Monday, June 1, 2009
I remember my first experience with plagiarism. When I was in the 5th grade, our class had to write an essay for the D.A.R.E program and as I began writing my first essay, I felt like I couldn’t find the right words to say what I wanted to express. Therefore, I tore up that essay, threw it in the trash, and wrote another one. A week later, the D.A.R.E. coordinator announced the winner of the essay contest and everyone in the class expected to me to be the first place winner but I was actually 2nd place – beat out by one of my closest guy friends.
The D.A.R.E coordinator said that the essay was so good that he wanted my friend to read the essay to the class. My friend was very reluctant to get up in front of the class but eventually there he stood, knees buckling and hands shaking reading the essay in front of everyone. As he began, I felt a peculiar familiarity with his essay like I had heard the words before in my own head before they were on his paper.
A few hours later when my friend should have been extremely happy for winning the contest, he was actually crying uncontrollably. I went to him to comfort him and to ask him what was bothering him. Imagine my shock when he mumbled through all of the crying, “Lisa, I am so sorry! You should’ve won the contest. I went and took your first essay out of the trash can and rewrote it in my own hand writing. I’m so sorry! You can have my movie tickets.”
I was floored but very forgiving especially since my friend had learned his lesson and I was very impressed with his honesty.
Recently, I’ve run into another plagiarism experience. Someone by the name of Rick Amorey has ripped off one of my blog posts titled My First Craft Show http://blog.serahsonline.com/2009/02/my-first-craft-show.html and posted it to several article submission blogs and directories. By doing a Google search on “Rick Amorey cupcake soaps”, you’ll see the multiple sites where he/she has submitted my post as his/her own work.
As I do research to find ways to detect and combat plagiarism, I’ll share my research with you in a series of blog posts in hopes that it will help other bloggers as well.