Twitchell was a widely published, widely quoted tenured professor at the University of Florida when in 2008 an investigative reporter at the Gainesville Sun found a pattern of plagiarizing passages from other writer's work. The University decided to suspend Twitchell, with reinstatement conditional on Twitchell properly attributing each instance of plagiarism or close paraphrasing. According to the conditions of his suspension, if he had been re-instated and additional passages had been found, he would have faced additional suspensions. Twitchell, who was already in his sixties, chose not to appeal the ruling, and to resign his position. Inside Higher Education quoted Grant McCracken, a blogger whose idea Twitchell had used, characterizing his comment as gracious: “As for Twitchell, it's sad. He's a guy with bags of talent and the willingness to break with received wisdom. I hope he keeps writing.”
James B. Twitchell (2007). Shopping for God: How Christianity Went from In Your Heart to In Your Face. Simon and Schuster. pp. 105–6. ISBN9780743292870. Retrieved 2012-05-16. "In its most vulgarized and solipsistic state, epiphany is what currently is marketed as a God wink. Here the believer is encouraged to take some coincidence, like winning the lottery or recovering from sickness, as evidence of a higher power at work. So Squire Rushnell, in When God Winks at You: How God Speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coincidence, tells of a woman who goes to church and just happens to sit next to the birth mother she was seeking. The mother was attending services for the first time! "Every time you receive what some call a coincidence or an answered prayer, it's a direct and personal message of reassurance from God to you," he contends. Narcissism itself becomes proof of divine selection."
^ abRobert A. Schwegler (2004). Patterns of exposition. Pearson/Longman. p. 294. ISBN9780321146168. Retrieved 2012-05-17. "James B. Twitchell was born in Burlington, Vermont, in 1943. He received his BA (1962), MA (1966), and Ph.D. (1969) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill."
^Jack Stripling (2008-04-25). "Student vs. faculty plagiarism". Gainesville Sun. Retrieved 2013-07-06. "Recent plagiarism allegations made against James Twitchell, a longtime UF English professor, have triggered what appears to be the first formal plagiarism inquiry of a humanities faculty member in about two decades, according to UF officials."
^Manar Sabry, Daniel Levy (2009-01-15). "Plagiarist Punished at Florida". Inside Higher Education. Retrieved 2013-07-06. "The professor, James Twitchell, was a longtime faculty member who was highly regarded for his writings about consumerism and popular culture. He was frequently quoted by national media organizations, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. But when confronted with a significant body of evidence, collected by The Gainesville Sun, Twitchell admitted that he had “cheated by using pieces of descriptions written by others.”"
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