On Plagiarism

I believe that everyone who has had to make a speech or write a research paper has struggled with the urge to copy thoughts that reflect our ideas and opinions in words so expertly and eloquently  put together that we are sure that we will never be able to attain such level of proficiency.  However, we have been taught that to use someone else’s ideas without giving the author proper credit is tantamount to stealing and colleges have very serious penalties for those whom are discovered to have engaged in plagiarism.

I have always looked at the rule against plagiarism as one that should be followed (in theory), because I believed that plagiarism was stealing other people’s ideas. Of course, this is not to say that I’ve not used other people’s words without giving them proper credit.  However, after reading this piece, I come to agree with the author that “it is a bad thing because it takes the place of and prevents learning”. After all, we come to school to acquire an education and, as difficult as it may be, we need to struggle through the process of learning to speak with our “own” words because this will empower us for the rest of our lives.

-Rigoberto

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