Resolution on Opposing Abridgment or Adaptation as a Form of Censorship

1984 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Detroit, Michigan


This resolution was prompted by a trend among educational publishers to abridge works of literature such as plays of Shakespeare, intended for classroom use, in some cases without explaining the purposes of cuts. “Adaptation of a work, perhaps warranted in some cases, may also result in censorship,” the proposers said. “Publishers have a responsibility to provide information about the extent and nature of any alterations so that, when selecting text, teachers can make informed choices.” Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English recommend that publishers present the complete text or sections of works which they choose to print, whether in a single text or in an anthology; and

that NCTE urge that if publishers do abridge or adapt a text, they clearly state in the text that these alterations have occurred, and explain the nature and extent of the abridgment or adaptation in promotional information, teachers’ guides, and other support materials.

This position statement may be printed, copied, and disseminated without permission from NCTE.