On writing and "plagiarism"

This week’s trending topic was about a graduate schoolstudent who plagiarized a copyrighted photo, submitted it as his own in a competition and won the top prize. He apologized for his "lapse of judgment" since. Of course, netizens ganged up on the guy and the news spread like wildfire in a short span of time. A lot of them expressed their anger and disappointment over the student’s irresponsible deed—similar to what they felt with Chris Lao and Ate Girl-Who-Made-A-Commotion at the LRT. Others even connected this form of cheating with the current pork barrel issue. According to them, it is clear manifestation of how entrenched corruption and unethical behavior had been in the Philippine society. Our leaders did it, might as well the rest follow because they weren’t even caught. Or if they are, they can easily get away with it. Some others said that such talk should stop now especially that the student already wrote a letter of apology to the owner. They said it’s enough for him to admit his mistake.

For one, I think it is clear that this student deliberately copied somebody else’s work—the fact that he submitted that to different contests and crafted a different story for each submission are grounds enough to pin the greater burden of the blame to him. The idea of taking another person’s work and passing it as your own, deliberate or not, is plagiarism.

But secondly, discussions on such should not end on virtually crucifying just about anyone. It should take a step forward and find a solution to this problem. On one hand, schools and universities have every responsibility to instill not just the lesson of properly acknowledging somebody else’s work but more so, the greater value of creating an output that is completely yours. On the other hand, the government also have to take part of the responsibility on preventing plagiarism from happening almost all the time. At one point in recent history, a senator and a Supreme Court associate justice were caught plagiarizing: Senator Tito Sotto when he leniently copied a speech by a foreign politician, lifted several paragraphs from a blog post, and even twisting its message to suit his personal legislative agenda, and Justice Del Castillo for his plagiarized ponente/ courtdecision on the of comfort women. Proper sanctions, if necessary, should be established for those who will commit plagiarism. As said, it is one thing to admire another person’s work and a whole new different story to rip it off and claim as yours.

Finally, you can hate all you want—post it as a status, tweet it or even broadcast it over Youtube, but always make sure there’s a valuable solution that you can contribute to resolving the problem. We already know that cheating and deliberate copy-paste work is not cool and is clearly wrong. Let us just make sure we won’t fall prey on the same trap that Mark Solis fell in. Get off the high horse and double check your work now. J

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felix felicis: On writing and "plagiarism"

Monday, September 23, 2013

On writing and "plagiarism"

This week’s trending topic was about a graduate schoolstudent who plagiarized a copyrighted photo, submitted it as his own in a competition and won the top prize. He apologized for his "lapse of judgment" since. Of course, netizens ganged up on the guy and the news spread like wildfire in a short span of time. A lot of them expressed their anger and disappointment over the student’s irresponsible deed—similar to what they felt with Chris Lao and Ate Girl-Who-Made-A-Commotion at the LRT. Others even connected this form of cheating with the current pork barrel issue. According to them, it is clear manifestation of how entrenched corruption and unethical behavior had been in the Philippine society. Our leaders did it, might as well the rest follow because they weren’t even caught. Or if they are, they can easily get away with it. Some others said that such talk should stop now especially that the student already wrote a letter of apology to the owner. They said it’s enough for him to admit his mistake.

For one, I think it is clear that this student deliberately copied somebody else’s work—the fact that he submitted that to different contests and crafted a different story for each submission are grounds enough to pin the greater burden of the blame to him. The idea of taking another person’s work and passing it as your own, deliberate or not, is plagiarism.

But secondly, discussions on such should not end on virtually crucifying just about anyone. It should take a step forward and find a solution to this problem. On one hand, schools and universities have every responsibility to instill not just the lesson of properly acknowledging somebody else’s work but more so, the greater value of creating an output that is completely yours. On the other hand, the government also have to take part of the responsibility on preventing plagiarism from happening almost all the time. At one point in recent history, a senator and a Supreme Court associate justice were caught plagiarizing: Senator Tito Sotto when he leniently copied a speech by a foreign politician, lifted several paragraphs from a blog post, and even twisting its message to suit his personal legislative agenda, and Justice Del Castillo for his plagiarized ponente/ courtdecision on the of comfort women. Proper sanctions, if necessary, should be established for those who will commit plagiarism. As said, it is one thing to admire another person’s work and a whole new different story to rip it off and claim as yours.

Finally, you can hate all you want—post it as a status, tweet it or even broadcast it over Youtube, but always make sure there’s a valuable solution that you can contribute to resolving the problem. We already know that cheating and deliberate copy-paste work is not cool and is clearly wrong. Let us just make sure we won’t fall prey on the same trap that Mark Solis fell in. Get off the high horse and double check your work now. J

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