Plagiarism: A Terrible Plague on all Writers’ Houses


Plagiarism is seen overall as an inconvenient thing to encounter. However, some might not think of it as such a big deal to perpetrate it. It is easily presented and executed as a simple ‘copy-then-paste’ set of commands to a keyboard and a few more clicks to pass it in as your own. Whoever is perpetrating it might not have any remorse about doing it, even though it is 100% pure cheating.

As a creative writing major, plagiarism is a deep, dark, anxiety inducing fear. Arranging words into dialogue and paragraphs is my skill and ultimately, what I am putting lots of money into to develop into something with which to pay the bills in the future. We writers put sweat, tears, and blood into our writing, and maybe a couple coffee cup rings. It’s not just another assignment to us. It’s a way of life.

Though I have had only one brief encounter with plagiarism, it was infuriating. It had been an essay I had spent late into the evening working on, so I could get it in and over with. I hadn’t even noticed it had been stolen until the teacher made a comment about it. I was left with a bitter and defensive storm cloud over my head during the weekend.

The situation wasn’t addressed until a couple emails later. The person who had stolen my essay had the gall to claim that they had written it, posted first, and insinuated I was the one who had taken it. It didn’t make any sense. My name had been on top of their paper they had passed in. I had passed it in a whole day ahead of them.

If there’s anything else related to plagiarism that bothers me, it’s the idea that it may be insinuated that you, the person who originally and organically created the work in the first place, are the cheater. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth no matter if the situation, and your name, is cleared up. It leaves you protective of your work, both professional and casual. It’s a tiny, worrying voice in the back of your head.

The bottom line is: don’t do it. Don’t commit plagiarism, and definitely don’t steal the work of a writer. Just don’t.

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Alex Roberts is currently majoring in Creative Writing at New England College. She is a former editor-in-chief for The NewEnglander. Her post-college plans include becoming an editor and perhaps penning a few novels here and there. When she is not suffering for her love of the written word, she enjoys making bad jokes as well as spending hours in bookstores because it reminds her she's alive. Reviews about her include: "A star, the kind that burns warmly and gently enough to support life on distant planets." and "Sometimes she can whip out a sweet essay in two hours but sometimes it takes her 3 times to spell Wednesday."
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