How the reader views Dante and Goldsmith’s essays

In the two articles “The shadow scholar” and “It’s not plagiarism”, the difference in the way the authors portray the act of plagiarizing completely changes the way the reader perceives each essay.

Because Dante describes plagiarism as a mere function of supply and demand, the typical negative stereotypes still accompany plagiarism. The blame is just merely shifted from him to something that can’t be held accountable. The reader still views plagiarism as a clear violation of justice and honesty. Not only does the reader still hold plagiarism with a negative regard, He or she now begins to question what it is about schools that create this innate demand for plagiarism. The reader might even now interpret plagiarism as an inevitable evil. As if it is something that will always exist for no reason in particular and that all of those involved are just a product of the larger laws of economics. These new thoughts are largely a product of Dante’s attempt to avert blame from himself. He does not want to be perceived as some terrible person, but rather a product of a bad system. His article still has many valid points, but there is undoubtedly a slant because of his personal involvement with plagiarism.

Unlike Dante, Goldsmith in “It’s not plagiarism”, entirely changes the typical stigma that accompanies the word plagiarism, and in fact even renames the word to repurposing. He explains that in the digital age it is an extremely valuable skill to best express a thought or idea by compiling already known thoughts or information. He even argues that through the process of selecting already given text you are creating an individual work. He uses examples from art such as Andy Warhol and other modern artists. He even describes his class where students are instructed to use only existing text to compile and sort it into their own papers. Because of the way Goldsmith presents his essay he completely redefines plagiarism for the reader. The typical negative association is now replaced with the idea of a valuable skill that expresses ones individuality. By relating the process of choosing what text to copy with an artist choosing what to include in his artwork, Goldsmith causes the reader to interpret a well plagiarized or “repurposed” paper as a work of art. The way in which Goldsmith redefines plagiarism entirely changes the reader’s attitude towards plagiarism as one of approval.

Both Dante and Goldsmith were incredibly clever. Dante was able to hold economic laws as accountable for plagiarism, while Goldsmith was able to transform the typical stigma associated with plagiarism from one of distain to approval and admiration. Both authors used a variety of comparisons that made readers reevaluate how they viewed plagiarism. Ultimately, readers saw Dante’s essay primarily as a discussion of an inevitable wrong, while Goldsmith’s essay represented the transformation of a typically negative action to an admirable skill.


One thought on “How the reader views Dante and Goldsmith’s essays

  1. I found this to be an all around great essay. You summarized the articles well. You compared them to each other, and you contrasted them. I only noticed some minor things in this essay. I would reread what you wrote for grammar. There were a few spots in the text where you violated grammar rules. I liked how you used Andy Warhol as an example to reinforce Goldsmith’s writing. Although you mentioned Andy Warhol, it may be beneficial to the reader if you were specific about what Goldsmith mentioned. What part of Warhol’s work did Goldsmith mention? I think the essay flowed together well. Another thing I would mention is make sure you are being specific in your sentences. There were a few places where I did not know what you were saying. Overall this was a great essay.


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