The Ethical Use of Intellectual Property
By Joseph Parish
Perhaps because of my writing for a living I view academic integrity as a serious issue. Often in my capacity as “A for hire” ghostwriter, I have seen individuals take work which I have spent hours completing only to claim it as their own. In the course of my various assignments I have often create an article of appropriately 400 words or even fabricated a complete manuscript and graciously permitted another to sign it as their own. I personally could not do this as I view the complete process as not only morally unethical but it would also tend to cast an unfavorable light upon my own sense of values.
In a quote which I once read it stated that “academic integrity is about more than mindlessly following citation rules to escape the perils of plagiarism”. I feel that refers to series of mechanical methods of writing where one can possible bypass the official explanation of plagiarism enough to have their work accepted as their own. In the second part concerning the interaction between you and the writer, I sense that a true writer must put himself in the authors shoes and consider how he would react if the situation were reversed. He must read the authors material and digest it properly and than make his own appropriate notes. I have often found work which I have completed on the internet under someone else’s byline. This initially angered me but today I take it with a grain of salt. It isn’t right but life is too short to get upset about it and justice will eventually prevail.
I feel the important point to be found in this articles information is the fact that with proper note taking many academic plagiarism issue could be effectively avoided. It would appear to be impossible to comprehend any information if you do not at first read the material and as such if you are going to read the data than you may as well take notes and do the assignment the accepted way. It has often been suggested to me that I should consider writing for one of the term paper hack sites on the internet, but I do not cherish the thought of compromising an academic system that has been in force for hundreds of years. I encourage all would be writers whether it is for educational purposes or as a means of livelihood to carefully reveal all references and ensure proper citing while doing proper research and compiling adequate notes on the topic at hand. Only in this way could one avoid the pitfalls of dishonesty associated with their studies.
I would like to present you with an interesting side note concerning plagiarism. During one of my semester courses in college I cited myself in an article which I had written. In fact my complete intent was to create my final paper from the topic of that article. This was properly discussed with the class instructor before hand and he agreed that it would be acceptable. When it was time to submit the final paper I ran it through the copy proofing program used at the universities site and it showed a high degree of plagiarism. I thought nothing about it since the highlighted features originated from my article’s information only. Unfortunately, the professor had forgotten about our conversation and rejected my paper. He left me a reply on the order of, ”Joe, I sent your paper back to be re-accomplished because of plagiarism. If I looked at it I would have to assign you a grade of zero”.
At first I was shocked and than realized what had happen. I informed the instructor and he than apologized as he recalled our conversation, so things can and do happen sometimes.
Copyright @2011 Joseph Parish