Plagiarism: The Creative Robbery

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As a recent college graduate, the notion of plagiarism has been beaten into my head. While in college, and even high school, we are taught of the consequences of plagiarism and that it is hurtful to take someone else’s work and claim it as your own. It has destroyed many people’s careers and reputation over the years. Many of us heed these warnings and make sure that we are above reproach in everything we do, making sure to give credit where credit is due. Then there are those who toe the line throughout their college careers and continue to do so into their professional life.

While in school I always made sure to cite my sources and check that my work was of the highest standard. I’d heard the many stories of how plagiarism would catch up with you one day, and as a slightly paranoid student, I made sure everything – whether quoted or used in structure – was cited appropriately. As a young professional and blogger, I’m sorry to say that I’ve seen many instances of plagiarism stemming from those of all ages and all levels of their careers. It’s difficult to know how to handle those situations, as they are very tricky waters to navigate.

But what I wasn’t prepared for was when someone plagiarized my work. I’m not here to call this person out and air my dirty laundry, instead I’m here to share my frustrations. I take pride in my blog and my writing. I work hard to ensure I have quality pictures and content. I felt as if someone had stolen something that was mine instead of asking to borrow it. When someone steals my hard work without giving me credit and passes it off as their own, it’s incredibly hurtful.

I don’t know what this person’s reasoning is for plagiarizing my content, but what I do know is that it’s unethical and tacky. With so many bloggers out there it may seem difficult to come up with original content and the temptation to pass someone else’s work off as your own may be incredibly enticing, but remember that work belongs to a real person, who has probably put a lot of effort into it. Especially with blogging, we’re putting ourselves out there. We’re not holding anything back. We’re exposing ourselves to anyone who stumbles upon the blog and chooses to read it. It becomes a part of us. Someone passing off your writing as theirs is like someone wearing your skin.

Think before you post. You’re putting both your professional and personal reputation on the line.