Writers & Plagiarism

With all the madness circulating the web today about Melania Trump practically quoting Michelle Obama‘s 2008 DNC speech for this years RNC, we thought i’d be a good time to discuss Plagiarism.

Stealing other’s work and passing it off as your own is one of the greatest writing sins a wordsmith can commit. Writing is meant to be an opportunity to express your thoughts and perspective in your own words.

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In this wonderful piece by Corina Koch MacLeod and Carla Douglas, Stop Thief! Writers and Plagiarismthe duo go over the definition of plagiarism, famous plagiarizers, examples and how to spot it as well as tips to avoid making this tragic mistake and when copying is okay. Also here is a great flow chart  to determine if you’ve plagiarized or not.

Not only is plagiarizing wrong toward the reader and original author, it can land you in some serious hot water and quickly terminate a budding writing career if caught. Sites like WriteCheck, Turnitin, and Grammarly are great tools to help avoid this pitfall.

But more than the risk of consequences, the shame alone should be enough to deter you from journeying down the wrong path. There is no joy in gaining success from someone else’s merits. Nothing will ever match the pride you experience when something that YOU wrote is acknowledged and given the respect you always knew it deserved.

The writer’s path is not an easy one, but there truly are no shortcuts, and if you’re meant to walk down it then you wouldn’t have it any other way.

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2 thoughts on “Writers & Plagiarism

  1. onereasonableperson says:

    If I were to write a blog post full of cliches and bromides and you wrote a similar post on the same subject full of cliches and bromides, would the fact that both our posts were full of the same cliche and bromides be evidence of plagiarism?

    Writers shouldn’t plagiarize. Writers also should realize how easy it is to produce pieces that are similar to other pieces and not cry plagiarism so easily.

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