Social Media Helping Track Plagiarism


Social media has its benefits; you can easily share information with your networks, keep in contact with long distance friends, and always see the latest meme. But did you know that social media can help find plagiarism, too?

In an article from The Economic Times discusses how social media can help make a writer aware this his or her work is being copied without their permission. As author Sudeep Chakravarti said, “Digital media has made it easier to track plagiarism. There are instances where a writer may be unaware that his work is being plagiarized, but there are very alert people on social media who will tell you that your work is being copied.”


Get To Know: Writers’ Block

writers bloc

Are you a Professional Writing major? You are? Well, then congrats! You are also a member of MSU’s Writers’ Bloc. Writers’ Bloc is an official student organization in the WRAC Department of the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University.

As said by our fearless leader, Laura Julier:

Last year, PWers started organizing themselves in project teams.

The following teams have either already started working or are still in formation. Some only need a couple more people before they can begin working.

Field Trip Planning team:
16 people went to Grand Rapids last fall, met 3 amazing alums in 3 different workplaces. In spring semester, a group went to visit Detroit PW alums. They also talked about a visit to one of the strong local PW partners in the Lansing area. This fall, they’ve already started planning another trip to Detroit. Contact Shannon Roe-Butler ( if you want to get involved in making this happen.

PW Design team:
The team last year was amazing. They started meeting already but could still use some help. This team will work on designing documents—flyers and posters—for the program, and in January begin working on the end-of-the year slide show that celebrates all PW accomplishments and is featured at the reception on May 1st. Great edition to any portfolio! Contact Laura Julier ( if interested.

PW Plunder team:
There are still Clyde t-shirts for sale! But now it’s time for the next step: what other PW-themed stuff do you want to see created and purchase? Maybe someone wants to open a Zazzle store?! Contact Laura Julier ( or Lizzie Oderkirk ( with your ideas.

Bar Crawl / T-shirt Design team:
You know you want to have a say in designing this year’s t-shirts and planning this annual event, taking place this year on May 1st after the Gala PW reception. Emily Dallaire (, Haley Erb (, and Charlie Thompson signed up.

Writers’ Bloc Social Media team:
Right now, they are running the Writers’ Bloc Facebook and Twitter pages. However, they are open to suggestions. If you have any questions or are interested in joining, contact Lindsey Spitzley ( or Morgan Omara (

If there are other things you’d like to make or see happen in PW, email Laura Julier ( Some ideas that have happened in the past include a movie night in the Writing Center with pizza or maybe someone running a Photoshop and InDesign tutorial.

You can follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter.

Tracking System vs. Your Resume

Before you send your resume to that dream job, take a moment and check out this infographic. It is a bit of a reality check. However, it contains some really important information you can use to make sure your resume not only reaches actual humans but also stands out from the hundreds of others.

In summary, when writing your resume choose your words very carefully. Try to get them as specific to the job as possible. Show that computer program who’s boss! For help writing resumes, cover letters, and other professional documents make an appointment with the Writing Center at

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

Reclaiming my Language: The (Mis)education of Wonderful


When I decided, in high school, that I wanted to become an English teacher, I assumed English was about grammar. Particularly, I assumed English was about the use of proper grammar in writing. Of course, I did not want to be an English teacher because I was a Grammar Rant; I wanted to become an English teacher because I wanted, I needed African Americans to “write better.”

I saw the struggles of my African American peers, and the lack of motivation they had for writing. I also heard how they spoke outside ­ and sometimes inside ­ the classroom. They spoke what I considered at that point to be “broken English” and African American “slang.” And then they had the nerve, the unmitigated gall to write in this Black slang. I do not mean to suggest I did not speak this slang, because I did: at home, at recess, with my friends and in church. But I never would dream of speaking or even writing that way in school. What was wrong with these kids? Didn’t they get it? Didn’t they understand that if you can’t speak and write English you can’t make it in the United States? How were they going to get jobs? How were they going to have their voices heard if they kept speaking this vile, putrid, inferior form of English or rather slang?

I was insulted. I was ashamed. I was hurt. After all, White people already think African American people are foul­mouth, foul­smelling, ugly, inferior people who never seem to get “it” (whatever it is) right. Now we can’t even speak the language correctly after being here for over 400 years?

What was wrong with them? And in turn, what was wrong with me?

I was sure that if Black people could not speak well, write well, present themselves according to how White people designed this country, this system of education to work, then we would only reinforce negative views about us. My father always said, “Wonderful, no matter how many White friends you have, your face is always BLACK. And you will always have to do more to be considered equal.” And yet, there was something in High School I could not name. There was something that was wrong. ­ Not with my Black friends but ­with me. No matter how hard I tried, my face was “always BLACK,” and that would be the measure of me…

Wonderful in graduate school
Wonderful in graduate school

Through my journey to this “goal” of helpin’ Black folk out I realized that I was sellin’ out. I realized that I was oppressin’ my own language. A language I had come to speak in secret (at home and in my community) and despise in public (the academy). I was, for all intents and purposes, a linguistic Aunt Jemima. However, through the course of my studies, and some guidance from, oddly enough, “The Man,” I came to realize:

(1) my language is valid, complex, and filled with rich nuances I never knew existed;

(2) My language IS a part of the academy and other forms of public discourse; and

(3) I can only free myself and help other Black folk free themselves through my own language.

As Smitherman notes in her interview with Alim, “language is our identity, it is what makes us who we are… our language cannot be severed from our being in the world” (44). This linguistic double consciousness – talking White, actin’ White, and writin’ White a right peculiar way of living for Black folk. We been fightin’ this double consciousness and this troublin of our soul fo’ a long time now. The struggle for language rights fall in line wit the struggle for Black civil rights. Like Al Sharpton said, “We ain’t where we wanna be and we ain’t where we oughta be, but thank God we ain’t where we was.” But who I was make me who I am. Who am I? I Black. I woman. I lesbian.

Mama ain’t raise no fool and daddy ain’t told no lie when they said, “Wonderful, yous Black and yous female. Your only path to success through education.” But fo so long I was tryin’ to fix sumethin’ in me. Somethin’ wrong went my tongue. It was wild and couldn’t be tamed like Gloria Anzadula was talkin bout (75). I ain’t even realize I was tryin’ to cut my own tongue out. How dumb am I? My soul speaks through my language.

If I said it befo’ I done said it a thousand times: If you cain’t take the BLACK off my face you sure cain’t take the BLACK off my tongue. My language is ME and I am my language. It lives. It moves. It breathes. To kill my language is to kill me. Period. Point blank. End of story.

But Maybe some folks want me to die. That’s what happens when you kill a language. You effectively kill its people. Maybe you think I’m sposed to forget:

“If our enemies can make us forget these words, and then make us forget that we have forgotten, they will have robbed us of our ability to honor and summon our ancestors, whom we so desperately need now more than ever” (Rickford and Rickford 228).

I was almost took. Almost hoodwinked. Almost bamboozled out of my language. But While I almost forgot, almost is still not quite. And now I remember, I remember that I use Black English or rather Spoken Soul because:

“it is a language in which I feel comfortable… because it came naturally; because it was authentic… touching some time within and capturing a vital core of experience that had to be expressed just so” (Rickford and Rickford 222).

I was stuck in this linguistic push-pull, in this borderland and contact zone that is my Black body, in this tongue that is peculiar to my mind and my whole way of being. I was stuck. I was once troubled in the space between, but I done unstuck myself; done unstuck my language.

And I ain’t stuck no mo’.