So they've moved beyond copying things off Wikipedia

I received this unbelievable message yesterday from a "Brittany" on GoodReads with a subject of "American Creation- by Joseph Ellis":

I was wondering if you could help me since you have read the book.
1. Evaluate American and Native American Relations.
2. Analyze Thomas Jefferson's role in American History. Would you say that Jefferson was a man full of deceptions?
3. Explain how reading this book changed your attitude about the American Revolution ad the ratification of the Constitution.

It made me completely livid, on behalf of the teachers in my family, and, really, everyone on the GoodReads site. This was my response. I wish I thought it was going to make a difference:

Dear Brittany,

Since you have 0 books on any of your shelves and you did not preface your questions with something along the lines of "I am working on an article/blog post/book about the founding fathers and would like your opinion on some things," I can only assume that you are attempting to foist a school assignment or take-home test off on some random person you emailed on GoodReads.

I don't think you understand the purpose of the GoodReads site. People who post books here love to read. It may come as a shock to you that I read this book long after I was done with college because I found it interesting. I considered trying to use this reply to convince you how much joy can be found in a book.

But I feel like my argument would be lost on your plagiarizing soul. So no, Brittany, I will not "help" you. In fact, if I could find a way to contact your teacher, I would turn you in and suggest as punishment she make you actually read books until you found something you liked. Fortunately for you, I don't have the time to investigate further, but hopefully this experience will encourage you to do your own work in the future.

If your email was for a more legitimate purpose: 1. please preface it with such for the next person you contact and 2. please let me know so I don't feel so terrible about the future of America's youth.


I kind of hope Brittany's teacher googles her questions and comes across this blog post.

Also, why didn't MY teachers make me read books like "American Creation"? Brittany doesn't know how good she has it.


Eric Nuzum said...

Wow. You tell 'em, Carrie!

Kelly said...

Hey, silver lining - this post reminded me of my inactive-for-two-years Goodreads profile.

單存 said...
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