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Other plagiarism arguments

People overly concerned with tracking down and denouncing plagiarism have defective characters.  They are small-minded, reactionary bullies....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Signposting Without Signposting

I had a sentence that started like this:
In the remainder of this chapter I will look at Eduardo Milán and Blanca Varela, the two Spanish American editors of this anthology, whose poetry illustrates some of the tensions between...

Then I changed it to this:
The poetry of the two Spanish American editors of this anthology, Eduardo Milán and Blanca Varela, illustrates some of the tensions between ....

I'm still signposting, simply by beginning a new section of the chapter by introducing the topics I'm going to be addressing. The reader can expect to find a discussion of these two poets. As easy as that.

So explicit signposting is only necessary when the topics do not flow into one another seamlessly. I'm not saying that you shouldn't ever use it, but often its presence points to an organizational glitch. Like: "I know you thought I've already discussed this topic, but I am bringing it back here because it has a different kind of relevance in this new context..."

Once in a while you are going to have to do things like that. I'm sure I had way too much explicit signposting in Apocryphal Lorca, because the book was hard to organize and I needed those extra nails to keep things from falling apart.

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We are getting some attention from other bloggers,here for instance from a very cool-looking site.

1 comment:

E. M. Selinger said...

I'm glad you think my site is cool--it's been quiet for ages, but reading these tricks has given it (and me) a boost. I'll keep you posted on what's working for me, especially now that the school year has begun. Thanks for the tips and provocations!