How to Ruin Your Reputation – For Dummies

At the beginning of the semester, each course’s syllabus contains at least one commonality: the part in which the professor tries to admonish students of plagiarism and its consequences. And every once in a while when a research paper or essay is due, this procedure is repeated all over again. However, some people just seem to be unteachable. They have the energy to look for online essays but can’t find the time to write their own papers. And as we read in the blogpost “Is College for Everyone?” (635), students who can’t manage their time aren’t a right fit for college.

Even without consulting today’s “plagiarism-detection software” (281), most professors are able to differentiate between the hard work of a student and the ever-growing “cut-and-paste”-society. As one of those “‘borrowing’” (281) students, you not only deceive your professors and fellow students, but above all, this scheme of “misrepresenting someone else’s work as your own undermines the goals of education” (284). 

How to Ruin Your Reputation - For Dummies

Once we are out of college, intentional and unintentional plagiarism won’t be accompanied by a failed course but the possible destruction of our career. In 2011, the German Minister of Defense abdicated due to accusations concerning plagiarism in his dissertation. At a moment’s notice, Germany’s most popular politician and aspiring chancellor had to abandon his pursued career path. He was publicly compromised, and even a website was created to find more plagiarized material in his doctoral thesis. And just a few days ago, the German Secretary of Education was deprived of her doctor’s degree and resigned because of fraud accusations.

The last two examples illustrate the following clearly: Plagiarism (frequently known under the synonym laziness) did, will, and certainly can ruin careers and lives. So, what would a solution to this problem be? The answer is easy: “give credit were credit is due” (282).

(citations taken from the book Practical Argument: A Text and Anthology by Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell)


2 thoughts on “How to Ruin Your Reputation – For Dummies

  1. I totally agree with your post. I think its quite sad that even after being educated that plagiarism is wrong since we were in elementary school, that people still do it. Especially in college…why pay for an English COMPOSITION class when your not even going to write. I find that very ironic. I love how you said “they have energy to look, but not the time to write.” I totally agree! If one plagiarizes it might be easy finding an essay, but what about all the time that person will spend worrying if he/she gets caught. I don’t understand why people would waste the time worrying…and I mean if the person dosen’t worry, then he/she does not have a conscience, and does not deserve to be in a college level environment. I guess unintentional plagiarism can happen if one is not educated and aware. However, like you said, we should always just site and and give evidence just to be sure! It’s better to be safe than sorry!

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more! I would also add that plagiarism diminishes the whole point of being in school and the purpose of learning as well. As a student where English isn’t my first language, I understand the challenges of writing. But I believe we should take upon the challenge, embrace it, and learn as much as possible. It is not an easy road, but it is totally worth it at the end. I’ve learned to enjoy the process and grow with my mistakes. In my opinion, plagiarism is wrong not only because you’re using other people’s ideas as your own, but when you do it you’re basically saying that you don’t want to learn and work hard. The quote you chose says it all about the issue, “misrepresenting someone else’s work as your own undermines the goals of education”. I really enjoyed reading your post. It was objective, clear, and well-written! Good job!

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