Wednesday, February 22, 2017


I’m Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at Syracuse University, where I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in writing, rhetoric, and authorship studies. I love to coach writers, and I’m fascinated by how our culture constructs Authors (capital “A”), writers (small “w”), students (small “s”), and plagiarists (very small “p”). The capitals and lower-case letters matter here because our culture arranges all these people hierarchically, with Authors at the top of the hierarchy and plagiarists at the bottom. The trouble is, there’s currently a trend to equate students and plagiarists, as if all students were plagiarizers. And that’s what I study: how we came to the place of equating students and plagiarists; what we mean by “plagiarism,” anyhow; and how we can move out of this place by figuring out what students need to know and how we can teach it to them. To help students, I’ve written a college writers’ handbook, Writing Matters. To help instructors, I’ve written a number of articles and books, which you’ll find listed under “My Writing” on the main page of Writing Conversations.