern of writers and readers. But the text has evolved through time. While the writing was being done, the writer took care of many other responsibilities in his or her everyday life. There were many false starts and failed attempts. There were many visions and revisions of what the writer wanted to say. There were collaborations and con­flicts around the evolving text. The changing social con­ditions of the community and the personal fortunes of the writer also shape the text. After being produced, the text continues to live in history, being decoded differ­ently according to differing social conditions. The text then is not a seamless whole that stands static through reading and writing. How it is shaped by the disjunc­tions, fissures, struggles, and conflicts during its con­struction and reception needs attention.

If we can summarize all these differences in one simple slo­gan, the shift is from writing as an object to writing as an ac­tivity In integrating the text into the flow of sociohistoric cur­rents and understanding it as one more purposive activity we do in everyday life, writing becomes not a product but a prac­tice. It is in perceiving writing as a situated, mediated, dy­namic social activity that the work of critical practice begins. We cannot stop with charting the internal linguistic structures and rhetorical patterns of the text. We have to also interrogate the values and ideologies that inform the text; the ways in which the external contexts of production and reception shape the text; the prospects for human possibilities to be lim­ited or expanded by the text; and the ways in which the un­equal status and differing identities of writers (and readers) af­fect the constitution of the text. In short, we begin to see how

Understanding Critical Writing


writing is implicated in social conflict, material inequality, cultural difference, and power relationships. In critical writ­ing, students would become sensitive to these factors. They would wrestle with textual constraints, tap the available ma­terial resources, and negotiate the conflicting discourses in their favor to communicate effectively. In teaching critical writing, instructors have to make students aware of these di­verse constraints and possibilities as they strive for a repre­sentation of knowledge that is emancipatory and empowering.

The orientations listed earlier differ from the perspectives of some other current schools of thinking that may employ similar constructs in their definitions. For example, that writ­ing should be contextualized is widely held by many schools these days. But for some, contextualizing the text means see­ing the specific details/words/images in terms of the total framework of the text. Or it can mean seeing the details in terms of rhetorical/genre conventions. But this sense of con­text is still "internal" to the text. I have articulated an ever­widening context that expands beyond the writer/reader and the community to historical and social conditions. On the other hand, even when social context is acknowledged by some schools, it is treated as lying outside the text; it doesn't affect the text's very constitution. Furthermore, theorizing the politics of writing has become fashionable in many circles to­day-especially among those influenced by poststructuralist and postmodernist perspectives. However, here again, poli­tics is defined in terms of discursive and linguistic issues only, leaving more recalcitrant material factors out of consid­eration. This orientation explains the trend in Western aca­demic circles toward celebrating the rhetorical activity of in­terpreting the tensions within the text to show how ideological struggle is manifested there. The poststructuralist schools perceive language as one of the tools that sustain in­equality and domination at the micro social level; therefore, de constructing the written text to expose the tensions therein is treated as equal to bringing the whole unfair social edifice crumbling down. Though I acknowledge the importance of language and discourse in reflecting/sustaining/enforcing in-



Critical Academic Writing and Multilingual Students

Understanding Critical Writing


Orientating to the Multilingual Writer

Portuguese in Brazil), students from these communities will still have some competence in English. This circle is largely multilingual, speaking English as a third or fourth language. However, the traditional distinction between EFL and ESL contexts is becoming fluid these days as English attains the position of a global language." It is becoming indispensable for almost everyone in the postmodern world to hold some proficiency in English and use it for a variety of purposes in their everyday life. Despite the varying levels of linguistic competence possessed by the different ESOL subgroups iden­tified earlier, in practicing academic writing in English they have to all acquire new discourses and conventions and rep­resent their identities in novel ways."

Do these students require a different teaching approach from those used for L1 students? To address this question clearly we have to first ask how ESOL and L1 student communities are different. (By "L1 students" I am referring here to those who are "traditionally native" in English, largely monolinguals, coming from the former colonizing communities that still claim ownership over the language.) It has become pedagogi­cal common sense to distinguish these groups in terms of lin­guistic difference. ESOL teachers have treated multilingual students as strangers to English and thus aimed to develop their grammatical competence in order to facilitate their aca­demic writing. But this approach is misdirected. We must note that many of these students have some competence in one or more dialects of English-sometimes speaking their local vari­ants of English "natively." There is also widespread profi­ciency in specialized registers in English-such as the lan­guage of computers, technology, academia, and the professions (e.g., legalese, journalese). Moreover, writing involves not just grammatical competence. Therefore, different pedagogies are not warranted based purely on differences in grammatical pro­ficiency.

Teachers have also focused on the cultural difference be­tween both student groups. Apart from the larger differences in beliefs and practices, there can be more specific differences related to literacy. The genres and styles of communication,

equality, I still feel that the historical and material dimensions of power have to be addressed in their own terms. Therefore my perspective on writing brings together text-internal and text-external factors, discursive and historical forces, linguis­tic and social considerations.

I have been talking of the writer in very generalized terms up to this point. It is time now to give flesh and blood to the type of writers this book is concerned with. The pedagogical con­text assumed in this book is the teaching of English for speak­ers of other languages (ESOL). The ESOL student community includes those who are learning English as a second lan­guage-in other words, those living in former British colonies such as India, Nigeria, and Jamaica and those linguistic mi­norities living in the traditionally English-speaking countri es of Canada the United Sta es, and Britain all of whom actively use English as an additional language in social and educa­tionallife. These are largely bilinguals. Included in this group are speech communities for whom English has become con­siderably 'nativized." Through a long history of interaction, English has now become locally rooted, accommodating lex­ical, grammatical, and discoursal features from native lan­guages. While some of these speakers would consider English their native language (i.e., speaking English as their first or sale language), they will still face challenges in using the 'standard" English, dialects (of the Anglo-Americ;;an variety) treated as the norm for academic writing. Therefore they should also be considered bidialectals who have to shift from one variant of English to another in their writing.

These groups (largely ESL) differ from those who learn En­glish as a foreign language (EFL). In many parts of the contem­porary world English is an indispensable auxiliary lariguage for a variety of specialized purposes. In addition to being proficient in the vernacular and perhaps in some regional or colonial languages (French in Vietnam, Dutch. in Indonesia,



Critical Academic Writing and Multilingual Students

Understanding Critical Writing


the practices and uses of literacy, and the attitudes and processes in composing can be different. The popularity of approaches like contrastive rhetoric explains the importance given by teachers to cultural differences in text construction. But even this mustn't be exaggerated too much. After the colo­nial experience, European culture has left an indelible mark on many local communities (see Canagarajah 1999c; Penny­cook 1994). The general trend of globalization in the contem­porary world has also resulted in the spreading of Anglo­American values and institutions worldwide. More relevant to our discussion, literacy has spread to such levels that we don't have any "pure" oral communities to speak of today. Even the communities that didn't have a written script have developed one through the help of missionary enterprises (though some of this resulted from the motivation of teaching the Bible).

In general, it is becoming more and more difficult to "es­sentialize" students in ESOL-that is, to generalize their iden­tity and character according to a rigidly definable set of lin­guistic or cultural traits. We are unable to define them in ways that are diametrically opposed to the language and culture of L1 students. ESOL students are not aliens to the English lan­guage or Anglo-American culture anymore. The hybridity that characterizes communities and individuals in the post­colonial world complicates some of the easy distinctions teachers are used to making about ESOL students. In fact, it is difficult now to speak of uncontaminated "native" cultures or "vernaculars," as many communities have accommodated foreign traditions and practices through a history of cultural interaction and adaptation (see Appadurai 1996). Students in ESOL bring with them a mixture of local and Western lin­guistic/cultural characteristics, and we shouldn't assume that they all require an "introduction" to the English language and Anglo-American culture.

These qualifications don't mean that ESOL students are not different from L1 students but that "difference" has to be re­defined in more complex terms. We have to move away from easy stereotypes about them. The fact that ESOL students dis-

play hybrid multicultural, multilingual tendencies doesn't make them the same as L1 students. Hybridity doesn't pre­clude questions of sociocultural uniqueness. These students may display conflicting attitudes toward the various cultures that make up their subjectivity. They may in fact suspect­and resist-their "Anglo-American" legacy, which has the po­tential to dominate or suppress their more "indigenous" side. They may also display a different subject position in terms of cultural identity. Their preferred choices of community soli­darity and cultural identities have to be respected. While most ESOL students occupy a largely unequal status, as col­ored individuals from periphery communities, L1 students occupy a privileged position. The latter's cultural identity en­joys the power of dominant communities from the geopoliti­cal center, providing a head start on the linguistic and cultural capital necessary for success in the contemporary world. Hy­bridity shouldn't be taken to mean, therefore, that issues of power and difference are irrelevant in today's world. Some postmodernist scholars have mistakenly assumed that the re­ality of cultural and linguistic mixing has defeated the de­signs of imperialistic forces. Nor should we assume that trends toward hybridity and globalization lead to a homoge­neous world where difference doesn't matter anymore." In fact, these trends have inspired minority communities to cel­ebrate their differences and develop their local knowledge and identities. Therefore, despite certain obvious signs to­ward homogeneity through forces of technology, multina­tional companies, market forces, and the media, we cannot say that difference has been eradicated altogether. Issues of power and difference have simply become more subtle and dispersed.

The more important consideration in critical writing is not difference per se but the attitudes we adopt toward difference. We have a long history in our profession where the linguis­tic/cultural difference of multilingual students has been treated as making them limited and deficient in their writing ability. Their distance from the English language and Anglo-



Critical Academic Writing and Multilingual Students

American culture has been treated as depriving them of many essential aptitudes required for successful academic literacy practices. Some have gone further to stigmatize multilingual writers as illogical in thinking and incoherent in communi­cation, by virtue of their deficient Ll and native culture. Con­sider a summary of the many differences discovered between L1 and L2 writers from empirical studies by Silva (1993).

"L2 writers did less planning, at the global and local lev­els" (661).

"L2 writers did less goal setting, global and local, and had

more difficulty achieving these goals" (661).

"Organizing generated material in the L2 was more diffi-

cult" (661).

"Transcribing in the L2 was more laborious, less fluent, and

less productive" (661).

"Pauses were more frequent, longer, and consumed more

writing time" (662).

"L2 writers wrote at a slower rate and produced fewer words

of written text" (662).

"L2 writing reportedly involved less reviewing" (662). "There was evidence of less rereading of and reflecting on

written texts" (662).5

We shouldn't be surprised that L2 students fall short when L1 writing is treated as the norm or point of reference. It is im­portant therefore to examine the assumptions and attitudes with which our research is conducted. Though it must be ac­knowledged that ESOL students would practice English aca­demic writing in the L1 context and cannot escape from the norms of the dominant linguistic circles, we must still ask:

How would our interpretation differ if we understood the composing strategies of ESOL students in terms of their own cultural frames and literacy practices?

Adopting a perspective that takes the students' own frames of reference seriously is the relativistic orientation, distinct from the normative approach described earlier. It is important to take the students' own explanations and orientations into

Understanding Critical Writing


account, situated in their own cultural and linguistic tradi­tions, to explain their writing practices. This way we are able to understand that there are good reasons why they do ~hat .they do. Although this attitude is more egalitarian, differing from the "deficit" perspective described earlier, it doesn't go far enough in providing dignity to multilingual stu~ents. T~eir perspectives are seen as being shaped by their respective cultures and languages, requiring inordinate effort to reorientate to other discourses. Even well-meaning scholars sympathetic to minority cultures sometimes theorize the competence of ESOL students in condescending terms. For example, some have argued that since students from Asian communities prefer nonlinear styles of thinking, they shouldn't be imposed upon to adopt the explicit forms oflogic and reasoning of Anglo-American communities (see Fox 1994).6 If these students fail in English literacy, this is ex­plained as resulting from the fact that they are strangers to the established discourses of the academy. (And, displaying a trace of ethnocentricism, these scholars judge literacy skills according to Anglo-American rhetorical traditions anyway.) Such an attitude is to orientate to difference as a problem all over again. Sometimes this can take a deterministic bent. The cultural uniqueness of students is treated as preventing them ~om be~oming successful writers in English, trapping them into their respective cultural/linguistic worlds.

If difference-as-deficit and difference-as-estrangement are so~ewhat limiting perspectives on multilingual writers, an attitude that gives them more complexity is one that I call the difference-as-resource perspective. Multilingual students do-and can-use their background as a stepping-stone to master academic discourses. Their values can function as a so~rce of strength in their writing experience in English, en­ablmg them to transfer many skills from their traditions of vernacular communication. Even in cases where the connec­tion is not clear, it is important for teachers to consider how the vernacular influence can be made beneficial for their writ­ing experience rather than functioning in negative, unpleas­ant, or conflictual ways. Such an attitude will involve teach-



Critical Academic Writing and Multilingual Students

ers orientating to their students differently. We should respect and value the linguistic and cultural peculiarities our stu­dents may display, rather than suppressing them. We should strive to understand their values and interests and discover ways of engaging those in the writing process. In doing so, we should be ready to accept the ways in which academic texts and discourses will be creatively modified according to the strengths brought by the students. Academic literacy should adopt a bilateral process-in other words, not only should students be made to appreciate academic discourses but the academic community should accommodate alternate dis­courses. It is such an attitude that characterizes my orienta­tion to composition research and pedagogical practice in the

chapters to follow.

Having examined our attitudes toward the linguistic/cultural difference of multilingual students, we have to briefly con­sider the approach we should adopt to relate their back­ground to academic writing practice. It is nat surprising that the attitudes discussed earlier have brought forth different ap­proaches to teaching writing. There is no need to discuss the unfairness of the conversion approach, informed by the deficit attitude, which posits that multilingual students have to per­manently move away from their indigenous discourses to su­perior English-based discourses. An approach that has been more respectable in this regard is what I call the crossing model, informed by the relativistic attitude. According to this approach, teachers attempt to build bridges to help multilin­gual students move from their local literacy practices and cul­tural frames toward academic/English discourses (and vice versa). Though students may shuttle between academic and home settings, in this approach there is a clear-cut difference between the academic and vernacular literacies. Students have to keep their discourses from home at home and enter into academic discourses with a new sense of self and reality. Students are asked to adopt different roles and identities as they move between the home and school. They have to re­member that in each context (or community) there are differ-

Understanding Critical Writing


ent values, knowledge, discourses, and styles practiced. So they have to develop the facility to switch discourses in con­textually relevant ways as they cross boundaries.

Although this approach devises a way to develop respect for both the academic and nonacademic discourses, there are cer­tain problems with it. It creates an either/or distinction be­tween academic and vernacular literacies. Text construction in both traditions is treated as mutually exclusive. It also im­poses a split subjectivity on multilingual students-they are asked to be different persons in different communities/con­texts. However, there is an increasing body of research that suggests that minority students don't want to suppress or abandon their vernacular cultures when they practice aca­demic writing. 7 They want to bring their preferred values, ide­ologies, and styles of writing into English literacy. Students cannot be expected to leave behind their identities and inter­ests as they engage in the learning process. What I call the ne­gotiation model requires that students wrestle with the diver­gent discourses they face in writing to creatively work out alternate discourses and literacies that represent better their values and interests. In some cases this means appropriating the academic discourse and conventions in terms of the stu­dents' own backgrounds. It can sometimes mean a creative merging of conflicting discourses. It shouldn't be surprising that the texts of multilingual students are somewhat differ­ent-they are embodiments of the unique voices and identi­ties of the students. This approach also tackles some of the power conflicts experienced by multilingual students. Prac­ticing academic discourses according to the established con­ventions (as defined by the dominant social groups) would in­volve endorsing the values and interests these conventions are informed by. If these values are unfavorable for multilingual students, or if they don't favor emancipatory interests, these writers are going to give life to the oppressive ideologies of the dominant groups. Appropriating academic discourses in their own terms would enable students to reconstruct established textual practices and infuse them with oppositional values and meanings. This is a way of eventually resisting the domi-



Critical Academic Writing and Multilingual Students

Understanding Critical Writing


Writing in an Imperialistic Language?

sired. Some in this camp go further to argue that English has attained the position of a universal language that has accom­modated values from different communities and lost its im­perialist character. 11

I hold that while each language is indeed ideological in rep­resenting partisan values and interests (being by no means neutral), it is not impossible to negotiate with language to win some space for one's purposes. It appears to me therefore that while the separatists are a bit too cynical, the universalists are complacent. While the former are too deterministic, the latter are romantic. Though we are all ideologically conditioned, hu­man subjects do enjoy some relative autonomy from social in­stitutions and discourses to conduct critical, independent thinking. English itself is becoming hybridized, embodying grammatical features, lexical items, and discourse conven­tions from a variety of communities. Through such processes of nativization, formerly colonized communities are appro­priating the language and making it their own-thus making English a suitable medium for their values and interests. Con­sistent with my view expressed earlier on culture, the so­called alien language can also become a resource for opposi­tional and critical purposes. It is possible in critical writing for multilingual students to tap the resources of English and use it judiciously to represent the interests of their communities. An uncritical use of the language, on the other hand, poses the threat of making the individual and the community prone to domination. I would give this critical approach the same label I gave earlier for dealing with cultural difference-the negoti­ation model.F ESOL writers have to be made reflexively aware of the medium they are using, developing a critical under­standing of its potentialities and limitations as they appropri­ate and reconstruct the language to represent their interests.

nant ideologies and interests that inform academic literacy. There is therefore a critical edge in the negotiation model, while the crossing model (at its best) simply takes the estab­lished conventions and knowledge of each context/commu­nity for granted in a noncommittal way. Teachers and students who practice the negotiation model would tend to subscribe to the difforence-es-resource attitude articulated earlier.

Before I conclude these preliminary statements of intent, I need to adopt a position on one more matter that will nag us in the following chapters. This is the question of the English language. To the extent that we are talking about academic writing in English, there are issues of linguistic imperialism that need to be addressed. Is it proper to encourage and facil­itate the use of a language that is tainted with a history of global domination, colonizing other languages and commu­nities with its values? There is no need to prove here that the English language does have a domineering status in the acad­emy and society." What is important, once again, are the atti­tudes and approaches to be adopted toward this language.

There is an important strand of thinking among some third world scholars that local communities should have no truck with English. We may call this the separatist orientation." Treating languages as embodying partisan values, these schol­ars hold that English will condition our thinking and limit the meanings we may want to express in our writing. They would therefore think of English as muting any oppositional per­spectives one may bring to knowledge creation in academic writing-and, in fact, as leading to the reproduction of Euro­centric values and thinking in the local communities. For them, the medium is the message. Opposed to them are the universalists, who believe that language is simply a neutral medium that one can use for whatever messages one may want to convey."? For the latter, the mind of the writer tran­scends language to freely employ any grammatical system de-

On Adopting Ideological Commitments

There are important reasons why I am stating my position up front on some of the controversial questions affecting ESOL



Critical Academic Writing and Multilingual Students

Understanding Critical Writing


writing. It is the view of critical theorists that there are no po­sitions of absolute neutrality available for anyone on any is­sue. Everything is value ridden and ideological. It is important therefore to be frank about the position one holds on social and educational matters. Making one's assumptions explicit can help one to examine one's ideological positions critically and adopt stances that favor more emancipatory, egalitarian, and empowering interests. Practicing a critical pedagogy would in­volve instructors being similarly clear about their values, po­sitions, and interests as they engage in teaching writing: Apart from adopting emancipatory agendas in their teaching activ­ity, this would also enable them to examine and refine their ideologies in relation to the conditions confronted in the class­room and the challenges posed by the students. Pretending to be neutral or hiding one's ideological stances is counterpro­ductive, as such practices will lead both to surreptitiously im­posing one's values on the students and to limiting one's own

                        .       d                . 1                   13

deve opment Into eeper SOCIa awareness.

Needless to say, all this doesn't mean that any ideology ~s acceptable in the classroom. The purpose of acknowledging one's ideological stance is to frankly examine whether it fur­thers the interests of justice and equality for all. If teachers recognize that their ideological leanings lead to unfair out­comes, they should have the integrity to revise their beliefs. Even in cases where one may be convinced that one's ideol­ogy is the most liberating system of belief, one should have the humility to respect the values of students, engage with them frankly, and negotiate differences in favor of developing beliefs and practices that ensure the well-being of everybody.

Acknowledging one's values shouldn't be taken to mean that one holds rigidly to one's position in the face of conflict­ing evidence and deepening political understanding. One should be open to developing more humane and progressive positions based on increasing knowledge and changing social conditions. Adopting a critical orientation doesn't mean be­ing dogmatic. It is possible to admit one's tentative position on something while being open to further developing one's awareness. In fact, what is "politically correct" in writing

pedagogy has been changing over time, based on new research knowledge and social awareness. For example, during the 1980s the relativistic positions articulated earlier-that is, the difference-as-estrangement attitude and the crossing model­were held by many critical pedagogues (including me) as of­fering the best recourse for the conflicts faced by multilingual students. 14 This was certainly a more enlightened perspective compared to the deficit approach, as it respected the vernac­ulars and indigenous cultures of minority students and ac­knowledged their right to maintain them. But with additional research showing the dissatisfaction of minority students in adopting a split personality as they switch discourses and identities, and the understandable social consequences stem­ming from the complacency of a relativistic orientation, we have had to adopt more critical positions. Moreover, ac­knowledging one's position on some of these fundamental theoretical issues doesn't solve all the pedagogical questions one has to face in the classroom. Similarly, how one's posi­tions are to be realized in writing will take different forms in different rhetorical contexts. There are many different meth­ods and strategies that may be adopted to achieve the negoti­ation model and the difference-as-resource orientation artic­ulated earlier. As we will see in the following chapters, between holding a standpoint and practicing it in the class­room (or practicing it in writing) there is a huge divide that needs to be imaginatively bridged.

The Challenge

Given the general orientation to multilingual students and their writing activity articulated earlier, how can we summa­rize the challenges we face in teaching critical writing? Here are some of the concerns that will be addressed in the chap­ters to follow.

·    Whereas students are generally taught to take the estab­lished genre rules and literacy conventions for granted in



Critical Academic Writing and Multilingual Students

constructing texts to suit different rhetorical situations (often with the assumption that these are value-free rules or neutral frameworks that we can use to articulate any message we want), critical writing involves examining the values and interests assumed by these rules. We should teach students not to treat rules of communica­tion as innocent or indisputable but to negotiate for in­dependent expression by reframing them in suitable ways. They have to ask: How did these rules come into being? Whom do these rules favor? What possibilities and limitations do these rules pose for critical expres­sion? What alternatives are available?

·    Whereas students are generally taught to use established knowledge already available in texts, critical writing in­volves interrogating received knowledge and recon­structing it through the writing process. All knowledge should be treated as "interested." Multilingual students have to question the dominant knowledge constructs in the academy, in addition to critically engaging the knowl­edge traditions they bring from their local communities as they make a space for oppositional knowledge that fa­vors wider emancipatory and democratic interests.

·    Whereas students are generally taught academic writing as a detached activity of expressing publicly verifiable knowledge in a balanced and logical way through con­ventional rules, critical writing encourages a personal engagement in the writing process. One should reflex­ively explore one's identity, consciousness, and values during text construction not only to make a textual space for one's voice but also to challenge dominant knowledge constructs according to one's personal location.

·    Whereas writing is generally taught as an acquiescent ac­tivity of assuming a preexisting reality within which the text takes its place, critical writing involves interrogating the dominant conception of reality and changing it to create more democratic possibilities. In order to do so, students have to be taught to treat texts as not only re­flecting but constituting reality. Apart from being instru-

Understanding Critical Writing


mental in transforming realities, texts may themselves represent new realities.

·Whereas students are generally taught to treat the lan­guage of written communication (including registers, styles, and codes ofthat genre) as an abstract structure or system, critical writing involves interrogating the lan­guage for the ways in which it represents its own values and sometimes suppresses divergent messages. Students have to negotiate the ideologies informing the English language as they appropriate it to represent their inter­ests and values in their writing, using language in cre­ative new ways to struggle for alternate expression. Bilingual writers have the further task of finding appro­priate ways of accommodating the strengths they bring from their nativized Englishes and vernaculars as they struggle for a voice that suits their values and interests in academic texts.

In one sense these are perhaps the common issues facing all students in academic writing. But since multilingual students bring with them identities values and discourses from mul­tiple communities, the challenges they face in practicing this writing are more complex. Their acquaintance with opposi­tional intellectual traditions and worldviews can also func­tion as an advantage. These traditions hint of alternate ways in which knowledge and society can be reconstructed.


In the chapters to follow, I discuss current research and teach­ing practice in ESOL writing from the positions articulated earlier. Throughout, I adopt a special focus on academic writ­ing in higher-educational contexts, acknowledging that ESOL students may engage in many other genres of writing-in­cluding professional, creative, and biographical in different social sites-as part of their repertoire. In the next chapter, I will examine the dominant schools in writing pedagogy to ex-


22            Critical Academic Writing and Multilingual Students

plicate their assumptions and ideologies. Often their research claims and pedagogical successes mask the underlying as­sumptions behind their practices. In the four chapters that fol­low the next, I take up pedagogical issues according to the dif­ferent foci of writing-that is, issues of form, the writer, content, and audience. It should be noted that this organiza­tion is purely based on convenience. Writing involves an in­tegration of all these components-and more-in the compos­ing process. The separate treatment of issues related to these components should not be taken to mean that our pedagogies can be based on developing a single component in isolation from the rest. In the final chapter, I examine the changing faces of global communication and new imperatives in postmodern literacy, concluding with a discussion of the practices and values that should inform teachers in striving for a truly mul­tilingual and multicultural educational environment.

--_ Chapter 2

An Overview of the Discipline

It is important to understand the disciplin­ary tradition of teaching ESOL writing and examine the po­tential our professional knowledge may have for facilitating a critical pedagogy. In this respect, it is necessary to interrogate the dominant pedagogical assumptions, values, and practices in our field. Since these concerns are implicated in the pro­fessional identity, status, and "culture" of writing teachers, I will begin by exploring how the field of ESOL composition is constituted.

The Community of Writing Teachers

ESOL writing teachers have so far enjoyed an uneasy rela­tionship with the two communities that most matter to them professionally-that is, their immediate family of applied lin­guists (comprising TESOL professionals) and their extended family of composition specialists (composed largely of L1 teachers). To some extent, they have been marginalized in both circles. There are many reasons for this situation. Within the applied linguistics circle, there is the well-known struc­turalist bias that spoken language is primary. Therefore ped­agogies for ESOL students have largely featured oral interac­tions. There is also the professional wisdom in our discipline that writing is the last of the four skills that should be devel­oped, long after laying the foundation of grammatical compe­tence through speech and the two receptive skills (Le., lis­tening and reading). Those who teach writing from the TESOL community have therefore lacked the motivation and oppor­tunities to develop a distinctive professional identity as spe-

Ruiz writes “Language is the code for understand and communication


Fall 2017

MUS 11: Fundamentals of Music


Final Project: Contextual Listening Journal

This final project is due March 22nd and will be collected before your final exam is administered.

This is your final opportunity to do some active listening with any piece of music you like from any genre (jazz, rock, classical, folk, etc.) and spend some time journaling about it. Answer all questions below in complete sentences when possible.

Please type your responses in a word document using Size 12, Time New Roman Font, and be sure to include your name and section time. If you have more than one page, PLEASE STAPLE them before turning your journal into your TA.

Before you Listen: Some Background Questions

1. When you have the chance to listen to music, what groups or singers do you prefer?

2.      What kinds of genres of music have you been listening to over the past nine weeks? Have you explored any new genres?

3. What is the name of the song/piece you have chosen to listen to for thisjoumal?

4.      Have you listened to music from his composer before? If yes, how does their music generally make you feel?

While you Listen: What do you hear?

5.      What instruments are involved with your piece? Did any instrument stand out to you in particular?

6.      How many elements can you identify: is this piece is minor or major? Is the meter simple or compound? What is a possible meter signature?

7.      Composers are like visual artists, but instead of using a paint brush, crayons, chalk, clay or other art mediums, a composer's written music is their art. What pictures in your mind does this music paint?

After you Listen: Some Critical Thinking

8. Have you listened to this piece before? If yes, did anything new stand out to you?

9. What did you like most about this piece? Why?

10. If you were writing a script for a movie using this music, what might the movie be about?

11. Do you think the title the composer choice for this song/piece is a good or poor one?

Explain your answer.

only need one page


In this Week’s Discussion, you reviewed reading strategies and examined your own research process. Now you will put these concepts and insights in practice for this Week’s Assignment.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review the Learning Resource on Determining the Main Points of a Reading.
  • Choose one of the preselected journal articles in this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Applying the concepts from this week’s resources, critically read the journal article, taking notes or engaging in any research methods that you would like to try.

The Assignment:

Select three related main points from the journal article (excluding the Abstract), and directly quote them.

In addition to the directly quoted main points, compose 1–2 sentences of rationale for each main point. Use these sentences to explain the reason you selected each point from the journal article. Consider the following questions in your rationale:

  • Why are these three specific points the author’s main ideas?
  • What makes them stand out to you as a critical reader?
  • How are these main points related to one another?


Submit your Application using the Walden Course Paper template by Day 7. Your submission should be 2-3 paragraphs long.

Note: Assignments that are submitted without using the Walden Course Paper template will not be reviewed by your Instructor.
In this Week’s Discussion, you reviewed reading strategies


So IUlem New IIamp~ University

PHL 111 Module One Journal Guidelines and Rubric

Overview: For your final project in this course, you will write a critical essay in which you use critical thinking skills to examine an argument presented in an article that you select from a choice of three options. This journal assignment is an opportunity for you to review the requirements of the critical essay, select the topic that you will focus on, answer some reflection questions about the project, and have the chance to ask your instructor any questions you have about this assignment.

First, you will choose the topic and associated primary article that you will focus on for your critical essay. After you have done this, you will answer the questions below to open up some dialogue between you and your instructor about the topic and article. This exercise will start you on the path toward crafting your critical essay. It particularly will serve to introduce you to the specifics of the critical essay and help you work one-on-one with your instructor regarding any concerns or questions you have about this assignment.

Prompt: Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed in your journal assignment:

·         Introduce your chosen topic and provide a brief summary of it and the primary article associated with that topic. Which topic do you plan to focus on?

Describe your chosen topic for your instructor and include any background relevant to your topic, as well as a brief summary of the primary article associated with that topic.

·         Describe any personal connection you have to the topic. Why is the topic of particular interest to you?

·         Discuss your initial thoughts about your topic and the critical essay. What are your initial thoughts about your chosen topic? What scares you about the critical essay after reviewing the guidelines and rubric? Share these concerns with your instructor so that you can receive personal clarity and direction.


Guidelines for Submission: Submit assignment as a Word document with double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, and one-inch margins. Your journal assignment should be 2 to 3 paragraphs in length.

Critical Elements

Proficient (100)

Needs Improvement (75)

Not Evident (0)



Introduces the chosen topic and provides a

Introduces the chosen topic and provides a

Does not introduce chosen topic or provide a



brief summary of it and the primary article

brief summary of it and the primary article

summary of it



associated with that topic

associated with that topic but summary is





too verbose or contains inaccuracies




Describes personal connection to the chosen

Describes personal connection to the chosen

Does not describe personal connection to




topic but description is cursory or unrelated

the chosen topic




to the topic




. .

Oxford University was founded in 1096, Cambridge in 1209. Harvard, a relative newcomer, was founded in 1636. Other than religions, few institutions appear to have maintained their existence or their relative status for as long as major universities. And few institutions, notably again other than religions, have seen so little change. Oxford in 2012 teaches students in ways remarkably similar to Oxford in 1096, seated students listening to professors in a classroom.

I suspect that these two facts are related; stasis in methods has led to stasis in status. And I suspect that both of these facts are about to change. Online education will change how universities teach; as a result, online education will change which universities teach.

Advantages of Online Education

I see three principle advantages to online education, 1) leverage, especially of the best teachers; 2) time savings; 3) individualized teaching and new technologies.


The importance of leverage was brought home to me by a personal anecdote. In 2009, I gave a TED talk on the economics of growth. Since then my 15 minute talk has been watched nearly 700,000 times. That is far fewer views than the most-watched TED talk, Ken Robinson’s 2006 talk on how schools kill creativity, which has been watched some 26 million times. Nonetheless, the 15 minutes of teaching I did at TED dominates my entire teaching career: 700,000 views at 15 minutes each is equivalent to 175,000 student-hours of teaching, more than I have taught in my entire offline career.[1] Moreover, the ratio is likely to grow because my online views are increasing at a faster rate than my offline students.

Teaching students 30 at a time is expensive and becoming relatively more expensive. Teaching is becoming relatively more expensive for the same reason that butlers have become relatively more expensive–butler productivity increased more slowly than productivity in other fields, so wages for butlers rose even as their output stagnated; as a result, the opportunity cost of butlers increased. The productivity of teaching, measured in, say, kilobytes transmitted from teacher to student per unit of time, hasn’t increased much. As a result, the opportunity cost of teaching has increased, an example of what’s known as Baumol’s cost disease. Teaching has remained economic only because the value of each kilobyte transmitted has increased due to discoveries in (some) other fields. Online education, however, dramatically increases the productivity of teaching. As my experience with TED indicates, it’s now possible for a single professor to teach more students in an afternoon than was previously possible in a lifetime.

The counter-argument is that there is an ineffable quality of the classroom experience that raises its value well above the same material taught online. Even after many years of teaching, however, what exactly this quality might be remains ineffable to me. Actually, that is not quite fair. Bringing the most advanced students in any field up to the cutting edge of knowledge and beyond has always required a kind of apprenticeship rather than a more straightforward communication of data/knowledge. Fields with greater physicality, not just sports and dance, but also experimental biology, physics, and chemistry will also require more in-classroom teaching with greater attention from a human being. Even recognizing these exceptions, however, still leaves the vast majority of teaching open to massive productivity increases. Until late college, physics is mostly teaching knowledge known since Newton. Most of the mathematics known or needed by most people has not advanced much beyond Euclid and Pythagoras, let alone Euler. No one expects online education to substitute for apprenticing to a master, but much education at the college level is already mass education taught not by a master but by an adjunct.

For the sake of argument, however, let us accept that classroom teaching has some special value. We must still weigh this value against the productivity increases (and thus the cost decreases) potentially available from online education. The majority of my teaching comes from my 15 minute TED talk, but the vast majority of the cost comes from the minority of offline teaching. The 700,000 viewers of my TED talk were charged nothing, but the far smaller group of people who have taken my offline classes were charged, along with the taxpayers, upwards of a million dollars.[2] With these cost ratios, one imagines that many students would appreciate the option of a lower-cost product even if quality were somewhat lower. Quality, however, need not be lower with online education. Quality can increase by increasing the number of students taught by the best teachers and by substituting substantial capital for labor in teaching.

The best way to increase the quality of teaching is to increase the number of students taught by the best teachers. Online education leverages the power of the best teachers, allowing them to teach many more students. Moreover, online education means that we also see the best at their best. I won’t comment on my teaching quality but what I can say without fear of dispute is that the 15 minutes of teaching in my TED talk was among the best 15 minutes of my career. Knowing the potential size of the TED audience, I honed my talk and visuals with months of practice. I’d rather be judged by my best 15 minutes than by my average 15 minutes. My offline students get my average 15 minutes; my online students get my best 15 minutes.

Teaching today is like a stage play. A play can be seen by at most a few hundred people at a single sitting and it takes as much labor to produce the 100th viewing as it does to produce the first. As a result, plays are expensive. Online education makes teaching more like a movie. Movies can be seen by millions and the cost per viewer declines with more viewers. Now consider quality. The average movie actor is a better actor than the average stage actor. If you were making a movie with a potential audience in the millions wouldn’t you hire the best actors? With more viewers it also makes sense to substitute capital for labor, adding special effects, scenery, music and other quality improvements resulting in a movie experience unlike any that can be created on stage. Is there something ineffably great about a live performance? Occasionally, but the greatest stage performances are seen by only a handful of people.

The parallel between movies and plays and online and offline education has further lessons. First, the market for teachers will become more like the market for actors, a winner-take-all market with greater inequality and very big payments at the top. A principal player on Broadway might earn $62,500 a year, perhaps twice what a minor player might earn.[3] One of the biggest stars in the world, Julia Roberts, made $35,000 a week, or $1.62 million in a 50-week year performing in Three Days of Rain. Nevertheless, her stage salary pales in comparison to her typical payment of $10–$20 million per movie for much less work. Bigger markets support larger salaries, so the best teachers will earn much more in an online world.

Second, movies are better in many respects than plays, but no one doubts that a taped play is worse in all respects than a live play. Many of the early online forays into education were simply taped lectures, boring, flat, and worse than the same in-class lecture. To take full advantage of the online format, an online lecture has to be different from an in-class lecture. Different mediums demand different messaging. I turn to some of these differences now.

Time Savings

Tyler Cowen and I have created a new online education platform,, short for Marginal Revolution University, after our blog of that name. In putting together our first course, Development Economics, we were surprised to discover that we could teach a full course in less than half the lecture time of an offline course. A large part of the difference is that online lectures need not be repetitive.

Dale Carnegie’s advice to “tell the audience what you’re going to say, say it; then tell them what you’ve said” makes sense for a live audience. If 20% of your students aren’t following the lecture, it’s natural to repeat some of the material so that you keep the whole audience involved and following your flow. But if you repeat whenever 20% of the audience doesn’t understand something, that means that 80% of the audience hear something twice that they only needed to hear once. Highly inefficient.

Carnegie’s advice is dead wrong for an online audience. Different medium, different messaging. In an online lecture it pays to be concise. Online, the student is in control and can choose when and what to repeat. The result is a big time-savings as students proceed as fast as their capabilities can take them, repeating only what they need to further their individual understanding.

We get even more savings by eliminating the fixed time-costs of attending class. Before I even begin my lecture, many of my students will have driven half an hour just to attend the class, followed by another half an hour to get home. And with online lectures there is no looking for parking! Combining these savings with more concise lectures and we get big time savings.

Time Shifting

As with a play, offline teaching requires that every customer consumes at the exact moment that the supplier produces. As with a movie, online education is consumed and produced more flexibly. In the online world, consumers need not each consume at the same time, and suppliers need not produce at the moment of consumption.

It’s costly to coordinate consumers and suppliers, and the increase in cost reduces the amount of education consumed. I teach a class at George Mason University, 7:20–10 pm on Tuesday nights. I suspect that this is not the preferred time to learn for any of my students, and it’s certainly not the preferred time for me to teach; it’s merely the best time to coordinate me and as many students as possible.

The inflexibility of offline teaching also reduces the quality of teaching and of learning. Despite caffeination, by 9:30 pm fatigue sets in, and my teaching quality begins to fall. I am not as sharp at 9:30 pm as at 7:30 pm, and neither are my students. As the quality of both sender and receiver declines, less is communicated. As a result, it makes little sense for me to try to teach complex ideas after 9:30 pm. I try to structure my class to accommodate, but sometimes it’s not possible and I end up either teaching less or teaching less well.

Supermarkets are open 24 hours a day, why shouldn’t universities be? In fact, Marginal Revolution University is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Learning on demand. Flexible time scheduling reduces the costs of coordination and also allows students to optimize learning effectiveness by choosing the best time for learning.

Online education can also break the artificial lecture length of 50–90 minutes. Many teaching experts say that adult attention span is 10–15 minutes in a lecture, with many suggesting that attention span has declined in the Internet era.[4] A good professor can refocus the attention of motivated students over longer periods. Nevertheless, it is clear that the standard lecture length has not been determined by optimal learning time but by the high fixed costs of traveling to school. Lower the fixed costs and lectures will evolve to a more natural level, probably between 5–20 minutes of length—perhaps not coincidentally the natural length of a lecture is probably not that different from the length of a typical popular music track or television segment.

Individualized Teaching and New Technologies

A common objection to online education is that the classroom experience provides greater opportunity for personalized learning. In some cases this is true, but the offline experience is often not a classroom of 4-9 students, but a classroom of over 100. At Virginia Tech, classes of 100-plus students are not uncommon, and one freshman course in geography has some 2,700 students.[5] Virginia Tech is not unusual.

Virginia Tech. From

The conventional wisdom is that the classroom allows for more questions. The truth, however, is that the online space is a better place both for asking questions and for interacting with professors and other students. Put aside that students from all over the world can ask questions online. The problem is that a classroom lecture is constrained by the costs of coordination to begin and end at a time fixed in advance. If every student in a class of 50 asked one question per lecture there would be no time for the lecture. In contrast, questions can be asked at any time in an online lecture, and they do not impede the lecture. Moreover, in the online world there are more resources to answer questions. Answers to last year’s questions, for example, can be used to answer this year’s questions. More importantly, the online world makes it easier for peer-learning, for students to answer their own questions. At MRUniversity we have provided tools such as voting on questions and answers that we hope will allow for more peer-learning and peer-teaching. Hence our motto: Learn, Teach and Share.

Questions are also more powerful in the online world. Consider how much difference is made by the simple possibility of review. Review means that the teacher is held to a higher standard. If I make an error in my offline class, chances are no one will catch it. If I make an error in an online class, a student will invariably catch it. (Knowing this I am more careful in my online class.)

Technology is rapidly changing how much interaction can occur online. The future is lectures plus intelligent, on the fly assessment. The GRE, for example, is a computer-adaptive test—when you answer questions correctly you get a harder question; when you answer incorrectly you get an easier question. The adaptive nature of the test makes it possible to zero in more quickly on true ability. The future of online education is adaptive assessment, not for testing, but for learning. Incorrect answers are not random but betray specific assumptions and patterns of thought. Analysis of answers, therefore, can be used to guide students to exactly that lecture that needs to be reviewed and understood to achieve mastery of the material. Computer-adaptive testing will thus become computer-adaptive learning.

Computer-adaptive learning will be as if every student has their own professor on demand—much more personalized than one professor teaching 500 students or even 50 students. In his novel Diamond Age, science fiction author Neal Stephenson describes a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer, an interactive book that can answer a learner’s questions with specific information and also teach young children with allegories tuned to the child’s environment and experience. In short, something like an iPad combining Siri, Watson, and the gaming technology behind an online world like Skyrim. Surprisingly, the computer will make learning less standardized and robotic.

In Diamond Age, the very first Illustrated Primer is created by a billionaire for use by his own child, but within a decade only slightly less functional devices are made available to millions. Online education has the potential to break the cost disease by substituting capital for labor and hitching productivity improvements in education to productivity improvements in software, artificial intelligence, and computing.

Productivity in education has lagged productivity in other sectors of the economy because teaching is so labor intensive. Where exactly in the typical classroom is there room for investment, let alone productivity improvement? More chalk? Prior to online education, the bottleneck though which productivity improvements had to pass was the teacher, and we know that improving teacher productivity is very difficult, which is why teaching methods haven’t changed in millennia. Online education vastly increases the potential for productivity increases because it greatly increases the size of the potential market. Bigger markets increase the incentive to research and develop new products (coincidentally the very topic of my TED talk.) A tool used to improve online education–an interface, an algorithm, a new teaching method–can be applied very widely, potentially world-wide, thus greatly increasing the incentive to invest in the education sector, perhaps the most important sector of the 21st century economy.

Educational productivity will also increase with online education because online education is inherently data-rich. Every video watched, every link clicked, every question answered or not answered, all can easily be collected and analyzed. Randomized controlled trials, which are very expensive in the offline world, become very cheap in the online world. Consider two methods of teaching a concept. Which works best? In the offline world, a randomized controlled trial might involve 50 students. In the online world, we can randomly assign one of two videos to thousands of students and then monitor their performance days or weeks later on exams or other material. Online education will allow us to learn about what works much more quickly than in the past.

Online education will also dramatically shorten the time from learning what works to implementing what works. Once again, scale and leverage are key. In the online world, the best teachers will teach more students, but that leverage also means that better teaching methods can diffuse through fewer teachers to more students much more rapidly. In the limit, educational improvements will occur with a download in the same way that my DVR player periodically updates its operating software.

The College Experience

The college experience is about much more than learning. Online education will not replace the two Olympic-sized swimming pools at my university, the modern exercise facilities, the coffee shop, or the restaurants. At many institutions, online education will not replace but instead will supplement and complement the traditional college experience. “Flipping the classroom”—viewing online lectures at home and doing “homework” in-class—is one approach. More generally, many institutions will be able to raise the quality and breadth of the classes that they offer. Not every university can afford world-class lecturers in development economics, the history of Croatia, or pop art, but more universities will be able to offer such courses by supplementing their own lecturers with online offerings.

The university will continue to be a place for young people to socialize and mate, but when the shroud of education is lifted, the socialization and education functions will become more distinct. As socialization and education are unbundled, parents and taxpayers may decide that they would rather not pay for four five years of socialization when cheaper means of education are available.

It’s important to understand that already today the “college experience” is experienced by only a minority of students. Say “college student” and the image may be of a young person just out of high school living in a dorm pursuing a four year degree with few financial constraints. The reality is that more than a third of college students are over the age of 25, nearly half are enrolled part-time, and most are working. About one quarter of college students have children of their own! The traditional college experience does not meet the needs of most of today’s students.[6]

Online Education Has Already Met the Market Test

Online education hit the radar of the educational elite only recently with the unexpected success of Stanford’s free online course on artificial intelligence. Taught by Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun in 2011, this course enrolled more students than the entire Stanford student body. Educational startups like Coursera, Udacity and, of course, MRUniversity promoted the idea of MOOCs, massive online open courses. The elites, however, have been behind the curve. In 2011, even before the rise of MOOCs, there were 2.75 million online students, 12% of the headcount at degree-granting schools. [7]

Private, for-profit universities such as the University of Phoenix and Ashford University were the pioneers of online education. The for-profits offered courses that appealed to women, particularly those with children, to ethnic minorities and to adults 25–44 years old who valued all of the flexibility and time-savings that online education offered. Online education has also been especially successful in the graduate market, particularly for the Master’s degree, which is shorter and pursued by adults less interested in the socializing and mating functions of the traditional college—indeed, today the Master’s degree is already more than 30% online.[8]

By selling (and marketing) to an audience that traditional universities had mostly ignored, the for-profits increased market share tremendously in the 2000s. Questions about quality and large subsidies from taxpayer funds have plagued the for-profits, but we should not mistake the messenger for the message. Online education has already met the market test.

Online Education and the Developing World

The shift to online education is happening at the same time as the developing world is increasing education at a dramatic rate. Over the next 15 years or so India plans to increase the number of students attending university from 12 million to over 30 million; a goal that will require at least 1,000 new universities. China has already increased the number of entering university students from 1 million in 1998 to over 6 million today. Now consider, will the developing world adopt the Oxford model of 1096 or the newly emerging online model? It’s a good bet that for reasons of scale, speed, and quality the developing world will adopt the online model.

The Great Unbundling

Traditional universities combine course development, delivery, assessment, and credentialing. Online education makes it clear that these categories can be unbundled. Most of the MOOCs are currently offered for free with no credential, but institutions such as Western Governor’s University and Colorado University are beginning to credential courses produced from outside of their institutions. It’s possible to imagine an education system in which degrees are assembled from many sources and many institutions offer credentials based on various types of assessment. Already many universities now offer credit for courses taken at other universities, and in some systems, such as Australia’s, simultaneous cross-institutional enrollment is standard.

Unbundling development from the other functions means greater economies of scale. Unbundling assessment offers the possibility of proof of knowledge without taking a class. We already have some experience with unbundling credentialing in the market for lawyers where law schools train students who must then pass the bar.

Technology is disrupting the market for education just as it has disrupted the market for news. We do not yet know how the industry will shake out, but a few points can be made with confidence. Online education offers tremendous savings both in terms of money and of time. Online education will also increase the quality of education for many but not all courses, especially as investment in complementary technologies increases. The for-profit universities have already moved heavily into online education and the non-profits are poised to follow. What is less clear is who will be delivering the online content of the future, how knowledge will be assessed, and how learning will be credentialed.

We should also not count the old model out. Having never observed an alternative, we may not yet fully appreciate the old model’s strengths. The Oxford model weathered previous technological storms, not the least of which was the printed book. Nevertheless, the disruption potential is peaking now.


[1]I estimate a total of 54,000 student hours of offline teaching. A typical course is 45 student hours, at 2 courses per semester, 2 semesters per year with 30 students per course and 10 years of teaching that is 54,000 student hours.

[2] This is not quite accurate; the live TED participants in 2009 were charged a considerable amount to attend TED, which covered the fixed costs of my talk (I was paid nothing) and the distribution costs. Nevertheless, the relative costs of delivery per student hour are extreme.


[4] The evidence for these assertions is surprisingly weak. Nevertheless, I am confident that the optimal lecture length is not 50–90 minutes. See Wilson, K., & Korn, J.H. (2007). “Attention during lectures: Beyond ten minutes.” Teaching of Psychology 34, 85-89 and for one of the better recent studies, Bunce, D. M., Flens, E A., & Neiles, K. Y. (2010). “How long can students pay attention in class? A study of student attention decline using clickers.” Journal of Chemical Education 87, 1438-1443.

[5] See Inside Higher Ed,


[7] Garrett, Richard. Online Higher Education in the United States. Eduventures. Draft, Oct. 2012.

Weaknesses of Online Learning

While online programs have significant strengths and offer unprecedented accessibility to quality education, there are weaknesses inherent in the use of this medium that can pose potential threats to the success of any online program. These problems fall into six main categories:



Equity and Accessibility to Technology

Before any online program can hope to succeed, it must have students who are able to access the online learning environment. Lack of access whether it be for economical or logistics reasons will exclude otherwise eligible students from the course. This is a significant issue in rural and lower socioeconomic neighborhoods. Furthermore, speaking from an administrative point of view, if students cannot afford the technology the institution employs, they are lost as customers. As far as Internet accessibility is concerned, it is not universal, and in some areas of the United States and other countries, Internet access poses a significant cost to the user. Some users pay a fixed monthly rate for their Internet connection, while others are charged for the time they spend online. If the participants’ time online is limited by the amount of Internet access they can afford, then instruction and participation in the online program will not be equitable for all students in the course. This is a limitation of online programs that rely on Internet access.

Computer Literacy

Both students and facilitators must possess a minimum level of computer knowledge in order to function successfully in an online environment. For example, they must be able to use a variety of search engines and be comfortable navigating on the World Wide Web, as well as be familiar with Newsgroups, FTP procedures and email. If they do not possess these technology tools, they will not succeed in an online program; a student or faculty member who cannot function on the system will drag the entire program down.

Limitations of Technology

User friendly and reliable technology is critical to a successful online program. However, even the most sophisticated technology is not 100% reliable. Unfortunately, it is not a question of if the equipment used in an online program will fail, but when. When everything is running smoothly, technology is intended to be low profile and is used as a tool in the learning process. However, breakdowns can occur at any point along the system, for example, the server which hosts the program could crash and cut all participants off from the class; a participant may access the class through a networked computer which could go down; individual PCs can have numerous problems which could limit students’ access; finally, the Internet connection could fail, or the institution hosting the connection could become bogged down with users and either slow down, or fail all together. In situations like these, the technology is neither seamless nor reliable and it can detract from the learning experience.

The Students

While an online method of education can be a highly effective alternative medium of education for the mature, self-disciplined student, it is an inappropriate learning environment for more dependent learners. Online asynchronous education gives students control over their learning experience, and allows for flexibility of study schedules for non traditional students; however, this places a greater responsibility on the student. In order to successfully participate in an online program, student must be well organized, self-motivated, and possess a high degree of time management skills in order to keep up with the pace of the course. For these reasons, online education is not appropriate for younger students (i.e. elementary or secondary school age), and other students who are dependent learners and have difficulty assuming responsibilities required by the online paradigm.

The Facilitator

Lack of Essential Online Qualities

Successful on-ground instruction does not always translate to successful online instruction. If facilitators are not properly trained in online delivery and methodologies, the success of the online program will be compromised. An instructor must be able to communicate well in writing and in the language in which the course is offered. An online program will be weakened if its facilitators are not adequately prepared to function in the Virtual Classroom.

An online instructor must be able to compensate for lack of physical presence by creating a supportive environment in the Virtual Classroom where all students feel comfortable participating and especially where students know that their instructor is accessible. Failure to do this can alienate the class both from each other and from the instructor. However, even if a virtual professor is competent enough to create a comfortable virtual environment in which the class can operate, still the lack of physical presence at an institution can be a limitation for an online program. For the faculty as well as the participants, such things as being left out of meetings and other events that require on-site interaction could present a limiting factor in an online program.

The Administration and Faculty

Some environments are disruptive to the successful implementation of an online program. Administrators and/or faculty members who are uncomfortable with change and working with technology or feel that online programs cannot offer quality education often inhibit the process of implementation. These people represent a considerable weakness in an online program because they can inhibit its success.

Sometimes administration cannot see beyond the bottom line and look at online programs only as ways to increase revenues and are thus not committed to seeing online programs as a means of providing quality education to people who would otherwise not be able to access it. In such a case, an institution that is not aware of the importance of proper facilitator training, essential facilitator characteristics, and limitations of class size would not understand the impact that these elements can have on the success of an online program.

The Online Environment

Levels of Synergy

Online learning has its most promising potential in the high synergy represented by active dialog among the participants, one of the most important sources of learning in a Virtual Classroom. However, in larger classes (20 or more students), the synergy level starts to shift on the learning continuum until it eventually becomes independent study to accommodate the large class. At this point, dialog is limited as well as interaction among participants and the facilitator. The medium is not being used to its greatest potential.

What Should Not Be Taught Online

In the excitement and enthusiasm for online programs that has been generated recently, it is important to recognize that some subjects should not be taught online because the electronic medium in its current state of development does not permit the best method on instruction. Examples are hands-on subjects such as public speaking, surgery, dental hygiene, and sports where physical movement and practice contribute to the achievement of the learning objectives. These subjects are probably best taught in a face-to-face traditional learning environment. Hybrid courses may represent a temporary solution to this problem thus making that portion of the course more accessible to a greater number of people who would otherwise have difficulty getting to campus. However, solutions of that sort still underline the fact that online teaching cannot satisfy all educational needs and goals. Just because it may be technologically possible to simulate a physical learning experience, this does not necessarily mean that it is the best way to teach it.

The Curriculum

The curriculum of any online program must be carefully considered and developed in order to be successful. Many times, in an institution’s haste to develop distance education programs, the importance of the curriculum and the need for qualified professionals to develop it is overlooked. Curriculum and teaching methodology that are successful in on-ground instruction will not always translate to a successful online program where learning and instructional paradigms are quite different. Online curriculum must reflect the use of dialog among students (in the form of written communication), and group interaction and participation. Traditional classroom lectures have no place in a successful online program. Education of the highest quality can and will occur in an online program provided that the curriculum has been developed or converted to meet the needs of the online medium.

Today is a very exciting time for technology and education. Online programs offer technology-based instructional environments that expand learning opportunities and can provide top quality education through a variety of formats and modalities. With the special needs of adult learners who need or want to continue their education, online programs offer a convenient solution to conflicts with work, family and study schedules. Institutions of higher education have found that online programs are essential in providing access to education for the populations they wish to serve. In order for an online program to be successful, the curriculum, the facilitator, the technology and the students must be carefully considered and balanced in order to take full advantage of the strengths of this format and at the same time, avoid pitfalls that could result from its weaknesses.

My chosen topic has been uploaded.


Internet Plagiarism Among College Students

Patrick M. Scanlon

David R. Neumann

Six hundred ninety-eight undergraduates (85.9 between the ages of 17 and 23; 87.5 in the first through fourth year) from nine colleges and universities completed a survey on Internet plagiarism. A substantial minority of students reported they use the Internet to copy and paste text into their papers without citation.

Student cheating has garnered much public attention recently. A perception reflected in media accounts is that acts of academic dishonesty among students in college as well as high school have increased sharply. The cover of the November 22, 1999 issue of U.S. News & World Report, for example, announced that "a new epidemic of fraud is sweeping through our schools" ("Cheating, writing, and arithmetic," 1999). Nearly universal access to the Internet has been cited as a reason for this perceived decline in academic integrity, in particular regarding plagiarism. A July 6, 2001 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that "several indicators point to widespread plagiarism on campus," and that "officials at some colleges say that in recent years they have seen a sharp increase in students cutting and pasting material into papers from Web sites without attribution, or purchasing term papers from online term-paper mills" (Young, 2001, A26). Four years ago a count of term paper mills on the Web-including A-Plus Termpapers,, School Sucks, and Research Assistance by Collegiate Care-set the number at 70 (Basinger & McCollum, 1997).

One further indication of growing concern over Internet plagiarism is the de­velopment of plagiarism-detection software, such as that employed by, a service that scans student papers for text lifted from Web sites and marks each suspect passage with a link to its probable online source. The use of plagiarism-detection software by professors "appears to be growing" (Young, 2001, A26).

The Internet may be exacerbating the long-standing problem of student plagiarism on college campuses. Moreover, Internet plagiarism raises important questions of academic integrity as students-as well as faculty-frequently tum to online sources, and it foregrounds issues related to the correct handling and citation of online sources. Therefore, university administrators, faculty, and staff should be concerned about the impact of the Internet in shaping a new generation of students' conception of what does and does not constitute fair use of the countless texts so readily available at the click of a mouse.

Although student academic honesty has attracted considerable scholarly notice for some time, the probable impact of Internet access on student plagiarism is mostly a matter of conjecture and has not yet been studied sufficiently or systematically. There­fore, a measure of the incidence of student online plagiarism will provide a needed map of the territory and an indication of whether or not matters are as bad as many apparently fear they are. Also helpful will be a better understanding of several contextual factors

Patrick M. Scanlon is Associate Professor of Communication at Rochester Institute of Technology. David R. Neumann is Professor of Communication at Rochester Institute of Technology.


Journal of College Student Development



related to Internet plagiarism: students' perceptions of peer behavior, their ethical views, and their awareness of institutional sanctions. These factors have been strongly linked to student academic dishonesty (McCabe, Trevino, & Butterfield, in press). Indeed, a review of the relevant literature reveals that studies have focused on these issues-the incidence of academic dishonesty and the contextual factors that influence student cheating.


Although plagiarism has been examined qualitatively, primarily within English studies (Drum, 1986; Howard, 1999; Kolich, 1983; McLeod, 1992; Wilhoit, 1994), most of what we know about the incidence of student plagiarism must be extrapolated from surveys of students and, to a lesser extent, faculty and administrators regarding multiple forms of academic dishonesty (Aaron, 1992; Collison, 1990; Davis, Grover, Becker, & McGregor, 1992; Gehring, Nuss, & Pavela, 1986; Haines, Diekhoff, LaBeff, & Clark, 1986; Maramark & Maline, 1993; McCabe, 1992; McCabe & Bowers, 1994; McCabe & Trevino, 1993, 1996, 1997; Nuss, 1984; Shropshire, 1997). In general, self-reports of cheating are high, although estimates vary widely, with 9 to 95 of those asked admitting to some form of academic dishonesty (summarized in Maramark & Maline). In a survey of 6,096 undergraduates on 31 campuses, McCabe (1992) reported that 67.4 admitted cheating at least once on a test or major assignment. Davis et al. reported similar numbers in another multi­campus survey, also of more than 6,000 students: 76 admitted cheating in either high school or college or both.

Hawley (1984), based on a single­campus survey of 425 undergraduates,

MAy/JUNE 2002 • VOL 43 NO 3

reported that 12 admitted asking someone to write a paper for them, 14.6 said they had turned in a paper written by another student, and 5.6 indicated "they had handed in a paper obtained from a research service" (p. 36). In addition, approximately 25 of these students "agree with one or more arguments that plagiarism is acceptable behavior" (p. 38).

We know of only one large-scale study including self-reports of student plagiarism. In a comparison of two multicampus surveys of cheating behavior conducted 30 years apart, McCabe and Trevino (1996) reported that 30 of students in a 1963 study admitted plagiarizing, and 26 did so in a survey carried out at the same schools in 1993.

Contextual Influences on Cheating and Plagiarism

A strong relationship has been demonstrated between several contextual variables and student cheating (Bowers, 1964; McCabe & Trevino, 1993, 1997; McCabe et al., in press). According to McCabe et al., "these variables include perception of peers' behavior, student perceptions of the under­standing and acceptance of academic integ­rity policies, the perceived certainty of being reported for cheating, and the perceived severity of campus penalties for cheating."

Perception of peer behavior is an im­portant factor in academic integrity. Multi­campus studies by McCabe and Trevino (1993, 1996, 1997) showed that perceptions of others strongly influenced student aca­demic dishonesty. Indeed, McCabe and Trevino (1997) concluded, "The most powerful influential factors [regarding cheating] were peer-related contextual factors," including perceptions of peer behavior (p. 391). Elsewhere, McCabe and Trevino (1993) emphasized that "Academic






Scanlon & Neumann




dishonesty is most strongly associated with

Demographics of Survey Respondents

the perceptions of peers' behavior" (p. 536).

(N = Valid Cases)


Conversely, strong disincentives for academic




dishonesty are the likelihood of being caught




and the perceived severity of penalties




(McCabe & Trevino, 1993).

Sex N = 644



Concerning students' ethical views




regarding academic honesty, Davis et al.

(1992) concluded, "Most students say that




it is wrong to cheat," noting that "the

Age N = 673



percentage of students answering yes to the



question, 'Is it wrong to cheat?' has never

< 17



been below 90" at the schools they sur-




veyed (p. 17). However, measures of the




incidence of cheating suggest a contradiction




between what students say and do. In




addition, some have argued that colleges and




universities are not doing nearly enough to

Over 25



foster a commitment among students to

Year in school N = 655



academic honesty. Aaron (1992), based on



a survey of 257 chief academic officers,

< 1



found that few faculty discussed cheating in




class, few institutions provided student




development programs focused on academic




integrity, and almost none made an effort to

assess the extent of cheating on their campus.




Nuss (1984) faulted the academic community




for lack of success "in communicating the

> 5



value of independent scholarship to its




students" (p. 140).

Major N = 664



In sum, much is known about academic




honesty and plagiarism among college

Computer Technology



students; however, to date little has been done

to measure the effect on plagiarism of the




Internet, which presumably makes plagiarism

Behavioral and Soc. Sci.



easier. We conducted the current study to




answer the following questions. What is the

Fine and Applied Arts



incidence of Internet plagiarism among

college students? What are students' per-




ceptions ofInternet plagiarism by their peers?

Math and Science



What are students' perceptions of the ethics




of Internet plagiarism? What are students'




perceptions of institutional sanctions re-


Journal of College Student Development



garding plagiarism using the Internet?


To gain a better understanding of how and how often students use the Internet to plagiarize-cutting and pasting, soliciting papers from others, purchasing papers from online term paper mills-we surveyed students on nine campuses to gauge under­graduate attitudes and practices related to online plagiarism.


Six hundred ninety-eight students completed the survey (valid cases differed from item to item due to varying numbers of missing responses). As shown in Table 1, survey respondents were mostly between the ages of 17 and 23 (85.9), came from a range of majors, and represented all four under­graduate years in comparable numbers.

Many of these students indicated they

were frequent users of e-mail and the Internet. (When we analyzed these data, we defined frequent as at least three or four times per week.)

A weakness of many studies of this kind is that they vey a small number of students on a single campus. To cast a wide net over a varied population of undergraduates, our survey was administered to a convenience sample of students in a variety of courses in communication, technical communication, and English on multiple campuses.


The instrument, a machine-scored pencil-and­paper survey, was first piloted with a small number of students on our own campus, revised, and then distributed to participating faculty at nine colleges and universities. The current study was part of a dual investigation: of 60 items on the survey, 28 concerned plagiarism and the Internet, and 32 related


Frequency of Computer Use by Respondents


E-mail N = 682

Other Internet N = 681

Frequency of use





Several times per day





Once per day





3 or 4 times per week





Once per week





Once every 2 weeks





Once per month





Once every few months





< Once every few months










MAy/JUNE 2002 • VOL 43 NO 3



to student attitudes toward computer and online communication. Only the plagiarism data are reported here.

In the plagiarism portion of the survey, students were asked to indicate, using a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (never) to 5 (very frequently) how often they engaged in each of eight acts of plagiarism: (a) copying text and inserting it in a paper without citation, (b) copying an entire paper without citation, (c) asking someone to provide them with a paper, (d) using the Internet to copy text and insert it in a paper without citation, (e) using the Internet to copy an entire paper without citation, (f) using the Internet to ask someone to provide them with a paper, (g) purchasing a paper from a term paper mill advertised in a print publication, (h) purchasing a paper from an online term paper mill. Because plagiarism in its more abstract sense often is misunderstood by students and is difficult for them to define (Ashworth, Bannister, & Thome, 1997), in this survey students were asked about specific acts. In fact, the word plagiarism appeared in none of the items on the survey.

U sing the same scale, respondents also estimated how often they believed other students committed each of the acts of plagiarism. Specifically, we wanted to know if any marked disparity exists between self­reports of plagiarism and students' perception of what is taking place around them.

N ext, students were asked to assess the ethics and institutional sanctions regarding: (a) handing in someone else's writing as one's own, (b) using the Internet to copy text and handing it in as one's own, (c) purchasing papers from term paper mills, (d) purchasing papers from online term paper mills. Using a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (strongly agree) to 5 (strongly disagree), students responded to three statements about


Scanlon & Neumann

each of the categories: that the act described is wrong, that their professors clearly feel it is wrong, and that their college has strict punishments for the behavior.


The survey was conducted during Winter and Spring of the 1999-2000 academic year, at nine institutions (enrollment in parentheses):

four state universities in Indiana (18,000), Pennsylvania (7,100), Vermont (8,900), and Wisconsin (12,000)

two institutes of technology in New York State, one public (2,600) and one private (14,000)

an American University in the Middle East (5,000)

a small private university in Washington, D.C. (2,000)

a community college in Pennsylvania (11,000)

Students participated voluntarily in the survey, which was administered by faculty during regularly scheduled classes.

Self-reporting of any behavior is prob­lematic; self-reporting of dishonest behavior is even more challenging. To increase the likelihood that survey respondents will answer questions candidly, they must be confident that their responses cannot be traced to them. Those administering this survey, as well as the text of the survey itself, emphasized that responses would remain anonymous, and nowhere on the survey were students asked to provide personal infor­mation that could identify them individually.

Data Analysis

After collecting the data, we performed a

Journal of College Student Development




Acts of Conventional Plagiarism: Self-Reports and Perception of Others by Percentage Frequency and Mean Response













Mean: 1-5

Plagiarism Act









Copy text without citation









Copy paper without citation









Request a paper to hand in









Purchase a paper to hand in









principal component analysis with varimax rotation to identify the underlying factors. This analysis resulted in four factors with eigenvalues over 1.0 (see Appendix). These four factors, which accounted for 62.2 of the variance, are Others (students' perception of others' plagiarism), Self-report (self­reports of plagiarism), Ethics (students' ethical views, and perception of their professors' views, on plagiarism), and Sanctions (students' perception of strict punishments for plagiarism at their colleges). These factors were used to test correlations between self-reported plagiarism and stu-

dents' ethical views, and between self­reported plagiarism and students' perceptions of the severity of sanctions.


Incidence of Student Plagiarism:


A substantial minority of students reported copying some text and using it without citation: 19.0 sometimes and 9.6 often or very frequently (see Table 3). These percentages were lower for more egregious forms of plagiarism: copying an entire paper


Acts of Internet Plagiarism: Self-Reports and Perception of Others by Percentage Frequency and Mean Response













Mean: 1-5

Plagiarism Act









Copy text without citation









Copy paper without citation









Request a paper to hand in









Purchase a paper to hand in









MAy/JUNE 2002 • VOL 43 NO 3










Scanlon & Neumann


Students' Ethical Views on Acts of Plagiarism by Percentage Frequency and Mean Response


Strongly Agree

Somewhat Disagree




Neither Agree

or Strongly


It is wrong to:

Somewhat Agree

nor Disagree


Response: 1-5

hand in someone else's writing





as one's own





use the internet to copy text to





hand in as one's own





purchase papers from print





term paper mills





purchase papers from online





term paper mills





(5.4 sometimes, 3.2 often or very frequently), requesting a paper to hand in (8.3 sometimes, 2.1  often or very frequently), and purchasing a paper from a print term paper mill (6.3 sometimes, 2.8 often or very frequently).

The responses for online plagiarism were similar (see Table 4). Cutting and pasting some text without citation was reported sometimes by 16.5 of students and often or very frequently by 8.0.

Also, 6.0 ofparticipants indicated that they bought papers online sometimes, whereas only 2.3 specified they did so often or very frequently (see Table 4). Their mean response was 1.3. Notably, responses for online term paper mills were nearly identical to those for print publication businesses.

Incidence of Plagiarism: Perceptions of Others

Students consistently judged plagiarism by others to be more prevalent than their own self-reports would suggest. Note, for ex­ample, that although 8.0 of students se1f­reported cutting and pasting text from the Internet often or very frequently, 50.4


indicated their peers do so (see Table 4). And while only 8.3  reported purchasing papers from online term paper mills sometimes to very frequently, 62.2 of students estimated that their peers patronize those sites at that rate. A comparison of means of responses for acts of conventional and Internet pla­giarism (see Tables 3 and 4) also pointed up the disparity between self-reports and perceptions of other students' behavior. In all but two cases, mean responses for perceptions of others' behavior were at least double that of self-reports. As with se1f­reports, student perceptions of convention­al and online plagiarism by peers were comparable.

Student Ethics, Perception of Faculty Ethics, and Awareness of Punishments Regarding Plagiarism

Most students in this study agreed that plagiarism of any kind is wrong. Approxi­mately 89 strongly or somewhat agreed that handing in someone else's writing as one's own or purchasing a paper to turn in as one's own is wrong, whether done conventionally or online (see Table 5). An even larger

Journal of College Student Development



percentage indicated that their professors clearly feel plagiarism is wrong (see Table 6).

A drop-off in student agreement oc­curred, however, with statements about the severity of punishments for acts of plagiarism at their colleges (see Table 7). Notably larger percentages of students either were uncertain (neither agree nor disagree) about the existence on their campuses of strict punish­ments for acts of plagiarism, or disagreed that such punishments were in place, at all.

Not surprisingly, self-reports ofplagia­rism were linked to ethical views, with a negative correlation between agreement with statements that acts of plagiarism are wrong (see Appendix, factor Ethics) and self­reports. A t test comparing those who strongly agreed plagiarism is wrong with a group comprised of those who neither agreed nor disagreed, disagreed, or strongly dis­agreed revealed that those who believed plagiarism is wrong were significantly less likely to plagiarize (t = -12.05, p < 0.01). This same group also was significantly less likely to report plagiarism by others (t = -3.64, p < 0.01).

Plagiarism self-reports, as well as reports of plagiarism by others, also were negatively correlated with perceptions of the severity of sanctions (see Appendix, factor Sanctions). A comparison of those who strongly agreed that strict punishments were in place with those who neither agreed nor disagreed, disagreed, or strongly disagreed showed that those who believed strict punishments exist were significantly less likely to plagiarize (t = -7.09, p < 0.01) or report plagiarism in others (t = -4.15, p < 0.01). These findings are in keeping with those of McCabe and Trevino (1993), who concluded that students' perceptions of the severity of punishments for academic dishonesty strongly influenced their decisions to cheat.


That 24.5 of these students reported plagiarizing online sometimes to very frequently should be cause for concern, although these numbers do not suggest an epidemic of Internet-facilitated plagiarism. McCabe and Bowers (1994) concluded that


Students' Perception of Faculty Ethical Views on Acts of Plagiarism by Percentage Frequency and Mean Response

Strongly Agree

Somewhat Disagree



Neither Agree

or Strongly


Somewhat Agree

nor Disagree


Response: 1-5





















It is clear that professors feel it is wrong to:

hand in someone else's writing as one's own

use the Internet to copy text to hand in as one's own

purchase papers from print term paper mills

purchase papers from online term paper mills

MAy/JUNE 2002 • VOL 43 NO 3


Scanlon & Neumann


Students' Awareness of Their Colleges' Punishments for Acts of Plagiarism by Percentage Frequency and Mean Response


Strongly Agree

Somewhat Disagree




Neither Agree

or Strongly


There are strict punishments if I:

Somewhat Agree

nor Disagree


Response: 1-5

hand in someone else's writing





as one's own





use the Internet to copy text to





hand in as one's own





purchase papers from print





term paper mills





purchase papers from online





term paper mills





comparative data on all forms of academic dishonesty "clearly argue against the position that student cheating in the 1980's and the 1990's has escalated in dramatic fashion" (p. 5). McCabe and Bowers emphasized, however, that although

it appears that cheating at selective institutions has remained relatively unchanged in the last 30 years, com­parable data is not available for the less selective, and often larger, institutions that now educate the vast majority of the nation's college students. (p. 9)

The results of the current study, which includes data from "less selective, and ... larger institutions," appear to support their conclusions.

Overall, frequency of plagiarism using the Internet followed the same pattern as did conventional forms and was self-reported at similar levels. This congruence could indicate that many survey respondents simply did not make a distinction between conventional and online plagiarism when asked about acts of plagiarism in general-that is, when asked


how often they copy text and use it without citation, they may have included acts of online plagiarism in their responses. (This blurring of distinctions is far less likely to have occurred in response to those questions regarding term paper mills, because the survey drew a sharp distinction between print publications and online mills.) On the other hand, students who self-report plagiarism are probably likely to employ both conventional and online methods.

These self-reports of online plagiarism, although not pointing to an epidemic of cheating, suggest that many students do go online to cut and paste text for use in their assignments. A relatively small number patronize online term paper mills. The results of the current survey do not, however, tell us the extent to which students who otherwise would not have plagiarized did so due to Internet access, a subject that deserves further study.

The contrast between self-reports and perceptions of others was striking, both for Internet and conventional forms of plagia­rism. However, we did not design the current

Journal of College Student Development



study either to assess with statistical con­fidence the effect of student perceptions on their behavior, or to account for any third­person effect, the tendency of subjects to overestimate objectionable behavior in others. F or the time being, we can only note the gap separating students' self-reports of Internet as well as conventional plagiarism and their assumption that plagiarism of both types is widespread. Clearly this is an area that deserves further study.

Strengths and Limitations

As noted above, many studies of this kind survey only a small number of students on a single campus. In the current study, we gathered data on Internet plagiarism from a large sample of students from a variety of colleges and universities, nine total. Those who completed the survey, however, do constitute a convenience sample.

The machine-scored survey was designed and administered in such a way to assure students that their responses would remain anonymous in order to encourage candor. However, the problematical nature of self­reported dishonest behavior is a limitation of this study-as it is of any survey of students regarding cheating. Some students will be unwilling or unable to admit cheating, anonymity notwithstanding; others will offer socially desirable responses.


The amount of online plagiarism reported here should be a matter of concern, although the current study does not point to an epidemic ofInternet plagiarism. However, the disparity between student self-reports of plagiarism and their estimates of how often their peers plagiarize suggests many students view plagiarism as more commonplace than it is-a misperception perhaps shared by

MAy/JUNE 2002 • VOL 43 NO 3

faculty as well as the public at large. The students' perception, regardless of its causes, may have potentially troubling consequences. As McCabe and Trevino (1997) concluded, "The most powerful influential factors [regarding cheating] were peer-related contextual factors," including perceptions of peer behavior (p. 391). Elsewhere, the authors emphasized that "academic dis­honesty is most strongly associated with the perceptions of peers' behavior" (1993, p. 536). In other words, if students perceive that a majority of their peers are going online to plagiarize, they may be more apt to plagiarize themselves. As noted earlier, we are not in a position to affirm or refute this conclusion, although the difference between perceptions and self-reports is intriguing. The possible influence of a third-person effect, and the consequences of such misperception of peer behavior on student Internet plagia­rism, should be subjects of future research.

It is no longer much of an insight to say that computers and the Internet have changed and are changing the manner in which all of us write. What is not yet as clear is how these technologies are shaping a new generation of students' conception of what does and does not constitute fair use of the countless texts so readily available at their desktops. How students use the Internet to complete research and to write papers, and how we respond to electronic textual appropriation, are and will be critical matters for university faculty and administrators as information technology continues its dramatic growth within higher education.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Patrick M. Scanlon, College of Liberal Arts, Rochester Institute of Technology, 92 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623;



Scanlon & Neumann


Rotated Factor Matrix (Varimax Rotation) of Student Plagiarism Behavior and Perceptions















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 of Variance


Factor 1







Factor 2 (Self-Report)






Factor 3 (Ethics)






Factor 4 (Sanctions)







Journal of College Student Development




Aaron, R. M. (1992). Student academic dishonesty: Are collegiate institutions addressing the issue? NASPA Journal, 29, 107-113.

Ashworth, P., Bannister P., & Thorne, P. (1997). Guilty in whose eyes? University students' perceptions of cheating and plagiarism in academic work and assessment. Studies in Higher Education, 22 (2), 187-203.

Basinger, J., & McCollum, K. (1997, October 31). Boston U. sues companies for selling terms papers over the Internet. Chronicle of Higher Education, pp. A34-A35.

Bowers, W. J. (1964). Student dishonesty and its control in college. New York: Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University.

Cheating, writing, and arithmetic: A new epidemic of fraud is sweeping through our schools. (1999, November 22). Us. News & World Report, 127.

Collison, M. N-K. (1990, January 17). Apparent rise in students' cheating has college officials worried. Chronicle of Higher Education, pp. A31-A32.

Davis, S. F., Grover, C. A., Becker, A. H., & McGregor, L.

N. (1992). Academic dishonesty: Prevalence, determinants, techniques, and punishments. Teaching of Psychology, 19, 16-20.

Drum, A. (1986). Responding to plagiarism. College Composition and Communication, 37, 241-243.

Gehring, D., Nuss, E. M., & Pavela, G. (1986). Issues and perspectives on academic integrity. Columbus, OH:

National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

Haines, V. r., Diekhoff, G. M., LaBeff, E. E., & Clark, R. E. (1986). College cheating: Immaturity, lack of commitment, and the neutralizing attitude. Research in Higher Education, 25, 342-354.

Hawley, C. S. (1984). The thieves of academe: Plagiarism in the university system. Improving College & University Teaching, 32(1),35-39.

Howard, R. M. (1999). Standing in the shadow of giants:

Plagiarists, authors, collaborators. Stamford, CT: Ab1ex.

Kolich, A. M. (1983). Plagiarism: The worm of reason.

College English, 45, 141-148.

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Maramark, S., & Maline, M. B. (1993). Academic dishonesty among college students: Issues in education. U.S. District of Columbia: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 360 903)

McCabe, D. L. (1992). The influence of situational ethics on cheating among college students. Sociological Inquiry, 62, 365-374.

McCabe, D. L., & Bowers, W. r. (1994). Academic honesty among males in college: A 30-year perspective. Journal of College Student Development, 35, 5-10.

McCabe, D. L., & Trevino, L. K. (1993). Honor codes and other contextual influences. Journal of Higher Education, 64, 522-538.

McCabe, D. L., & Trevino, L. K. (1996, January/February).

What we know about cheating in college: Longitudinal trends and recent developments. Change, pp. 29-33.

McCabe, D. L., & Trevino, L. K. (1997). Individual and contextual influences on academic honesty: A multi campus investigation. Research in Higher Education, 38, 379-396.

McCabe, D. L., Trevino, L. K., & Butterfield, K. D. (in press).

Honor codes and other contextual influences on academic integrity: A replication and extension to modified honor code settings. Research in Higher Education.

McLeod, S. H. (1992). Responding to plagiarism: The role of the WPA. WPA: Writing Program Administration, 15(3), 7-16.

Nuss, E. M. (1984). Academic integrity: Comparing faculty and student attitudes. Improving College and University Teaching, 32 (3), 140-144.

Shropshire, W. O. (1997, Fall). Of being and getting:

Academic honesty. Liberal Education, pp. 24-31.

Young, J. R. (2001, July 6). The cat-and-mouse game of plagiarism detection. Chronicle of Higher Education, pp. A26-A27.

Wilhoit, S. (1994). Helping students avoid plagiarism. College Teaching, 42(4), 161-164.


Internet Plagiarism Among College Students





As you prepare for the next major step in your career, your success at acquiring that next position up will depend on how prepared you are as a professional. What were some of the important elements mentioned in the video’s provided that were important to you or stood out?

Be as specific as you can.

Did the video on Interviewing offer any helpful suggestions that you found extremely useful? Were you surprised that this process had some many potential areas for enhancement or failure?

As you prepare for the next major step in your career

This paper reviews the Burj Khalifa Mall which is the world’s tallest building located in Dubai. It further explores the various features as well as the reasons that make the mall the most visited place as opposed to other towers across the globe. Comparison and contrast of the Burj Towers with other remarkable tall towers all the over the world has also been highlighted in this piece of work.

The Burj Khalifa Tower is three times taller compared to Eiffel Tower and almost twice the empire state building as it stands at approximately 828 meters. Apart from being the tallest building in records, Burj Khalifa enjoys other world’s records and features like being the tower that hosts many stories, has the most occupied floor and has the tallest elevator that spans the longest distance of 140 levels in the shortest time possible. The top of the tower provides such a beautiful view of nearly a quarter of the Dubai something which is regarded as fundamental attraction factor for both national and international tourists.

The tower plays an important in both industrial and agricultural industry as it taps at least 15 million gallons of water annually. The harvested water is used in irrigation and cooling of systems in manufacturing industries. Also, the water collected is used to supply Dubai fountain system which is located next to Burj Khalifa Tower.

Those are some of the reasons that have made the mall popular compared to the other notable tall towers all over the world such as La Azteca building in Mexico and the high-rise tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The tower boasts having the highest number of floors in the world a record which was previously held by Willis tower with hundred and eight stories. Notably, the record Burj Khalifa Tower being the tallest will be soon be broken as a much taller building known as Jeddah Tower is currently undergoing construction in Saudi Arabia.

Review of the Burj Khalifa Tower

recording of your informative speech and assess your speech by writing a five-paragraph essay, typed

and double-spaced, in which you will identify your strengths and weaknesses and make

recommendations for improvement.  Incorporate the following elements into your essay: This essay should be 200 to 300 words in length.

            1.         A title page is required.

2.         Introduction (1st paragraph): Identify the purpose of your speech and summarize your topic.

3.         Body (2nd paragraph): How did you open with impact?  What did you say to connect your topic with your audience?  Was your thesis stated clearly?  Did you present the main points in a clear, concise manner?  Were transitions used between main points?  Did you provide ample support for main points?  Did you restate your main points in the conclusion?  How did you close with impact?

4.         Body (3rd paragraph):  Using the rubric, identify your strengths.

5.         Body (4th paragraph):  Using the rubric, identify your weaknesses.

6.         Conclusion (5th paragraph):  State how effective you believe your speech was and how you will address weaknesses.

For this assessment, you will watch the

Benchmark - Mini Case 4 



Less than Satisfactory




100.0 %Content


15.0 %Question A

Answer to question A is not included.

Answer to question A is incomplete or incorrect.

Answer to question A is included but lacks explanation and relevant supporting details.

Answer to question A is complete and includes relevant supporting details.

Answer to question A is extremely thorough and supported with substantial relevant details.

15.0 %Question B

Answer to question B is not included.

Answer to question B is incomplete or incorrect.

Answer to question B is included but lacks explanation and relevant supporting details.

Answer to question B is complete and includes relevant supporting details.

Answer to question B is extremely thorough and supported with substantial relevant details.

15.0 %Question C

Answer to question C is not included.

Answer to question C is incomplete or incorrect.

Answer to question C is included but lacks explanation and relevant supporting details.

Answer to question C is complete and includes relevant supporting details.

Answer to question C is extremely thorough and supported with substantial relevant details.

15.0 %Question D

Answer to question D is not included.

Answer to question D is incomplete or incorrect.

Answer to question D is included but lacks explanation and relevant supporting details.

Answer to question D is complete and includes relevant supporting details.

Answer to question D is extremely thorough and supported with substantial relevant details.

30.0 %Ethical Issues and Standards (C. 4.2)

Report discussing potential ethical issues that may arise from expansion and opportunities to promote ethical standards within the organization is not included.

Report discussing potential ethical issues that may arise from expansion and opportunities to promote ethical standards within the organization is incomplete or incorrect.

Report discussing potential ethical issues that may arise from expansion and opportunities to promote ethical standards within the organization is included but lacks explanation and supporting details and examples.

Report discussing potential ethical issues that may arise from expansion and opportunities to promote ethical standards within the organization is complete and includes supporting details and examples.

Report discussing potential ethical issues that may arise from expansion and opportunities to promote ethical standards within the organization is extremely thorough and includes substantial supporting details and examples.

10.0 %Mechanics of Writing (includes spelling, punctuation, grammar, language use)

Surface errors are pervasive enough that they impede communication of meaning. Inappropriate word choice or sentence construction is used.

Frequent and repetitive mechanical errors distract the reader. Inconsistencies in language choice (register) or word choice are present. Sentence structure is correct but not varied.

Some mechanical errors or typos are present, but they are not overly distracting to the reader. Correct and varied sentence structure and audience-appropriate language are employed.

Prose is largely free of mechanical errors, although a few may be present. The writer uses a variety of effective sentence structures and figures of speech.

Writer is clearly in command of standard, written, academic English.

100 %Total Weightage

The purpose of this assignment is to explain core concepts related to stocks and to analyze the ethical implications of decisions and promote ethical standards within organizations.

Read the Chapter 7 Mini Case on pages 322-323 in Financial Management: Theory and Practice. Using complete sentences and academic vocabulary, please answer questions a through d.

Using the mini case information, write a 250-500 word report presenting potential ethical issues that may arise from expanding into other related fields. In your discussion, proactively strategize about possible expansion by explaining opportunities to promote ethical standards within your organization.

APA format is not required, but solid academic writing is expected.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

The purpose of this assignment is to explain core concepts

no quotes or refe

- MLA Eighth Edition Style.

Personal (your explanatory and critical reactions).


Artistic (a literary piece responding to a class text or texts).


Research (you argue for your point of view while discussing the work of critics).

about the movie Empire of the Sun by Stephen Spielberg.

WRITING PAPERS (just an suggestion of how does my professor like the papers)

MLA Eighth Edition, or Chicago Style


Choose from among your strongest insights about the class texts.

Stage One (Prep Work)

List of Evidence: make a long, detailed list of the points you want to make and the quotes that back them up.

Thesis questions: What questions will your paper answer?

Outlining: group the items by mutual similarity and label them A, B, C . . . Then,

arrange the items within these groupings into a logical order (a, b, c, . . . ).

Stage Two (First Draft)

Work single-spaced.

Body: write your material up into a narrative, without stopping.

Intro: write a paragraph that tells the reader exactly what to expect in the body and a concise statement of your answer to your thesis questions.

Conclusion: Recapitulate your major points and point forward.

Stage Three (Second Draft)

Highlight Stage Two and make a copy below.

Work on this copied version

Objectify: read your paper aloud, or have a friend do so, and note what improvements you want to make.

Cut to minimum length necessary to convey your essential meanings.

Choose a title that demands attention.

Edit for technical errors: capitalization, comma splices, indents, number, number agreement, pronoun reference, punctuation, repetition, spelling, tense consistency, transitions

1,250-word explanatory paper

You will be writing an essay that uses the comparison/contrast and/or cause/effect strategies you learned about in this module. Your paper should be at least 500 words in length (2 full typed pages, double spaced). It can be longer, but not shorter than 500 words. If you consult outside sources, be sure to cite them according to MLA guidelines.

Using Catton's essay as an example, write a five-paragraph comparison contrast essay about two currently well-known figures OR about two people in your life. The most important factor to consider in choosing these individuals is that they share enough similarities to be contrasted. Contrast them in terms of three factors or bases of comparison.

al-Assad and Hitler: Compare and Contrast Essay


Thesis StatementWhereas al-Assad’s effort to eradicate rebels from his country is different from Hitler’s extermination of Jews, both individuals are driven by the same philosophy and level of cruelty.

This was my professor feedback: Good Heidy! Focus the idea about the philosophy so that maybe you address two areas of their philosophy. Their philosophy about what? Aim to list 3 bases of comparison for your thesis.

You will be writing an essay that uses the comparison/contrast

Nidal Branbo

Ryan Garcia

English 1B

15 March 2018

The Wonderful Tar Baby Stories

 The Wonderful Tar Baby stories by Joel Chandler Harris are among the most popular tales of Uncle Remus. Harris was born and raised in Eatonton Georgia, he was an illegitimate child, and his mom was an Irish immigrant. He lived and studied in the turnwold plantation. He spent most of his time in the slave quarters, he had something in common with them because he was Irish and  He was less self-conscious there and felt his humble background as an illegitimate. The tar baby story was obtained from West African folklore. It had become a fundamental part of the African American oral tradition by the time Harris heard it while growing up on the turnwold plantation. Uncle Remus is a fictional character in a collection of African American folktales that were adapted by Joel Chandler Harris. The Tar baby stories were published in the 1880’s, and they took place  in the slave era, the era that led to the end of the civil war. These stories are fables, and they have a hidden message that is displayed throughout them. Harris shows the relationship between Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit, and they represent two historical sides in the American nation.

The Tar Baby Stories took place in the Antebellum era, where black people were used as slaves. After the union soldiers took over the plantation Joel Chandler Harris lived with a poor family and he spent most of his time in the slave quarters. He witnessed the miserable life that they were living, and that led him to write the Wonderful Tar Baby stories. Harris used the characters to describe the reality and the true facts about slavery and the combat between the north and the south. Uncle Remus is an old a slave for the owner of the plantation. He tells stories to the little boy, who is the son of the owner of the plantation. The the little boy is well educated, white, and he speaks proper english. We can see that in story when the little boy asks Uncle Remus "did the fox kill and eat the rabbit when he caught him with the Tar-Baby?"(par.1). While Uncle Remus seems to be uneducated because of the way he speaks. "Law, honey, ain't I tell you 'bout dat?"(par.1).

Each one of the characters in these stories plays a significant role. I believe that Brer Rabbit represents the south, he represents the enslaved African Americans who used their wits to overcome the abuse that they experienced from the north. The rabbit is a trickster, according to the TeacherServe website “tricksters are animals or characters who, while ostensibly disadvantaged and weak in a contest of wills, power, and/or resources, succeed in getting the best of their larger, more powerful adversaries. Tricksters achieve their objectives through indirection and mask-wearing, through playing upon the gullibility of their opponents. In other words, tricksters succeed by outsmarting or outthinking their opponents.” For instance, in the story “How Mr. Rabbit Was Too Sharp For Mr. Fox” Harris states “'Skin me, Brer Fox,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'snatch out my eyeballs, t'ar out my yeras by de roots, en cut off my legs,' sezee, 'but do please, Brer Fox, don't fling me in dat brier-patch,' sezee.” (par.11). Harris shows how the rabbit plays the fox and uses his wit to convince him to put him in the brier patch so he can escape. Nevertheless, the brier patch is the slave quarters, because the condition there is tragic, but the people from the south were used to it, because they were forced to live in it after the union soldiers came and took over their land. Similarly, the rabbit is known to be the only animal who can survive the brier patch. So he made the fox think that he was scared from the brier patch, and he convinced the fox to throw him in it so he can escape. As shown in the story the rabbit tells the fox “‘Bred en bawn in a brier-patch, Brer Fox--bred en bawn in a brier-patch!’”(par.13).

On the other hand, I believe that Brer Fox represents the north and the union soldiers who took over the plantation. They came in and took over the plantation, and made the people who worked there lose their jobs. Not only that but also they made them suffer and live with poor families. Just like they made Harris lose his job in the Turnwold plantation, so he had to go and live with a poor family. Likewise the fox, he didn’t care about his hunger. All he wanted was to make the rabbit suffer. Because the rabbit always bossed everyone. And we can see that in the story when the rabbit says to the fox "'Skin me, Brer Fox,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'snatch out my eyeballs, t'ar out my yeras by de roots, en cut off my legs,' sezee, 'but do please, Brer Fox, don't fling me in dat brier-patch,' sezee. Co'se Brer Fox wnater hurt Brer Rabbit bad ez he kin, so he cotch 'im by de behime legs en slung 'im right in de middle er de brierpatch"'(par.11,12).

            The meaning of a tar baby is a sticky situation. In this story the tar baby is a symbol for slavery and civil war, the rabbit got stuck in it and he couldn’t get out of it. Just like what happened with the people from the south, they got stuck in slavery and the war with the north and they couldn’t get out of it for many years. But they were able to survive, they went back from the fields and they sang and drank to keep their spirits up from the abuse they experienced in the fields. That is how the rabbit survived from the fox, and freed himself from the tar baby.




Stories: “The Wonderful Tar Baby Story” and “How Mr. Rabbit was too Sharp for Mr. Fox”. By Joel Chandler Harris.

For the second part (2 pages): I would like you to assert the place the stories of Joel Chandler
Harris have in American literature. The collection – originally published in 1880 – was first
received as a literary triumph, being so well received that President Roosevelt himself
thought the stories served, “ bring our people closer together...[Harris’] art is not only an
art addition to our sum of national achievement, but it has also always been an addition to the
forces that tell for decency...” However, as decades passed, critics began to blast Harris’
collection as a blemish on American literature that only sought to exploit the culture of
African Americans. With that, explore the questions: Is Harris’ work worthy of praise? Do
these stories, “...bring our people closer together...”? Where should Harris’ work fall in
American literature? This second section of your essay requires both examples from the
stories as well as one researched article from the MVC library database as it will serve to aid
your argument. This essay should be 5 full pages in length in MLA format with a work-cited

the prompt is in the 4th page in the attached profile

For our first essay, you will be taking a closer, analytical look at “The Wonderful Tar-Baby
Story,” and “How Mr. Rabbit Was Too Sharp For Mr. Fox,” both by Joel Chandler Harris. Your
essay will have two parts to it for an essay totaling 5 pages in length.
For the first part (3 pages): Discuss and dissect the themes surrounding both stories; a few
being trickery, cunning, wit, pride, and folklore. What do you believe to be Harris’ motif in
writing these two pieces and, using quotes and passages, how do they reflect your opinion?
What is the relationship between the rabbit and the fox and whom might these two characters
be reflecting historically? How would these tales reflect the nation? We will be having class
discussions on the works in various lights so that they may aid your analysis.
For the second part (2 pages): I would like you to assert the place the stories of Joel Chandler
Harris have in American literature. The collection – originally published in 1880 – was first
received as a literary triumph, being so well received that President Roosevelt himself
thought the stories served, “ bring our people closer together...[Harris’] art is not only an
art addition to our sum of national achievement, but it has also always been an addition to the
forces that tell for decency...” However, as decades passed, critics began to blast Harris’
collection as a blemish on American literature that only sought to exploit the culture of
African Americans. With that, explore the questions: Is Harris’ work worthy of praise? Do
these stories, “...bring our people closer together...”? Where should Harris’ work fall in
American literature? This second section of your essay requires both examples from the
stories as well as one researched article from the MVC library database as it will serve to aid
your argument. This essay should be 5 full pages in length in MLA format with a work-cited

Jamal Branbo

Ryan Garcia

English 1B

6 March 2018

The Wonderful Tar Baby

The Tar Baby story is a fable kind of story written in an African-American dialogue to carry on the legacy of Uncle Remus stories and it’s folklore. The Uncle Remus stories is a collection of stories that was made popular by Joel Chandler Harris, they are based on African-American folklore. The stories are narrated by the fictional Uncle Remus, who is a former slave. The themes and events that are described in the two stories discuss the relationship between the Brer Rabbit and the Brer Fox. The stories were largely based on African-American folklore, and they are commonly known as the Uncle Remus stories that were written by Joel Chandler Harris in the 1880s. Harris had originally been told the stories by the former slaves he knew as a child in the plantation in Eatonton, Georgia. Harris was an American journalist, fiction writer, and folklorist. He was born in Eatonton, Georgia, where he served as an apprentice in the newspaper during his teenage years. The Tar Baby story was not only a short story to be told to kids, it was also a message to the world hidden behind its catalyst context.

Brer Rabbit shows us that if we’re not strong we better be smart. He got himself into this situation but he is clever enough to see that fighting the situation will only make matters worse. He will only get more tar on him and Brer Fox is so much stronger than him. He cleverly uses the argument Brer Fox is having on how to best cook him. After he frees him from the tar he uses reverse psychology to win his freedom. Instead of protesting the various ways in which he could end up as his lunch he agrees with each proposal and ends on “as long as you don’t throw me in the briar patch”, as if that was the worst that could happen to him. By doing so he prevents Brer Fox from killing him in the ways he is discussing with himself, and he tells him to do whatever he wants but to not throw him in the brier patch. Which leads the fox to finally throw Brer Rabbit in the briar patch where he escapes.

Going more in depth with the Tar Baby story we can see from the definition of the Tar Baby that it applies to a sticky situation and a difficult problem. And Harris applies that term in his stories by showing us how the Brer Rabbit falls into the Brer Fox’s trap, and how he gets stuck to “The Tar Baby”. The Brer Rabbit represents how a weaker, smaller, but more clever force can overcome a stronger, larger, but less clever force. Where he continually outmaneuvers the Brer Fox. In the story “How Mr. Rabbit Was Too Sharp For Mr. Fox” Harris states “'Skin me, Brer Fox,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'snatch out my eyeballs, t'ar out my yeras by de roots, en cut off my legs,' sezee, 'but do please, Brer Fox, don't fling me in dat brier-patch,' sezee.” (par.11).

After the Brer Fox traps the Brer Rabbit with the Tar Baby. The Brer Rabbit manages to trick the Brer Fox into throwing him into a briar patch. At the beginning It sounds like a horrible punishment. But, the Brer Rabbit has lived his whole life in the briar patch, so he can easily work his way out of the briar patch and free himself. If we take a closer look on this situation we can demonstrate that the Brer Rabbit represents the African-Americans due to the fact that the South survived through the civil war even though they lost it. Which can relate to the Brer Rabbit who fell into the Brer Fox’s trap but also used his wit and intelligence to lead the Brer Fox into throwing him in the briar patch because lived his whole life in the brier patch, as Harris states in the story. “'Bred en bawn in a brier-patch, Brer Fox--bred en bawn in a brier-patch!'”(par.13).

On the other hand we have the Brer Fox who hated the Brer Rabbit because he was always bossing everyone around. Which is why he decided to capture and kill Brer Rabbit if it was the last thing he will ever do. But Brer Fox’s hatred to Brer Rabbit blinds him into making the mistake of throwing Brer Rabbit in the briar patch. Which led the Brer Rabbit into freeing himself because he was used to being in the briar patch. The brier patch in this story represents the slaves quarters because the rabbit is the only animal that can survive in the brier patch which can relate to the African-Americans, because they are the only ones who can survive in the slaves quarters due to the conditions they were forced to live in after the union soldiers took over their lands.

Harris wrote these stories during the Antebellum Era. Where African-Americans were used as slaves. When the Union soldiers took over the plantation, Harris went to live with a poor family where he spent most of his time in the slaves quarters. Harris felt like he had something in common with the African-Americans who were used as slaves in the quarters. He was born in utter poverty in Putnam County. Harris began his lifelong friendship with animals and with the plantation and the slaves who were held in it. Later on the African-American folklore would fill his writings. He used the animals and the characters in his stories to show the world the reality of the war between the North and the South, and to reflect the social experience and historical perspective of African-Americans defining themselves through the Brer Rabbit. Each one of these characters play a significant role when it comes to the morals and ethics behind this tale. Harris chose the rabbit and the fox because of their characters and personalities, the rabbit is known as a friendly, lovable animal, on the other hand the fox is known for being trickery and backstabbing.

Harris used Uncle Remus as a way to deliver the stories to the world. Uncle Remus was an old slave who worked for the owner of the plantation. Uncle Remus tells the stories to a little boy who is the son of the owner of the plantation. In the stories, The little kid is shown to be well educated and civilized due to the fact that he speaks proper English, as shown in the story when he asks Uncle Remus "did the fox kill and eat the rabbit when he caught him with the Tar-Baby?"(par.1). On the other hand,  Uncle Remus is shown to be uneducated due to the dialect he uses. An example is when he answers the little boys question and says "Law, honey, ain't I tell you 'bout dat?"(par.1).

Harris chose the rabbit and the fox because of their characters and personalities, the rabbit is known as a friendly, lovable animal, on the other hand the fox is known for being trickery and backstabbing, not safe to be around and more importantly, if it wasn’t for him there wouldn’t be a tar baby and there wouldn’t be a story at all. 




For our first essay, you will be taking a closer

Based upon your reading of Foundations of Spiritual Formation: A Community Approach to Becoming Like Christ and your own personal experience, write a 1,000-word (double-spaced, 12-point font) blog post as if you were writing it for an online blog. In your blog, you will (1) identify 1 or 2 spiritual formation concepts addressed in the book that you need to incorporate into your own walk of faith; (2) outline a plan of action to address those areas; and (3) write a final paragraph to a real or imagined person planning to enter seminary and offer 1 piece of advice that you think will help him/her continue to grow in his/her faith while enrolled in seminary. 


Based upon your reading of Foundations of Spiritual Formation:

The Task 


Select a current practice problem/issue/challenge that is currently impacting organizations in todays’ world. You can focus your research either on a challenge that impacts organizations in general, or you focus on a particular field (for example organizations in the Health Care Field). You can also research a particular theory or model that was presented in class. 




1.To write an in depth research paper concerning an organizational communication topic of interest.

2.To utilize peer-reviewed research and appropriate APA citations.

3.To write a concise, clear and organized writing example while focusing on the improvement of writing skills learned in class.


Students will approach the paper as analytical research paper . Students should begin by asking a question (a.k.a. a research question) on which they have taken no stance (opinion) This is a writing exercise in exploration and evaluation. Though the research topic may be debatable and controversial, it is not the student's intent to persuade the audience that his ideas are right while those of others are wrong. Instead, the goal should be to offer a critical interpretation of primary and secondary sources throughout the paper--sources that should, ultimately, buttress the particular analysis of the topic 

(adapted from


The basic questions that should be answered in the paper include;


1.What is the context of the problem/issue/theory? 

2.What is the exact nature of the problem? 

3.Whom is it affecting? 

4.Have there been any effective approaches to dealing with the problem? 

5.What research has been done to explore the problem/issue/theory?

6.What are likely consequences if the problem is not alleviated? 

7.What organizational communication theories and information from the course apply to the problem/issue/theory?


The paper should be between 5 and 6 pages and contain at least 4 references from sources other than the textbook. All citations, and the whole paper, should utilize APA style citations and formatting.


Criteria for evaluation (will be assessed through a rubric):

Thoroughness, quality and completeness of the research design, methodology and presentation.

Effective incorporation of theories, models and vocabulary from the Organizational Communication course.

Use of appropriate and adequate references (citations) . 

Clarity. Writing style is appropriate to a professional practitioner audience. The proposal and paper are clearly organized and written, with subheadings. The paper is proofed carefully. It is free of word choice, spelling, grammatical and other errors.


Topic :Team Development

Select a current practice problem/issue/challenge

The purpose of this assignment is for you to apply your knowledge of gerontological concepts and vocabulary in the context of an aging-related film. The first step is to find a film that you are interested in writing about. To assist you with this task, there is a list of aging-related films posted on the Canvas course site (on the home/syllabus page under the Assignments section).

Review the list of films. You can look at online reviews (and previews) of many of the films to make sure that you choose a film that you are interested in and will watch carefully—maybe even multiple times —so that you can answer the questions below knowledgeably and in detail.  Two out of class assignments (due February 23 and March 2) will help you choose your film. 

Once you identify the film you will use for the assignment, watch it critically, from the perspective of someone who is becoming knowledgeable about gerontology and aging-related issues. Take good notes that focus on gerontologically-relevant aspects of the film. These notes should form the basis of your analysis. Be sure to use the Film Analysis Assignment RubricDescription: Preview the document to guide you through the assignment. Your analysis should be no less than 3 1/2 and no more than 5 double-spaced, typed pages. Please use 12-point font and 1 inch margins. Address the following points in your analysis, and be sure to include gerontological vocabulary and concepts throughout your responses:

1.    Identify a major gerontological perspective/lens (i.e., life span development and/or life course perspective, biopsychosocial approach, environmental gerontology) that best helps you understand the film from a gerontological point of view. Briefly explain the perspective/lens and why/how this perspective/lens helps you “make sense” of the film. (9 points)

2.    In general, how are older adult(s) portrayed in the film (e.g., is the film ageist; in what way(s) are the characters stereotypical; to what extent does the film capture the diversity of the aging experience (think about different ways of measuring aging) within the same character and across different characters; are the older characters accurately portrayed)? (16 points)

3.    Select one of the older characters in the film and discuss her/his life course trajectory. Specifically, as appropriate in the context of the film, discuss: a) the relevant age-graded, history graded, and non-normative events that comprise the character’s trajectory; b) the relevance of the timing of these key events; c) the impact of social role expectations and changes; d) how the character’s life course trajectory is influenced by the historical period and/or culture in which the film is set; and e) indicate how the character’s life course trajectory influences that of another major character. (20 points)

4.    Discuss whether you consider this to be a good film from the perspective of someone who is informed about aging in terms of: a) what the film “got right” gerontologically; b) how the film could have done a better job gerontologically; c) whether you would recommend the film to a general audience; and d) whether you would recommend the film to an older adult audience. (16 points)

Rubric Used to Assess GTY 154 Film Analysis Assignment



Very Strong

Substantially Developed

Partially Developed

Very Weak

1. Can apply a major gerontological perspective to a specific context (9 points):

a) identifies an appropriate perspective/lens (1)

b) explains the perspective/lens (4)

c) describes why/how the perspective/lens helps “make sense” of the film (4)

· integrates gerontological vocabulary/concepts into a coherent, comprehensive response

· response is well supported with relevant material from the text/Canvas course site/class

1     4     4

· uses gerontological vocabulary/concepts appropriately

· references some relevant material from the text/Canvas course site/class

1     3     3

· uses some gerontological vocabulary/concepts, but the response does not reflect understanding of the underlying concepts

· does not reference relevant material from the text/Canvas course site/class

1     2     2

· does not address each component of the prompt AND/OR

· does not use gerontological vocabulary/concepts or uses them inappropriately AND/OR

· does not support claims with relevant material from the text/Canvas course site/class

1     1     1

2. Can identify (16):

a) ageism/stereotyping (4)

b) variability in dimensions of aging within a character (4)

c) variability in aging across characters (4)

d) accuracy of portrayals of older adults in film (4)

· sophisticated discussion of each element using gerontological facts, concepts and vocabulary, supported with evidence from the text/Canvas course site/class

4     4     4     4

· appropriate discussion of each element using gerontological facts, concepts and vocabulary, supported with evidence from the text/Canvas course site/class

3     3     3     3    

· superficial discussion of each element using gerontological facts, concepts and vocabulary that is not supported with evidence from the text/Canvas course site/class

2     2     2     2    

· absence of reference to facts, concepts and vocabulary OR

· erroneous use of facts, concepts and vocabulary

1     1     1     1

3. Can explain the key components of a life trajectory (20):

a) key events (4)

b) how timing of key events matter (4)

c) impact of social role expectations and changes (4)

d) influence of historical period and/or culture (4)

e) influence of trajectory on other characters (4)

· sophisticated discussion of each element using gerontological facts, concepts and vocabulary, supported with evidence from the text/Canvas course site/class

4     4     4     4     4

· appropriate discussion of each element using gerontological facts, concepts and vocabulary, supported with evidence from the text/Canvas course site/class

3     3     3     3     3

· superficial discussion of each element using gerontological facts, concepts and vocabulary that is not supported with evidence from the text/Canvas course site/class

2     2     2     2     2

· absence of reference to facts, concepts and vocabulary OR

· erroneous use of facts, concepts and vocabulary

1     1     1     1     1

4. Assessment of the quality of the film from the perspective of someone who is informed about aging (16)

a) what the film “got right” gerontologically (4)

b) where the film could have done a better job gerontologically (4)

c) would you recommend the film to a general audience? (4)

d) would you recommend the film to older adults? (4)

· sophisticated assessment that that expresses the writer’s opinion and is supported with evidence from the text/Canvas course site/class

4     4     4     4

·  appropriate assessment that that expresses the writer’s opinion and is supported with evidence from the text/Canvas course site/class

3     3     3     3

·  appropriate assessment that expresses the writer’s opinion and is supported with general gerontological knowledge

2     2     2     2

· superficial assessment that expresses the writer’s opinion but lacks gerontological content OR

· assessment that includes erroneous gerontological statements OR

· absence of assessment

1     1     1     1

5. Mechanics (12)

a) following the assignment guidelines (4)


b) quality of writing (8)


· addressed all assignment components (4)


· document is well organized; writing is clear and concise; no major structural problems; no or only several minor grammatical, spelling, and/or punctuation errors (8)


· omitted 1-2 minor components (3)


· document is appropriately organized; writing is relatively clear; no major structural problems; multiple grammatical, spelling, and/or punctuation errors (6)


· omitted multiple minor or at one major component (2)

· document is poorly organized; writing is confusing; contains structural problems; contains multiple grammatical, spelling, and/or punctuation errors (4)


· did not complete two or more components (1)


· document is poorly organized; major structural problems; many confusing/incomplete sentences; multiple grammatical, spelling, and/or punctuation errors (2)

Sophisticated (appropriate plus): integrates ideas/concepts/theories and/or proposes new way(s) of thinking about the issue

Appropriate: makes meaningful use of gerontological vocabulary/concepts, provides examples, refers to the literature

Superficial: uses gerontological vocabulary without demonstrating understanding of the vocabulary/concepts

Absence: no evidence of the skill


apply your knowledge of gerontological concepts

Research Essay Guidelines

Do not use “I” or other personal pronouns in your essay (although I will make an exception for the last sentence if you want to directly ask your readers a question).

Avoid summary! You are analyzing pieces of the story to prove your interpretation and thesis. Pretend your reader knows what happens (because they do). Instead of walking through the plot, detail your perspective.

Feel free to take one of your three in-class essays to polish, add, and expound on for any of your research essays – or you can create a completely new essay. The


Be sure to:

·         Use MLA formatting (for your essay but also on the Works Cited)

·         Write at least 5 full pages (1200 words)

·         Include 6-10 quotes from your chosen work (or works if you want to compare) = 1-3 quotes from your work in each body paragraph

·         Write more than six paragraphs

·         Find 4 scholarly sources to deepen your own discussion – cite each source correctly on your Works Cited

·         Quote each of your 4 scholarly sources at least once throughout your essay – and cite correctly (Smith).

·         Your Works Cited should include at least 5 sources:  4 scholarly plus your story, poem, and/or play


Also remember to follow the structure:

            Introduction Paragraph

·         Grab Attention

·         Give some background and context

·         Present your thesis clearly (opinion and why)


Body Paragraphs

·         Transition readers into the paragraph (First, While, In order to…)

·         Introduce the point of the paragraph

·         Introduce your quote

·         Discuss/Analyze the quote

·         Repeat if necessary (adding scholarly quotes and discussion)

·         End the paragraph by returning to your thesis – how have you proven part of your overall point?


Conclusion Paragraph

·         Transition to the end (Ultimately, Finally, Without a doubt)

·         Recap your main points

·         Review your thesis (use fresh language)

·         End with a bang! (Be thought-provoking; make us glad we read your essay)



Poorva Patel

Dr. Randall

English 1102

 26 January 2018

Reflection on the Theme of Neglect in John Updike’s Oliver’s Evolution

It is the hope of all parents that their children grow up and become responsible adults to take care of them once old age strikes. However, it is their duty to show their kids how to be reliable members of the society by taking good care of them. Parents who neglect their children compromise their future well-being as they do not learn the elements of responsibility. Additionally, neglected children do not get the affection they need to grow well. Their emotional, physical, and psychological growth and development are hindered as they lack some of the basic needs. In John Updike’s story Oliver’s Evolution, Oliver is neglected by his parent, thereby becoming a reckless teenager but he becomes a person that can be depended upon when he becomes an adult.  

When John Updike says, “His parents had not meant to abuse him; they had meant to love him, and they did love him,” he implies that Oliver’s parents did not treat him well. Their intention was to love him, but struggled to show the affection. One of the reasons why he was neglected was that he was born with turned legs, thus had to crawl with corrective casts. Therefore, the parents might have ashamed by their son’s physical conditions, thus finding it hard to be affectionate to him.

            John Updike Writes, “…in retrospect, they wondered if there had really been a need to rush him to the hospital and have his poor little stomach pumped,” he shows how Oliver’s parents did care about his health. They found him on the floor of their dressing room with a box of mothballs. Some of the mothballs had saliva, a clear indication that he was poisoned. However, the parents do not show any urgency to take him to hospital. They felt there was no need to get him to a healthcare provider. Their attitude towards him shows how bad they treated him, and yet he was their son.

            Eventually, Oliver marries and becomes a responsible man. Updike says, “He is a tree, a sheltering boulder. He is a protector of the weak,” to show how Oliver evolved to become reliable. This was despite his parents refusing to nurture him, a condition which led to him to protect those that were neglected. He believed it was his mandate to show love to those who needed it most, yet he was never fortunate to get it.

John Updike’s story, Oliver’s Evolution explores the life a man who was neglected by his parents due to being born with turned legs. They did not nurture him to become a responsible man and yet he was their son. Also, they were not concerned about his health, a view supported by the lack of urgency to take to the hospital when they found on the floor of their dressing with mothballs. Nevertheless, Oliver overcame his childhood struggles and transformed to be a responsible man. He becomes the protector of the weak, thus offering his love and care to those who did not get them from their family members.



Research Essay Guidelines

1.     Post Your Working Thesis Statement and Sentence Outline

Please post your working thesis statement and sentence outline here. Make sure that each topic sentence in your outline has a transition and uses words that tie it in with the thesis statement.




2.  Exploring Relationships Among Sources

As you conduct your research and draft your essay, you will be drawing information from various sources. Understanding how these sources relate to one another will help you synthesize them (put them together) in your essay.

Initial post (by Wednesday):

Please consider two of the sources you have found in your research, and explain their main ideas and how the sources relate to one another. For example, you could consider these questions:

  • Do the sources agree or disagree with one another?
  • Does one source go into greater detail than the other?
  • Are the sources written for the same or different audiences?

Answer in 1-2 paragraphs.


·         Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Workplace Issues. (2017, May 30). Retrieved February 14, 2018, from

 Ballman, D. (2015, January 6). Gay Marriage Sweeps U.S.: How Does It Affect The Workplace And You? Retrieved February 14, 2018, from

  Hunter, N. D. (2012, October). The Future Impact of Same-Sex Marriage: More Questions Than Answers. Retrieved February 14, 2018, from

 Jr., B. H. (2010, September 06). Same-sex marriage will hurt families, society. Retrieved February 14, 2018, from



*TOPIC- Social impacts of same sex marriage* SOURCES ARE BELOW

Answer the following question in a clear, well-crafted paper (500-750 words). Be sure to cite specific details from the text in your answer.

1.) Compare Psalm 23 and The Sermon on the Mount. The works have similar themes, or messages. What is the main idea of each work? How are the works alike? How are they different? How is the style, or genre, of each work appropriate to its purpose? (These questions are meant to give you some guidance to compare the two works, but you will need to choose one or two of these questions to answer, or create your own comparison. You can't answer all of these questions well in 1-2 pages.)

NOTE: According to APA formatting, reference citations are not required for ancient Greek or Roman works or classic religious works, so you don't have to list the Bible in your reference list. However, you do need to provide in-text citations. See the following resource for examples and more information:

Assignment: Comparison Essay


The opening paragraphs of the critical report presents the topic, consisting of the name of the assigned literature that you're evaluating and the creator or performer of the composition. It also reveals your viewpoint regarding the assigned work and sums up the ideas that caused you to find the evidences you'll expound on in the discussion part of write my essay online.

Utilize applicable background or historical information to confirm the weight of the analyzed work and the main reason for your evaluation.

Discussion part

Every discussion part of a analytical writing covers data that reveals your viewpoint on the discussed topics.

Present your reasons with real-life facts that specify your opinion, compare it to the opinions of specialists, and provide your evaluation of the work. Always accompany every expression of judgement with supporting evidential support.

part of write my essay online.

Think about the characteristics of Elizabeth and Darcy at the beginning of the novel and at the end. How do they change throughout the course of the novel? What do you think the author is saying through the development of these characters? In your response, describe the primary features of the characters at the beginning of the novel, the basic process by which they change, and their characteristics at the end of the novel. Then, explain what you think the author is trying to say through the changes in Elizabeth and Darcy.

Cite specific examples from the novel in your response.



Graded Assignment

Pride and Prejudice Literary Essay

This document provides an overview of the tasks and a time line for completing this assignment.

Student Assignment Instructions

Respond to the following in the form of a short essay. Your essay should consist of at least five paragraphs.


Think about the characteristics of Elizabeth and Darcy at the beginning of the novel and at the end. How do they change throughout the course of the novel? What do you think the author is saying through the development of these characters? In your response, describe the primary features of the characters at the beginning of the novel, the basic process by which they change, and their characteristics at the end of the novel. Then, explain what you think the author is trying to say through the changes in Elizabeth and Darcy.


Cite specific examples from the novel in your response. Use the notes you take and the questions you answer in the Student Guide to help you formulate your response.


You will hand in your completed response on the final day of this unit.




You should always use a process for your writing that includes planning and drafting. To complete this assignment, you will do the following:


·       Review the assignment instructions and grading criteria thoroughly. The writing assignment you complete in this unit will be graded against a rubric that assesses the essay in a number of categories. These categories focus both on the essay’s contents and its clarity.

o    Read the rubric on the last page of this document. Keep the criteria listed on the rubric in mind as you complete the writing assignment.

o    Remember to write in standard formal English and use the third person (no personal opinions) and the present tense.


·       Complete a plan for your essay.

·       Begin drafting your paper, using your plan as a guide.

·       Review and revise your first draft. You should try to have another person read your work and give you feedback as part of your revision process.

·       Write the final draft of your project. Be sure to follow these requirements and recommendations when completing your draft:

Open a new Microsoft Word document. Type your name, your teacher’s name, your school name, and the date at the top of your document. To help your teacher know from whom the project came, save the file as:


Example: ENG403B/ENG404B_NC_02_01_Pride_and_Prejudice_Literary_Essay_M_Smith.doc

Type your essay in the document you create.



Student Time Line    

You will complete this project over the course of this unit.




Print and review assignment instructions.

Lesson 1

Lesson 1

Read and take notes on the novel.

Lesson 1

Lesson 4

Begin drafting your essay.

Lesson 7

Lesson 7

Complete writing and begin revisions.

Lesson 9

Lesson 9

Submit final draft for a grade.

Lesson 10

Lesson 10


Grading/Point Values

Assignment Point Value: 300

Required Length

Pages: 35

Word Count: 9001,500

At their discretion, teachers may deduct 10 percent of the total score for submissions that do not meet the length requirement.


Novel Assignment Grading Rubric
Your essay will be evaluated based on the rubric below.








The literary essay fulfills its purpose of analyzing the characters, themes, and/or historical context of the novel. This purpose is clearly articulated in a valid thesis statement.

The literary essay fulfills its purpose of analyzing the characters, themes, and/or historical context of the novel, but the analysis is not complete. The purpose is stated in a thesis statement.

The purpose of this literary essay is not entirely clear. The essay provides some analysis of the character, themes, and/or literary or historical context, but there are significant gaps that leave the reader questioning. The thesis may not be entirely clear, or it may not state the purpose of the essay.

The literary essay about the novel does not fulfill its purpose because it lacks significant analysis of the characters, themes, or historical or literary context; contains irrelevant information; or is mostly a summary of the novel. The literary essay has a thesis, but the thesis is not entirely clear, or it is not valid.

This essay is not a literary essay about the novel. It does not contain an analysis of the novel's characters, themes, or historical or literary context. The literary essay does not have a thesis.

Ideas and Content

The literary essay contains insightful analysis and examples of the choices characters make, the consequences of the choices, and the connection to theme, as called for. The writer explains the connections between the evidence and the thesis.

The literary essay contains examples and analysis,
but some points remain unsupported, or the writer
does not make a convincing connection between evidence presented and conclusions drawn. The essay may present more summary than analysis.

The literary essay contains examples and analysis, but some points remain unsupported, or the writer does not make a convincing connection between evidence presented and conclusions drawn. The writer's evidence is sometimes but not always supported by relevant paraphrases and quotations from the novel. The essay includes some irrelevant or tangential content. The essay may offer more summary than analysis.