📑 Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin | Project Gutenberg

Annotated Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin (gutenberg.org)
About this time I met with an odd volume of the Spectator.[18] It was the third. I had never before seen any of them. I bought it, read it over and over, and was much delighted with it. I thought the writing excellent, and wished, if possible, to imitate it. With this view I took some of the papers, and, making short hints of the sentiment in each sentence, laid them by a few days, and then, without looking at the book, try'd to compleat the papers again, by expressing each hinted sentiment at length, and as fully as it had been expressed before, in any suitable words that should come to hand. Then I compared my Spectator with the original, discovered some of my faults, and corrected them. But I found I wanted a stock of words, or a readiness in recollecting and using them, which I thought I should have acquired before that time if I had gone on making verses; since the continual occasion for words of the same import, but of different length, to suit the measure, or of different sound for the rhyme, would have laid me under a constant necessity of searching for variety, and also have tended to fix that variety in my mind, and make me master of it. Therefore I took some of the tales and turned them into verse; and, after a time, when I had pretty well forgotten the prose, turned them back again. I also sometimes jumbled my collections of hints into confusion, and after some weeks endeavored to reduce them into the best order, before I began to form the full sentences and compleat the paper. This was to teach me method in the arrangement of thoughts. By comparing my work afterwards with the original, I discovered many faults and amended them; but I sometimes had the pleasure of fancying that, in certain particulars of small import, I had been lucky enough to improve the method of the language, and this encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer, of which I was extremely ambitious. My time for these exercises and for reading was at night, after work or before it began in the morning, or on Sundays, when I contrived to be in the printing-house alone, evading as much as I could the common attendance on public worship which my father used to exact of me when I was under his care, and which indeed I still thought a duty, thought I could not, as it seemed to me, afford time to practise it.  

Even the greats copied or loosely plagiarized the “masters” to learn how to write.The key is to continually work at it until you get to the point where it’s yours and it is no longer plagiarism.

This was also the general premise behind the plotline of the movie Finding Forrester.


Annotated as an example during a webinar when a teacher mentioned that students were sometimes plagiarizing work in a composition class. Sometimes starting with someone else’s words can actually help us. The key is getting to the core and eventually using our own words and thoughts.

👓 Webinar: Research on Annotation in English and Composition | Hypothesis

Read Webinar: Research on Annotation in English and Composition by Jeremy Dean (Hypothes.is)

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published an article entitled “The Fall, and Rise, of Reading” arguing, in part, that digital annotation can restore discipline to college students’ reading habits (annotate it with us at that Hypothesis-enabled link). While we agree, at Hypothesis we are less concerned with whether students have read — reading compliance — than in how they read, with how their reading and annotating practices inform other skills like critical thinking and writing.

Last fall, we shared a research project on the impact of Hypothesis annotation in teaching reading and writing. That group has since conducted their research, presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, and is in the process of writing up their findings and conclusions for publication. Since then we’ve learned about or been involved with several other research projects looking at the role of annotation in the teaching of composition and literature. Next Thursday, we will host a webinar bringing together scholars doing this research in conversation.

Join our free webinar, 12–1pm PT/3–4pm ET on Thursday 9 May 2019, focusing on current and future research about how annotation is being used in the English and composition disciplines, and what research shows — or could show — about the impact digital, collaborative annotation can have on student success.

Hosted by Hypothesis Director of Education Jeremy Dean, you will hear from multiple scholars about their research and outcomes:

  • Alan Reid, Assistant Professor, English, Coastal Carolina University
  • Julie Sievers, Director of Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship, Southwestern University
  • Michelle Sprouse, English and Education PhD Candidate, University of Michigan
  • Noel Brathwaite, Assistant Professor of English, SUNY Farmingdale

There will also be time for presenters and attendees to discuss questions and future research directions together.

I’m in for this… I was just talking to a composition teacher the other day and wondering exactly how one would use Hypothes.is in such a setting.

👓 What Makes This Song Great?: Producer Rick Beato Breaks Down the Greatness of Classic Rock Songs in His New Video Series | Open Culture

Read What Makes This Song Great?: Producer Rick Beato Breaks Down the Greatness of Classic Rock Songs in His New Video Series (Open Culture)
Last night I had dinner at a local restaurant that happened to have a playlist on of great songs from my high school years.