James B. Twitchell

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James B. Twitchell
Born1943 (age 75–76)
Burlington, Vermont
Occupationauthor, professor
NationalityUnited States
Alma materUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

James B. Twitchell is an author and former professor of English.[1] He was born in 1943, in Burlington, Vermont. His undergraduate, Masters and PhD were all from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1962, 1966 and 1969.[1]

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.[2][3] The University decided to suspend Twitchell, with reinstatement conditional on Twitchell properly attributing each instance of plagiarism or close paraphrasing.[4] 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.”[4]



  1. ^ a b Robert A. Schwegler (2004). Patterns of exposition. Pearson/Longman. p. 294. ISBN 9780321146168. 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.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Jack Stripling (2008-04-25). "UF professor Twitchell admits he plagiarized in several of his books". Gainesville Sun. Retrieved 2013-07-06. Twitchell initially denied a pattern of plagiarism, but the 64-year-old professor was contrite and ashamed when recently confronted with a larger body of evidence.
  4. ^ a b 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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