Owning the Intangible: Possession, Theft, and (Mis)Appropriation of Ideas

About Grinnell's Tutorial

Grinnell's Tutorial serves as a linchpin of your Grinnell education. While there are many purposes to the Tutorial, they all relate to a simple purpose: The Tutorial helps guide you on your path as lifelong learner. To be a successful learner and thinker, you must develop a number of requisite skills. In particular, you should be able to

You must also understand a number of related issues, particularly

Former Associate Dean Helen Scott, who coordinated Tutorial for most of my first six years at Grinnell, regularly reminded Tutorial faculty that all of these skills are interconnected. For example, you cannot really discuss a topic unless you have critically read the underlying materials and you will be able to read more critically after discussing material with colleagues. Similarly, you cannot write an essay unless you formulate a strong thesis, you cannot form that thesis without critical reading of the underlying material, and you will find that attempting to write carefully about a topic not only improves your understanding for future readings, it also helps improve your thesis. (H. Scott. Personal Communcations. 1997-2003.) Of course, Professor Scott phrases these interrelationships much more clearly than I do.

The advent of new technologies, such as large-scale hypertext systems exemplified by the World-Wide Web, has not significantly changed the needs for such skills. However, the applications of these skills have expanded. For example, some claim that modern thinkers now need to be able to develop arguments not only in linear written form and oral form, but also in new hypertextual forms. Similarly, you need to be able to analyze such hypertexts.

At Grinnell, Tutorial also serves another important purpose: Each Tutorial creates the relationship between students and their first advisor. While we expect that you will form many close relationships with your faculty, Grinnell feels that it is particularly important that you form at least one such relationship as early as possible.

Tutorial, like many classes at Grinnell, also gives you the opportunity to study a topic in depth with a small cohort. In this Tutorial, we will emphasize the topic by permitting you to choose subtopics and lead portions of the Tutorial on those subtopics.



Monday, 22 March 1999 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Saturday, 21 August 1999 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Friday, 15 August 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Saturday, 23 August 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Wednesday, 16 August 2005 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Sunday, 19 August 2007 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

Sunday, 28 March 2010 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]


Disclaimer: I usually create these pages on the fly, which means that I rarely proofread them and they may contain bad grammar and incorrect details. It also means that I tend to update them regularly (see the history for more details). Feel free to contact me with any suggestions for changes.

This document was generated by Siteweaver on Tue Aug 24 10:49:19 2010.
The source to the document was last modified on Sun Mar 28 14:54:27 2010.
This document may be found at http://www.cs.grinnell.edu/~rebelsky/Courses/Tutorial/2010F/Handouts/tutorial.html.

You may wish to validate this document's HTML ; Valid CSS! ; Check with Bobby

Copyright © 2005-2010 Samuel A. Rebelsky. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

Samuel A. Rebelsky, rebelsky@grinnell.edu