Remember when you were in grade school and your teachers explained plagiarism? In case you’ve forgotten, the act of plagiarism occurs when someone takes another person’s work, passing it off as their own. In school, your teachers threatened to fail you for committing this act. In college, it was punishable by expulsion. But what happens if you plagiarize in your professional life?
Most recently, Melania Trump has been slammed with rumors of stealing someone else’s work. When giving her keynote speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, Mrs. Trump pleased the crowd by touching on topics ranging from her humble upbringing to her belief in hard work. Shortly after, social media marketing began buzzing. People started piecing together that Melania Trump’s speech not only had similarities to First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech, but whole paragraphs were directly copied.
After the similarities were noticed by Americans everywhere, Mrs. Trump was quick to state that she did write the speech herself. Her speech writer admitted to her mistake and offered to resign from the Trump campaign. Luckily for the speech writer, the Trump campaign rejected her resignation, allowing her to stay on staff. Other professionals who commit the crime of plagiarism may not be as lucky.
If you were to take content and pass it off as your own, your company may not be as forgiving. Plagiarism is a very serious offense in the workplace. The plagiarized work not only effects you, but it also effects your company’s reputation. If your company publishes your stolen content, it could bring unnecessary legal consequences to both you and your company. By stealing someone’s work, your business may have to get the legal team involved. Fines for plagiarized content could not only cost your business a large sum of money, but may even cost you your job. Understand that if you steal another person’s content, you could lose your job and your reputation of being a plagiarizer will follow you, hindering your chances of finding another job.
In short, Plagiarism is stealing. You wouldn’t steal someone’s car, so why would you steal their work? To avoid plagiarizing, follow these tips:
- Create your own content.
- Cite your sources.
- Use quotes.
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