If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, surely plagiarism must be a compliment of sorts. So someone said to me recently when I told him how a fellow student had copied, word for word, a short assignment I’d posted on an online forum. 

“It must be good for your ego,” he said.  

I admit, part of me felt flattered this student thought what I’d written was good enough to pass off as her own. But I believe in truth, honesty and integrity, so a bigger part of me was astounded someone could cheat so blatantly.  

At Frolic PR, our point of difference is that we’re original, especially in our writing. Our words are fresh, relevant and aimed at client-specific audiences. That’s our promise to everyone we work with. Using your own words is also a basic rule of writing, across any field or topic: don’t steal someone else’s without proper attribution. Writing is an individual craft, with every practitioner having a unique style. Any wannabe writer uninterested in developing his or her own style will likely not make it far in the field. That’s why I feel sorry for the student in this case. 

Writing is hard work. I know that better than anyone. There are times when the words won’t come, when countless hours are wasted staring at a blank screen. It’s enough to drive you to drink: no wonder writing and alcoholism are often synonymous. But I believe in hard work and I know there’s nothing more satisfying than writing ‘the end’ on completion of a story, essay, media release or report.  

No one ever got that sort of satisfaction from cheating.