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Advanced Composition for Non-Native Speakers of English

Plagiarism: Two Perspectives

All essays at ESLBEE.COM are by university students who have given written permission for their work to be published in this site. If you copy/paste an essay and turn it in as your own, it is a very serious academic offence.

The penalties for plagiarism in most universities are very high. From a policy perspective, almost certainly the first incident of plagiarism will get written into the student's permanent record, and a second offence will get a student expelled. From a personal perspective, when your teacher discovers plagiarism (and they almost always do), it not only affects the grade on an essay, but the school's policies once set in motion are always very embarrassing.

From a different perspective, the University of California at Berkeley shows how good documentation makes you look better. They say "Citations allow readers to further explore your sources, show the depth and scope of your research, and add credibility to your work" UC Berkeley.

The reasons to avoid plagiarism are extremely persuasive. Instead of plagiarizing, read widely to see how other writers write, and then take the steps necessary do develop your own writing voice.

Why We Should Not Compare Ourselves With Others

happy hikersIn our culture a lot of times people advise us to compare ourselves with others. "You should be like your father," "You can win; the others aren’t as good as you," "You must be the best of your class," etc., and this is not always the best way of thinking. There are many reasons to change this way of thinking and begin to compare ourselves only with ourselves. This is the way it should be, and in this paper I will discuss some of the most important reasons for this.

The first reason to avoid comparing yourself with others is that there will be always someone better than you. It doesn’t mater in which aspect, but it is always true. Therefore, you could feel inferior to others and maybe without a real reason. For example, you can be an incredible architect and the best of your generation, and this can make you feel incredibly good, but if someday someone is better than you are, you could feel sad although you are still the same incredible architect that you were before.

The second reason to elude this kind of comparison is that you will always find someone worse than you, but as opposed to the first reason, this can make you feel better than the others, and this feeling can turn into a horrible pride. For example, if you are the second best student of your class, and one day the very best student leaves the school, you will then be the best one although you are still only as good as you were before.

These two first reasons leads us to a third one: If you want to be better than the others, you don’t need to improve yourself; you only have to make the others look bad. If I want to be the leader of the group, but you are the leader now, what I need to do is to make you look like a traitor or stupid and then I can take your place. Then I will be better than you.

A fourth reason to stop comparing ourselves is that the one who compares him/herself with others is judging, and this doesn’t help us develop as human beings. Nobody knows the internal reality of the other; nobody knows his/her story and his/her most deep intentions, and when we judge it’s harder to accept the others.

The last but most important reason to avoid comparing ourselves with others is that when we do, we can be tempted to copy them, to do the same things, and to act and think like them. The problem with this is that if we copy someone, we will never know who we really are and what we really want, and then we will never grow spiritually.

For all these reasons and because we are unique, we should not compare ourselves with others, only with ourselves. The only comparison pattern that we really have is our consciousness. So, if we use this pattern we will not feel less or more than others; we will not try to make others look bad; we will not judge so much; and we will accept ourselves as we really are. In other words, we will live happier.