SCREEN-L Archives

August 2004, Week 5


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Kate Bowles <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 30 Aug 2004 15:31:07 +1000
text/plain (60 lines)
Deb Carmichael points out, and I agree:

>Many students think that information on the Internet is "public" and I have
>had some that thought that copying from IMDB or a book jacket was okay because
>it is, of course, public on the net or on a glossy (sell the book) jacket.

While google searching for key phrases in plagiarised assignments, I
have often found that the trail leads to more than one site where the
exact same phrases occur.  Determining which is the original is
impossible.  The Internet itself is a complex circuit of unattributed
copying -- the culture of the cut and paste -- and I think for the
present generation of students, this makes our conventional
articulation of what plagiarism is and why it matters archaic. In the
world they've grown up in, unattributed electronic copying is as
unremarkable as taping a TV show.

The related issue for film students is that those majoring in
journalism, communications or media studies are also aware of the
entirely proper professional practice of constructing news stories
from prefabricated media releases, designed to present the simulation
of original writing under deadline conditions which don't favour the
work it takes to produce the real thing.

But I'm trying to find alternatives to Leo's simple march back to
boot camp: I don't think exam conditions, either for men or women,
liberals or conservatives, is our best solution, as I think this
encourages us to retreat from the gains we have made in cinema
studies in engaging undergraduates in real research practice. So for
the students I teach who base their research papers on the oral
history interviews they've conducted themselves into the history of
cinema-going, backed up by their own archival research, plagiarism
really isn't a problem.

But the challenge that remains is that if we continue to ask students
roughly the same questions we've always asked about the study of
films themselves (particularly in terms of genres), the paper mills
will find our moves tremendously easy to predict, and our demands
very easy to supply -- as Jeremy's original message proves.  The best
we can hope for, it seems, is that it's our brightest film analysis
graduates writing these essays for sale ...




Dr Kate Bowles
Senior Lecturer, Media and Cultural Studies
School of Social Science, Media and Communication
Faculty of Arts
University of Wollongong
NSW 2522 Australia
tel: +612 42 214651     fax: +612 42 215341    email: [log in to unmask]

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite