Thursday, August 13, 2015

Plagiarism is defined as,"the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own". 

Over the weekend, it was brought to my attention that someone had stolen a review of mine and claimed my words as their own. In my anger, I called the blogger out on Twitter because I felt that people should know what she had done, also because I felt that if someone plagiarizes then there is a good chance that they have done so before and I wanted others to be able to check out her blog, not to humiliate her but to make sure no one else's reviews had been plagiarized as well. However, after the blogger sent me an apology and took down my review, I took down the tweet because she asked even though, as she told me, I did not owe her anything after what she did. She seemed genuine in her apology so I gave her the benefit of the doubt and believed her to be sincere when she said this was the first and last time she would ever do something like that. And even though she was right, I did not owe her anything, I still felt some guilt for outing her. 

I am sharing this story because plagiarism is not just something that goes on in classrooms. With so many different forms of media and ways of expressing ideas, words get stolen all the time. While it is not the most important issue in the world, it is still a problem. It is unfair to take someone else's words and ideas and claim them as your own, even if it is for something as little as a book review. Someone else put effort into those words, put in time and feeling, while you just copy/pasted it and put your name on it. 

I hope that plagiarism will not be an issue again. I have the author of the novel I reviewed to thank for pointing the issue out to me. I will keep the author and blogger anonymous but I was notified on GoodReads by the author of the novel saying that she was going through reviews for her novel and noticed one looked eerily similar, in fact even identical to mine. She left a link and upon reading the other blogger's review, I saw that the reviewer copy/pasted my review and then tacked on a couple paragraphs of her own. The only reason the author even caught this was because her book had not been released yet and therefore had limited reviews, allowing her to be able to go through all the ones that had been written. 

Bottom line is, be careful, you never know who is taking credit for your words. And if you ever feel the need to plagiarize anything because you are having a hard time writing, do not take the easy way out and steal someone else's work. In the long run, it will hurt you more than it will help you. 


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