November 19th, 2010 / 5:00 pm

Very Little Holds This List Together

Thanksgiving is fast upon us. At Dish Online, Robb Todd runs down a list of crazy Thanksgiving movies which is fitting given that this right here is a list too.

At the Chronicle of Higher Education, a paid for hire essay writer reveals the work he does to help students cheat. It’s a pretty interesting read.

Speaking of cheating, this guy is pretty angry about catching some cheaters.

Jason Sanford has written a writer’s guide to social media.

Oh Sugar, Sugar, Sugar, Sugar.

I love The Awl and they have a great feature where five writers discuss how they got their agents.

In today’s celebrity publishing news, Chelsea Handler will now have her own imprint at Grand Central (a division of Hachette).

Emily Gould writes an open letter to Tavi Gevenson and Jane Pratt. Tavi, you see, will be helping to relaunch Sassy Magazine. She’s like 13.

On the Dark Sky Magazine blog, Kevin Murphy asks if e-books serve the interests of independent literature.

Are you following the blog Hyperbole and a Half? You should be.

Nathan Ihara has some interesting thoughts on literary theft.

Stories I have read and enjoyed this week even if you’ve already seen one of them mentioned here this week: Exhibit A; Exhibit B; Exhibit C; Exhibit D; Exhibit E


  1. Anonymous

      The guy with the two first names is hard to take seriously when he doesn’t have the only thanksgiving movie that matters: PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES

  2. jereme_dean

      The guy with the two first names is hard to take seriously when he doesn’t list the only thanksgiving movie that matters: PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES

  3. Nick Antosca

      I love Hyperbole and a Half

  4. Matthew Simmons

      To say I’m disappointed is beyond comprehension.

  5. letters journal

      The article by the custom essay guy is interesting. I am slowly working through a few courses, and every course I’ve ever taken has had exams with essays written on the spot. One cannot pass the course without passing the exams. This kind of cheating wouldn’t work. Oh well.

  6. P. H. Madore

      Which is a sentence devoid of any sense.

  7. Matthew Simmons

      Ain’t it, though? Happy to know a college professor is okay just saying it to his students.

      (I should probably have put that first comment in quotes. It’s the way the angry professor in the video at the end of the “angry” link sums up his anger over the cheating scandal.)

  8. deadgod

      devoid of any sense

      That it’s grammatically a “sentence” is intelligible. Each of its words is intelligible. With a bit of punctuation, something it could intelligibly be referring to can easily be imagined: ‘To say “I’m disappointed” is beyond comprehension.’ – if “I’m disappointed” is in response to the question ‘How old are you?’, say, or in response to a drunk driver who killed a carload of people and who’s now “disappointed” that she or he is being prosecuted.

      Burly but inaccurate hyperbole makes conversation-winning sense.

  9. Roxane

      That line charmed me. He was in a place of cold rage where I just bet he was shaking he was so mad. I understand how you can get taken to that place by students.

  10. Dawn.

      Thanks for the interesting links.

      I completely agree with Murphy’s two-part answer re: e-books serving (or not serving) indie lit. He explained his position very well.

  11. deadgod

      That’s true; in-class writing (especially in response to assignments refreshed every term) is much harder to fake – and impossible to buy, in this way. But work of some length and/or needed research is going to have to be done over a quarter or semester – or, as Ed Dante does it, over a long weekend – outside of the physical classroom, and can be bought or faked.

      I think Ed Dante is right, no matter how tauntingly self-serving his conclusion turns out to be: the ‘problem’ here is the consumer – and, of course, the system that the consumer is participating in, and ideologically reproducing, by turning in bogus material.

      Small classes and direct relationships between graders and grade-grubbers does more than anything else, in my view, to minimize this kind of cheating.

      The people on the CHE thread who say ‘the cheaters are just preparing and being prepared for, post-education life’ – they’re right. What the hell.

  12. Matthew Simmons

      I know. I suppose I should allow for a little inner simmering—bound to lead to some inarticulate articulating.

      But then, this other part of me finds it nearly impossible to sympathize with a man who is angry that a bunch of students in his “Strategic Management” class cheated.

      Now, if he had been teaching something that adds real value to our lives—poetry, say—I’d be on his side. But he is, instead, training class after class of middle managers. I pretty much expect people like that to find ways to be dishonest and feel like getting angry about it is as useful as getting angry when the tide comes in and ruins my sandcastle.

      Now, if those people had written a poem that I felt cheated emotionally? Well, fuck those kids.

  13. Roxane

      I got the sense that for him, all that statistic mumbo he does is his own personal poetry.

  14. Matthew Simmons

      I can see that. But I prefer it when people like that find themselves a cabin in the woods and cover their walls with numbers instead of applying their knowledge to Coca-Cola’s bottom line. Not because I am anti-Capitalist, mind you. I just find it gauche.

  15. Tim Horvath

      He’s making poetry more necessary.

  16. Idontknow

      This has been something I’m torn between. I never really cheated in college because I never needed to, but I also think that for myself and some others, college was really forced upon us and not something we might have chosen had it not been instilled in us, from a very young age, that “no one without a college degree can get a job these days.”

      I guess the reason I am torn is that I often help people with papers, sometimes to varying degrees. Usually it’s just helpful proof-reading, which I don’t mind. Then, there’s the more substantial edits. I haven’t yet gone to the extent of actually doing the research and writing the paper, but I’m wondering…is there really anything wrong with this?

      Now, when it comes to grad school I can see how it would be bad. But, for people who are doing undergraduate work, say in an English class that is a core course but one they don’t care about and will never have to think about again once the class is over, is it wrong?

      I mean really, is it wrong to be paid for helping someone write a paper? Or writing a paper for someone? At this point it’s kind of a matter of picking and choosing. I personally don’t think writing a dissertation is right. But writing a paper so some Business major can pass some intensive writing class?

      Is it wrong?

  17. deadgod

      ha ha – is cheating to be punished . . . or rewarded in ‘strategic management’? or, is getting caught the punishable offense?

      hanoi george has a harvard mba – is it really rational to talk of ‘cheating’ in such a program?

  18. A Roundup of Literary Roundups | Metazen

      […] HTMLGIANT […]

  19. Webunsavvyfav

      i have a serious question: how many friggin times in black warrior review going to change their friggin website? i love that magazine, but really, it seems unwise to create an entirely new layout every time new staff comes in per semester. it makes it hard to find online. am i wrong? change is great, but with some things, so is some continuity

  20. letters journal
  21. deadgod

      For me, the Ed Dante thread is more interesting, just because that Heidegghead debate is pretty played at this point: did you see a perspective or argument on its thread that you hadn’t seen before – indeed, that you hadn’t assayed in your own thinking about Heidegghead?

      The cheating thing seems to me especially vital. Perhaps you know people who are/have recently been in medical school; ask them about cheating on tests, currying favor with profs, sabotaging other students’ experiments (that latter is the one that amazed me). Now: the person plunging a scalpel into your chest went to medical school (let’s assume . . .). Cheating in med school is not, to me, simply an ‘academic’ problem (in any sense).

      The Romano ueber-troll piece was pretty funny, though. Thanks for the link.