With all the madness circulating the web today about Melania Trump practically quoting Michelle Obama‘s 2008 DNC speech for this years RNC, we thought i’d be a good time to discuss Plagiarism.
Stealing other’s work and passing it off as your own is one of the greatest writing sins a wordsmith can commit. Writing is meant to be an opportunity to express your thoughts and perspective in your own words.
In this wonderful piece by Corina Koch MacLeod and Carla Douglas, Stop Thief! Writers and Plagiarism, the duo go over the definition of plagiarism, famous plagiarizers, examples and how to spot it as well as tips to avoid making this tragic mistake and when copying is okay. Also here is a great flow chart to determine if you’ve plagiarized or not.
Not only is plagiarizing wrong toward the reader and original author, it can land you in some serious hot water and quickly terminate a budding writing career if caught. Sites like WriteCheck, Turnitin, and Grammarly are great tools to help avoid this pitfall.
But more than the risk of consequences, the shame alone should be enough to deter you from journeying down the wrong path. There is no joy in gaining success from someone else’s merits. Nothing will ever match the pride you experience when something that YOU wrote is acknowledged and given the respect you always knew it deserved.
The writer’s path is not an easy one, but there truly are no shortcuts, and if you’re meant to walk down it then you wouldn’t have it any other way.