Wednesday, September 24, 2008

OMG: Someone Just Asked Me for Professional Advice

I'm an avid reader of Paul Matsuda's blog (BTW, I've met him briefly and he's a very COOL guy for those unfamiliar with our field). For those of you who are familiar with his blog, you'll find that he gives out a lot of solicited and unsolicited advice on professionalizing academics' work in rhetoric and composition, TESOL, the academy in general, etc.. I'm bringing up Paul's blog here, because I got my first round of professionally solicited advice, where someone emailed me (aside for solicitations from colleagues at my home institution: they don't count! LOL!). A prospective CCCC Scholars for the Dream Award applicant just emailed me wanting advice on how to apply for the award, and asked for my sample application materials (in case you didn't know, I was a recipient of this award last year). I gave them to the applicant, but also requested to see his/her CCCC 2009 abstract to recommend further advice. Now thinking back, I'm not sure if I should have acted so quickly. My materials are so disciplinary specific and focused on my own research (dissertation and beyond), though, that it would be difficult for anyone to use them for purposes that raise issues about academic dishonesty. Not that I am suggesting that the applicant would be academically dishonest and/or plagiarize (it would be kinda stupid since I just won the award and the Dream committee may still be quite familiar with my materials), since I trust that academics practicioners to act more ethically; however, I wonder if sharing materials the relate in some way to competition should be thought about more critically. Thoughts?

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