Dante and Goldsmith

If I were a college professor I would be extremely concerned with Dante’s confession.  Beyond the ordinary issues with a student plagiarizing or cheating, Dante was successful.  He beat the system and allowed students to receive degrees who should not have.  He brings a new problem to the table.  It is not like I can have my students submit their work to turnitin.com or an independent program because they are not copying peoples work, it would not catch them.  I would definitely change some of my policies and assignment plans.  I do not know exactly what I would do if I caught a student using a resource such as Dante to cheat and pay their way through my class because the policy is already failing the class.  I would want it to more severe than the current one because I put paying someone else at a higher level than plagiarism.  Perhaps a one semester suspension.  I would change my assignment plans to reflect the new issue of catching Dante’s style of cheating.  the only way that I see to achieve this is to get accustomed to each individual students writing style, how their voice plays into their writing, their word choices and phrases etc.  Because that is the one thing that Dante cannot remove from his own work.  His writing style will play through if you have something to compare it to.   At the beginning of the semester I would have a series of in class writing assignments designed to capture a students writing style specifically how their voice would play through in a formal writing assignments.


I would like to take Goldsmith’s Uncreative Writing class because it is the exact opposite of uncreative.  It is extremely creative, addressing a writing course in a brand new way.  The goal of a course is when you leave the course you have learned something, a specific skill or type or information.  In most courses you have to display the information that you have learned in a term paper or a final exam.  Goldsmith requires that you show the information by plagiarizing.  At the end of the semester you are still leaving the course with a learned information.  The other part of the course that I find interesting which is specifically related to the course is learning about plagiarizing in a new light.  By blatently plagiarizing you learn what not to do by doing exactly that.  You leave the course with two skills, the information you gained while writing the paper and a more in-depth knowledge about plagiarizing. 

The two articles have very distinct styles, Dante’s is more of a casual conversation while Goldsmith’s is a report to other professors and schools about his course.  To me Dante’s was much more interesting to read because his style was friendlier to teenagers and for that reason I found it more interesting.  I felt engaged in his article.  Goldsmith’s is written in a very different style.  It came across to me as a defense of his class, validating itself.  Each article has its benefits and its distractions.  At the end of the day Dante’s was friendlier to me and therefore I liked it more.  It brings up the point that you should always keep in mind your intended audience while writing a paper.

One thought on “Dante and Goldsmith

  1. Overall this essay was very solid and conveyed all of the necessary arguments. It seemed, however, that the two portions of the essay contradict each other. In the first part, the author notes that the betrayal of paying for someone else’s work is so severe that the student must be suspended for an entire semester, but in the next paragraph he notes that doing so is very educational and helps students improve their own knowledge base and writing skills. Now of course I understand that Goldsmith sanctions these actions while others do not, and there are obvious ethical differences in the two acts, but it seems that an over-polarization in the first paragraph makes the second harder to swallow. That being said, on an individual level, the author effectively dealt with the two different questions and I found myself agreeing with the independent points.


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