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Excuses I Have Been Given by Plagiarists

The work of an editor is never dull

Photo by Ali Tareq on Unsplash

I work as an editor for Illumination and its sister publications. One part of that work is to confirm, as best I can, that a story is genuine and unique to that writer. Sadly, there are many that are not.

Usually, when I suspect that there has been an attempt to pass off someone else’s work, I ask the writer to give an explanation. Very occasionally there is a satisfactory explanation, such as the writer works as a ghost writer and their articles appear under another name, or they have published it previously under a different alias. These situations are very unusual, but I like to give the writer the option to put things straight if possible.

More often, I get a response from the writer in a vain attempt to reassure me that the work is entirely their own. Here are some of the excuses I have been given.

Believe me, it is all my own words. Well no, I don’t believe you when I found the exact same article written by well known journalist in the Washington Post.

My classmate wrote this with me as an essay in High School. This was when I asked who ‘our’ referred to and ‘we’ in an article supposedly written by a single author.

I submitted an article that came up as someone else’s. What I did was find it and reworded it for my blog because I liked the article. It goes well with my topics. Reworded? It looked identical.

I am a great fan of A.M . What can I say? The words just came to me. Strangely, the identical words, did you inadvertently learn his work by heart in your appreciation of this author?

A friend gave me this article and suggested I publish it on Medium. No comment needed!

I took my inspiration from that video. When the entire text of the video is reproduced!

My brother wrote it and I was showing him how to edit.

I actually self-published it a month and a half ago on medium and then deleted and edited it to publish it again in this pub, that’s it, don’t mistake me. Deleted posts show up when we check — he didn’t delete it. Interesting way to explain how someone else published this a month and a half ago.

I have the authority to publish United Nations articles. And claim that you wrote it too?

Just a few of the interesting responses I have received. I wonder what excuses will come my way next?



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