Lit Blogs and Lit Students
If you are a litblogger like me, have you come across actions or comments that suggest your blog is being used by students? What do you think about it?
I’ve noticed three specific behaviours that suggest student use:
- outright questions in the comments, some specifically telling me that they are a student and can I help them, and some simply giving their student-status away by the style of question. I don’t know about you, but my response varies depending on the sort of question. Mostly, I try to refer them to other sources and encourage them to think for themselves, rather than telling them outright what I think the theme is or what a metaphor means. If commenters (who may or may not be students) engage in discussion, as in “I thought x meant y”, then I’d happily respond back. Otherwise, I try to be wary about pontificating!
- searches reaching my blog that seem to clearly be an assignment or school question of some sort, such as what significance does “whitaker’s table of precedency” have in “the mark on the wall” or what literary devices are used in “the mark on the wall”? They seem like giveaways to me.
- searches reaching my blog that I suspect are made by teachers searching for, well, plagiarism. These are the most bothersome ones. They are ones where someone has entered in a sentence or two verbatim from a blog post of mine, as in, recently: “Clearly, given the story Ariyoshi has told, she rather agrees – or, at least, agrees for such societies as she depicts here in which women’s lot is not only an inferior one but works to discourage them from cooperating and supporting each other. The novel may be set in Japan, but the fundamental truths, unfortunately, are not so confined.” That’s a pretty convoluted thing to type into a search engine, don’t you think? Is testing for plagiarism the only reason something like this would be entered as a search term? Or, am I being overly suspicious?
Have you experienced these? What do you think? Are you flattered? Bothered? I don’t mind students using my reviews if they cite them properly. It’s their risk if the teacher thinks my ideas are up-the-creek after all, but the plagiarism issue is another matter. In those cases, I wouldn’t mind not being cited (so much), if the teacher thought it was rubbish!
If you’re a litblogger, have you had similar experiences, and if so what you do think or what have you done about it? Or, are you are student or teacher? What do you think?