Quite the World, Isn't It?

Wondering if this is a measure of success

September 21, 2010

Tags: writing, teaching

I have to admit, I laughed when this popped up the other day. And I assume it means my first book has cleared some sort of hurdle -- an online site that sells essays to college students has done one on Blood Passion.

Of course, these pre-packaged essays are crap, and I hope any professor who receives one fails the offending student (I've already failed two students and severely reprimanded a third for plagiarism issues, and I'm only on my fifth class).

But as a barometer, I guess this means enough labor and history profs have assigned the book (thank you very much) that these vultures think they can make a profit by selling essays about it.


  1. September 21, 2010 12:25 PM PDT
    You're very welcome.

    Your plagiarism rate, however, strikes me as low. I once did four in one class. Spend more time on plagiarism early in the semester and you'll spend less time on it at the end.

    - Jonathan Rees
  2. September 21, 2010 2:28 PM PDT
    Yeah, though it's less of a problem in a journalism class, since they have to write about people and events on campus. Not as many options for thievery. :-)
    - Scott Martelle
  3. September 22, 2010 7:15 PM PDT
    When we built a course curriculum tool, we looked at integrating a plagiarism detection tool directly into the paper submission module. There's quite a few out there now.
    - Ben
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About me

A third-generation journalist, I was born in Scarborough, Maine, and grew up there and in Wellsville, New York, about two hours south of Buffalo. My first newspaper job came at age 16, writing a high school sports column for the Wellsville Patriot, a weekly (defunct), then covering local news part-time for the Wellsville Daily Reporter.

After attending Fredonia State, where I was editor of The Leader newspaper and news director for WCVF campus radio, I worked in succession for the Jamestown Post-Journal, Rochester Times-Union (defunct), The Detroit News and the Los Angeles Times, where I covered presidential and other political campaigns, books, local news and features, including several Sunday magazine pieces.

An active freelancer, my work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Sierra Magazine, Los Angeles magazine, Orange Coast magazine, New York Times Book Review (books in brief), Buffalo News, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Teaching Tolerance (Southern Poverty Law Center), Solidarity (United Auto Workers) and elsewhere. I teach or have taught journalism courses at Chapman University and UC Irvine, and speak occasionally at school and college classes about journalism, politics and writing. I've appeared on panels at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and the Literary Orange festival, moderated panels at the Nieman Conference in Narrative Journalism and the North American Labor History Conference, among others, and been featured on C-SPAN's Book TV.

I'm also a co-founder of The Journalism Shop, a group of journalists (most fellow former Los Angeles Times staffers) available for freelance assignments.

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