Since the beginning of our schooling lives, we have been told of the evils of plagiarism.
This is something every child growing up in the United States school system is taught since first grade. Every language arts class in the history of language has had some sort of section on plagiarism. It is constantly berated in the school systems.
We can all hear our teachers saying, “If you plagiarize you will get an automatic zero” or, “You can go to jail if you plagiarize.”
For someone working in the media, plagiarism is significant. Whether writing for the Communiqué or The Washington Post, it is a necessity to write one’s own ideas. However, for the average person, the only experience with plagiarism they will ever encounter is in school. Once they graduate, the idea of plagiarism may never cross their mind again.
Here at Kirkwood, there is a technical writing class. The class is designed to provide students the skills to write functionally in the real world.
One of the main assignments is writing a resume. Students are told to find a job listing in the field they are studying and write a resume for that job. It is good practice for when the students graduate.
One of the main requirements of the assignment is to not copy sample resumes off of the internet. If the resume is not in the student’s unique language, it is plagiarized. However, resumes are meant to follow a certain format and use certain phrases to convey the applicant’s qualifications. Creating language that is unique to the applicant is almost impossible.
Whether students are coming up with the language from their own minds or from a sample resume, the language will convey the exact same points. Companies hiring for a specific position should care more about the resume’s information, and not if that information has been formatted from a sample resume. Plagiarizing in this case is inconsequential to the real world.
Max is a staff writer majoring in the Digital Arts Program. He also serves as a producer in Kirkwood Student Productions and plans to work in the video industry after college.