Monday, January 2, 2012

Plagiarism, Redefined

We have talked about scams and plagiarism in a few other articles, but in the field of writing, you want to make sure that you are able to have a good understanding of the nuances that go with the term. While a lot of people may automatically assume that plagiarism can easily be avoided, the World Wide Web has made it extremely difficult (and tempting at that!) to try and copy off someone else's work or ideas.

What exactly does plagiarism mean to us? Almost every industry would have their own interpretation of plagiarism, and while there may be varying degrees to it, in essense it would be the conscious stealing of another person's thoughts and passing it off as your own. This is typically used in studies, experiments, theories and articles, but today, almost any kind of printed matter can be passed along as plagiarism.

This is not to say that you can only print words that are your own and nothing else. Remember that being able to refer to another person's thoughts or ideas is perfectly acceptable, only as long as you are acknowledging your sources. Remember that you do not always have to seek their permission to be able to print something that they wrote. All you have to do is quote the author and the book that you got it from and making sure that it did not appear like you were the one who actually wrote it.

Being able to avoid plagiarism can be tricky, but it is certainly not impossible to avoid. The minute that you are quoting off a sentence or two from a different source and passing it off as your own can make you use your entire career, so you want to make sure that you are really very careful about adapting words and phrases that you have read somewhere else. At the end of the day, you want to be able to take pride in written work that was based off of your own imagination and creativity, not something that you mooched off of the hard work of someone else.

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