Plagiarism vs. Creativity

When comparing Dante’s “The Shadow Scholar” and Goldsmith’s “Uncreative Writing” I first thought about what I was thinking as I was reading both of the essays. Dante’s essay, made me think about how people my age can be so uneducated that they are unable to form sentences and are willing to pay an absurd amount of money to have someone else do their work. I mean, what is the work force going to be like when people refuse to do their own work? Goldsmith’s essay is much more intellectual and shows the other side of students who are able to take something negative and make it creative and their own. Because there is such a difference between the two essays, it is hard to fairly compare them. Dante is seen as selfish because he is solely doing it for his money while Goldsmith is teaching his students about plagiarism and creativity but they are both just doing their jobs. Although, I also thought about what it would be like reading it from a professor’s perspective.

Starting with Dante’s essay, if I were a professor I would have read it differently than I had. As a college student I thought that while yes, what he is doing should not be allowed, it is cheating, it is still something that students are going to find a way to do. Professors on the other hand probably thought back to all of the essays they have read and wanted to know how many of their students cheated their way to the grade they received. The honor code system only works if the student gets caught, but how many people get away with little things all the time? As a professor, I think that I would have already thought about some of these things because I assume professors know that sometimes their students are not honest. Although I would hope that most students do their own work, I think that a professor would read this and wonder which of his students he didn’t catch. This essay does not come across as something intellectual that we could learn from but as something that simply makes us think.

Goldsmith, on the other hand, expresses his class as something intellectual rather than simply teaching about plagiarism. As a professor I would love to be able to sit in on a few classes and see his syllabus for the class. I think that the idea of Uncreative Writing is actually very creative. Being able to take someone else’s words and make them your own is what we do every day. We are given a vocabulary but what we say with these words is completely up to each individual. As a college student or professor I believe that the ideas in Goldsmith’s essay are more relatable.

One thought on “Plagiarism vs. Creativity

  1. I really like how you took the perspective of both a student and a professor in this blog post. It made for some very interesting ideas that I would not have necessarily thought of. My suggestion to make it a stronger piece would be to be a little more careful about your transition/topic sentences between ideas. For example, your opening sentence in paragraph two is a little confusing. I understand what you meant by reading it as a professor rather than as a student, but to others it might be confusing. Overall, it was a very well written piece with some really good ideas


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