Saturday, September 08, 2012

Coursera Plagiarism Deniers

I am bloody tired of those people on the forums who are reiterating that there is no plagiarism.  I find them almost as annoying as those who are casually and erroneously accusing others of plagiarism.  I am also not going to discuss this on the forums because I am not going to invite abuse from the deniers.  To that end, I am offering the two essays I received, preceded by the links to where the original text can be found.

You tell me that I am witch-hunting and trying to find plagiarism where there is none and I'll dismiss you as a denier.  These are obviously what they are and anyone who cannot see the obvious isn't ready for an upper level undergraduate English course.

I have changed nothing from either essay.  These are copied here as they were submitted to me for peer-review.

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_cult/culturedisability.html

Not only is our wisdom not total, there is yet much to be learned from others.
The perfect unit for displaying such instinct and insight is what is called "culture," a much contested term that is generally taken to gloss the well bound containers of coherence that mark off different kinds of people living in their ways, each kind separated from the others by a particular way of making sense and meaning.
In The Country of the Blind, a One-eyed Man is confused and confusing. That is what it is like to be in another culture. With time, had he been a decent person, he could have learned their ways well enough to write about their particular version of wisdom.
Culture is not so much a product of sharing as a product of people hammering each other into shape with the well structured tools already available. Culture is seen as a process of hammering a world in H. G Well’s novel.
When culture is understood as the knowledge people need for living with each other, it is easy to adapt to surroundings. Before entering the Country of the Blind, Nunez thought that sight was essential to being fully cultured and that having sight in a world of people who cannot see would net him the cultural capital of a King. He was arrogant. Did Nunez really have to be locked so thoroughly out of the culture of those who could not see? Need we think that the Country of the Blind had only one way to be, or that the blind and the sighted had to suffer because of an enculturated difference?
In the Country of the Blind even a blind woman can be made disabled. In every society, there are ways of being locked out because culture is seen as a disability.

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells is a science fiction classic written in 1897. The novel was first serialized in Pearson’s Weekly the same year it was published.
Griffin is a scientist who devotes himself to the field of optics. While working in his research Griffin discovers that he can change the body’s refractive index to absorb all light and reflect none, which makes him invisible. The scientist uses himself as his first experimentation subject but fails to reverse the process. After his friend betrays him, Griffin decided to murder him and begins his own personal “reign of terror”. What if what you consider a blessing is also a curse? The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells touches on this very same question. How many of us wouldn’t like to be invisible? That’s what the protagonist, Griffin, thought when he became invisible only to find it to be the bane of his existence. Yes, there are some positives aspects, but H.G. Wells concentrates mostly on the negative ones.
I thought Wells did a good job building up the atmosphere that is prominent throughout the story. Actually, the atmosphere is the star of the book as none of the characters resonated with me and the storyline, which mainly consisted of wrecking havoc for havoc’s sake, was not very inspired. The story itself is also quite funny, I thought and many of the scenes played in my mind as slapstick.
The Invisible Man is the ultimate story of an insane anti-hero, before insane anti-heroes became popular. Griffin himself becomes more and more pathetic as the story progress and from the comical start Wells moves away to a darker, subtle satire of small minds in small towns can be just as dangerous as any psychopath.

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