Saturday, February 27, 2010

I agree with Ms. Hegemann when she says that "There's no such thing as originality anyway, just authenticity". Being original is really difficult. I mean there are common words that we all use when we write. There are also common expressions we sometimes use in our writing. There is a commonality from the letters to the words we use. Being completely original, in my mind is impossible. Originality and authenticity are two different things. Authenticity is something being your own. Something that a person created themselves. She isn't authentic if she's not coming up with the work herself. This writer took a whole page from another book and used it as her own without giving credit to who it belonged to. And Ms. Hegemann's excuse is that she added words to it and was mixing. By just adding a few words it goes from plagiarizing to not plagiarizing. That doesn't seem right when the majority of that page was not "mixed" and was not authentic.

Ms. Hegemann says mixing is borrowing from others and reshaping or fitting the borrowed text to create some new document. It seems to me like its plagiarism. It's not like your getting inspired from the work and create your own. When a person is borrowing they're actually using the other persons work. I think the only way borrowing would not be plagiarism is if you just use the other persons work and ideas to come up with your own work and ideas.

If a student had to write a paper and they had one whole page that was like another students paper just a few words changed, that would be considered plagiarism. There's no doubt in my mind about it because the university is very strict when it comes to plagiarism. But why has there been no action taken towards Ms. Hegemann. If the student was caught they would be expelled. What's the use of learning about plagiarism and getting in trouble for it if when we go out into the world many are doing it and not having to face any consequences.

I realize there are a lot of gray areas and plagiarism is a very difficult concept to understand but why don't the same rules about plagiarism apply everywhere. It's not consistent. I think it's not consistent because there is no true definition of what plagiarism is. Who knows if there ever will be. Now that I'm learning more about plagiarism I think I probably have plagiarized before without even knowing. I've never got in trouble for anything I've written so I never thought I had plagiarized but now with all the articles we've read in class and the class discussions I find myself doing some of the stuff that some people consider plagiarism.

In the case of Ms. Hegemann, I think it's plagiarism.

1 comment:

  1. Theoretically, there could be consequences for Ms. Hegemann -- the author she "borrowed" from might be able to sue her for copyright violation. Still, I agree with you, and I think she should have used citations to show where she 'borrowed' and to give the other author credit. To me, if something is good enough that you want to use it in your writing, it's worth giving the people you're inspired by credit -- it's a way of thanking the people who made your work possible.