What's with an 'original'?

Now that I've been in academia for some time, there are times when I get work turned in by students that's low in 'original' content. The exhibited work is more clerical than anything else. That is, material picked from various sources, structured in a sequential manner, glossed over with a few jargon and then turned in. Of course, the resultant grade's nothing to write about. The contrast to such work is material tuned in, low in quantum (read, pages), but steeped in 'originality'. Its a pleasure to read, comprehend and mark grades for such outstanding submissions.

There's always something about an 'original'. Sure, counterfeits thrive when it comes to products and services. In fact, the parallel industry is worth billions. But there's something about possessing an original. Its like me insisting on buying an original, and just so the price works for me, I wait for a discount. I am talking books. No pirated ones for me. Its an original I want, of course, at a discount. The feeling's different. I can't explain it.

Original products will have their place in sun. Guaranteed by discerning, insistent consumers. Just like original work will find its takers in the faculty community, never mind the few pages. The payoffs are worth it. For the former, its a sale at a premium price; the latter gets the grade, a top one at that!


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