Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ghostwriters & Plagiarists

As a frequent checker of Craig's List job postings in various skills I have, I tend to see lots of stupid shit posted there. Aside from blatant labor law violations, I used to see a lot more posts from people seeking accomplices to academic dishonesty.

The people trying to get someone else to do their schoolwork, write their papers, etc. just piss me off. Why?

1. I earned my own damn way, motherfucker!!! I didn't have anyone to do my work for me & I had to rely on my own brain to get ahead. I also didn't have a lot of resources that your average person has & had to fight not being from money. If I managed to do my own work & got ahead, then (1) get off your ass, (2) stop being a baby & (3) do you own damn work!!!

2. I don't know about your college or law school but in my college, you could get time extensions if you needed them to get a paper done. If it was the end of the semester, the professor would just give you an incomplete until you turned in the work. Some were extremely flexible on this; I knew a few people who did this & didn't resort to cheating.

Why not do this if you're so "busy"? That ad I posted a while back on the law student trying to get some assistant b/c of being on law review really takes the cake here. Didn't hear back from that flake; probably b/c that moron knew I was right.

3. Ownership: it's not your product if some ghostwriter is doing the work. It belongs to the ghostwriter. I don't care to be abused in that way so that's why I won't do it. If it's your ideas and your views and the person is merely clarifying them in a way you can't, that's different. Lawyers do this all the time.

However, if the person is having to research & creating the work that you're using (as in, it wasn't your idea or views) then you've become a plagiarizing cheat. In particular, if you're doing that to get into a school or to give someone the pretense that you wrote whatever the product was you don't belong in the program.

Even courts won't let you pull one over on the judges if you're appearing pro se (without a lawyer). Some places require you to disclose if you got assistance from an attorney in your papers & in some cases, to name the attorney.

4. Earning your spot: This goes back to #1 a bit but why should you get to cheat your way in to keep or get a spot in a school when someone else who did their own work got turned down? Why does YOUR busy schedule and YOUR life trump everyone else's? There's delegation of duty and then there's outright cheating. Having someone take a test for you? Cheating. Write your paper? Cheating.

Researching your paper (without writing it)? Not so much but what makes you so special to get the extra help when you're a student? Maybe you should reevaluate your priorities b/c the real world is much harder & you'll be a lot busier once you're out of school, especially if you're going to be a lawyer. It's the same as athletes taking steroids; how fair is it to the ones who don't & actually earned their spots?

5. Having a Talent: If you're good at something, it's very hard to find someone just as good or better. If you're going to pay someone to do something, that person needs to be just as good at or better than you at the task. The only people who'd think to hire someone else are no-talents who can't hack it. If you can, then you wouldn't trust someone else's work over your own. You'd never take that risk, no matter how busy you were. You'd cut back on your social life & other tasks to focus on your education.

Lately, I've been seeing ads in this section from law school students trying to get people to do their homework for them. I wonder what a state ethics committee (the group that decides if you ever get to be a practicing lawyer) would have to say about it? I bet they'd be just as disgusted by that as I am. One of these days, I'll have to make these people think I'll agree to work with them so I can report their sorry asses to their school deans & the state ethics committees.

If they find that kosher, then that ethics committee has no business hassling me for college debt I had to incur in order to survive my lower middle class upbringing (particularly when there was nothing else at all in my record that was a "black mark"). Plagiarism/academic dishonesty is a blatant ethics violation & if you want to prove deceit, what's more deceptive than making your school think you did work you didn't bother with?

If someone reports these fuckers for their ads, then they deserve it. You don't get sympathy from me when you're trying to cheat & prove you weren't worthy of being accepted to your school.

These views are why I adamantly refuse to work as a ghostwriter or assist lazy school children. My posts are also written by me & only me. No one writes my work or transcribes it for me. I have the utmost respect for celebrities and well known people who write their own damn books. No ghostwriters, no "with" whomever in teeny tiny print while the famous person's name is bigger than life itself.

I think even if I became mega-busy, I would insist on keeping my integrity by writing my own damn blog & not having a PR team or someone do it for me without IDing him/her first.

I tend to flag those ads & if I had my way, they'd be banished from the site. How do you think your boss would like it if you paid someone else to do your work, show up to the office, etc. but still had to pay YOU for it? Who in their right mind would agree to that? You can't do that as an actor

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person in the world who still has some integrity. I saw an ABA story ages ago where a lot of lawyers talked about not writing their own law school admission essays. Gee law schools, if you don't consider these in admission decisions and/or refuse to punish people for having others do them, then why waste everyone's time asking for them?

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