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Winning Hearts Essay

1082 words - 5 pages

The obvious use of plagiarism in college students’ assignments has become a major problem in today’s education system. Due to this, instructors are trying to find ways to teach their students about the ethics involved in writing so that they will stop plagiarizing. However, in order to do this, instructors must first understand how students view plagiarism and understand the best ways to put an end to student plagiarism. In “Winning Hearts and Minds in War on Plagiarism,” Scott Jaschik effectively persuades his audience of college level English instructors to prevent students from plagiarizing by using rhetorical choices such as irony, an appeal to authority, and jargon.
One rhetorical choice that Jaschik uses in order to enhance his purpose by shining a light into the minds of students is irony. Jaschik begins the article with a story about English instructor Kate Hagopian giving her students an assignment that they were required to turn in one version that was plagiarized and one version that was not plagiarized. Jaschik goes on to reveal, “Given the right to do so, they turn in essays with many direct quotes without attribution. Of course in their essays that are supposed to be done without plagiarism, she still finds problems -- not so much with passages repeated verbatim, but with paraphrasing or using syntax in ways that were so similar to the original that they required attribution” (Jaschik 262). The reason Jaschik uses this ironic story as the introduction to his article is because it directly relates to the purpose of the entire article. The story specifically shows the audience of instructors that students sometimes plagiarize without actually intending to. This connects to the purpose of the article because it effectively enlightens college level English instructors about how their students interpret plagiarism. Jaschik gives this knowledge to the instructors so that they will be persuaded to find ways to stop their students from plagiarizing, which is Jaschik’s ultimate goal.
In order to seem credible to his audience, Jaschik uses the rhetorical choice of appeal to authority. One reason this type of rhetorical choice is used is due to the numerous accounts of English instructors that often experience plagiarism firsthand. These college level instructors often have strong opinions about students plagiarizing. One example of this is when Jaschik explains, “R. Gerald Nelms, an associate professor of composition and rhetoric at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, spoke of how plagiarism must be seen as ‘an educational problem that requires an educational response’” (Jaschik 264). By Jaschik referencing R. Gerald Nelms, he gives his audience an opinion that they can easily relate to and makes them realize he understands the problems they encounter with plagiarism. This ultimately makes his audience more interested in the article and therefore, are more likely to be persuaded by Jaschik. Another example of appeal to authority...

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