Plagiarism is no longer an undiagnosed disease that silently creeps in and kills. People are more aware than ever of its deadly impacts that they would do anything to keep it off. With plagiarism being one of the most talked about topics today, I would do no good to the reading community by jotting down another 400 words about it. While the blatant copy, paste plagiarism has been chased and thrashed and flogged, there are other subtle and equally deadly forms of it that never see the light of day. Yes, they lurk in the dark. And the reason one of them thrives? Because it is done with mutual consent.
What if the person is ready to give away a work of theirs willingly to be used in somebody else’s name? I know, I know, ghostwriting is an industry in itself and as long as writers don’t mind somebody else being credited for their work, who can blame them? But what if in this seemingly harmless process, someone is actually harmed?
College competitions are a great way to pave the platform for your talents. They could, and they have been in many cases, what you call stepping stones for a person’s work to gain recognition. I believe the best way to hold such college writing competitions is to do them impromptu but just so people should turn up, they could be announced before hand. The topics however should be given on the spot to judge how well a person could write off the cuff. But I guess my seniors thought that giving a set of topics ahead of time would help competitors group their thoughts and decide what they want to write on. Fair enough. They must have felt that 18-20 year old boys and girls would never get someone to ghost write for them, learn it by heart and lay it down on paper just so they could score. So just imagine my sheer disappointment when I came to know the winner herself won this way!
For someone out there, his/her much deserved victory has been denied and that according to me is sad and unfair. It actually comes down to personal discretion. Can we even call this plagiarism? I would say plagiarism in camouflage. You judge.
P.S: Soon after I knew it happened, I discussed the incident with the person involved directly. She regrets it very much and from what I know of her, she would never do it again. Here, I am addressing the issue, rather than the person. 🙂