My Horror Story Regarding Plagiarism
I do not think that I am a great writer, or even close. Not even after having dedicated most hours of the last few years to writing lifestyle blogs and other narratives. Writing is an art that takes great patience and resilience to master. When I first decided to become a writer, I thought I would never make it.
I gave up; not once, not twice, but at least a dozen times, before I came to terms with the fact that writing was my one true love. Writing brings me joy; it provides me with a canvas to paint my thoughts on. It empowers me with the freedom to voice my opinion and share my knowledge with others. It makes my world come alive.
6 years into writing, I have had my own share of ups and downs. I recollect the first time I tried to come out with an interesting piece of writing. I spent several hours framing meaningful sentences, replacing simple words with heavier synonyms and proofreading 500 words half a dozen times. Only when I had myself read the final article umpteen times, did I have the courage to show it to my English teacher the next day.
It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation
I was in the third grade. She took a glance at it and looked visibly impressed. She applauded my effort and announced to the class that I had done her proud. I went back to my seat overwhelmed; cheeks flushing pink.
The following week, we were given an assignment to work on. The English teacher asked us to write an essay on what we aspired to become in life when we grew up. Not wanting to miss this chance of leaving her impressed yet again, I sat down to work. Just then, my best friend Sally lured me into a game of snakes and ladders. (Just so that you know, snakes and ladders is my biggest obsession, even today).
So, I forgot all about the assignment in a split second, kept my notebook aside and indulged into rolling the dice. The day went by in a jiffy and before I could realize, it was dinner time. I ate all that I could, watched my favorite cartoon show on the television and went to bed with a satiated tummy and fatigued body.
I got up early the next morning, only to realize that I had not completed the assignment that was due for the day. Panicking, I ran to mommy and feigned to be sick, but there’s something about mothers that lets them sense the truth. She figured I was lying and a disgruntled me was sent to school
All through the morning prayer, there were butterflies in my stomach. The fear of letting my favorite teacher down gnawed at my insides. I still had an hour’s time before the English class commenced. So, without giving it a second thought, I caught hold of Sally’s notebook and nonchalantly copied her essay into mine. “The teacher would not bother reading all the essays“, I comforted myself.
It was finally time for English class and as soon as the class began, I walked up to the teacher and handed over my notebook to her. She read my essay out loud and gave me a pat on the back, telling me that I was one of her brightest students. Beaming with pride, I returned to my seat. Little did I know that my smile would soon fade away. As fate would have it, the very next notebook that she picked was Sally’s.
As she began reading Sally’s essay to the class, she realized that one of us had copied from the other. She looked up from the notebook sternly as I swallowed a lump in my throat. I knew I was caught, and it wasn’t a good feeling at all. Unsure of what punishment the future beheld for me, I burst into tears and apologized for my fault. But to my surprise, my teacher did not give me a scolding.
Instead, she embraced me lovingly and said, “Child, it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation”. That was the day I realized the significance of being original and pledged to never copy anyone, no matter what the consequence.
Try, in all honesty, to be the best version of your own self
Aping others could be the easiest thing to do. But it takes you away from what matters the most: your own self. Whether or not you like writing assignments, say no to plagiarism. If you are clueless about how to work on an essay topic, read content that could prove to be useful. Take cues from blogs and papers written by experts to build your own content, but remember to never copy the content as it is without giving due credits to the respective authors.
Follow a structured way of constructing your essay. Divide the entire assignment into smaller assignments and demarcate milestones. Take it one step at a time, one mini-topic after the other. You will not only get to learn in the process, but also acknowledge how brilliant your own thought process is.
The next time you start working on an assignment, pledge to produce content that you can call your own. Try, in all honesty, to be the best version of your own self. Everyone else is already taken.