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Plagiarism 101 - Approveme


When people talk about plagiarism, it’s usually in the area of writing. You hear stories of writers literally copying and pasting someone else’s words and touting them as their own… but you also hear stories of writers pasting entire blog posts into their own posts out of admiration for the original creator. This isn’t malicious, but it isn’t legal, either. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Plagiarism 101 - Approveme

Plagiarism 101 I dont like horror movies. I
used to, but as Ive gotten older, had kids, and
become responsible for things like health
insurance and meal planning, the thought of
unwittingly walking into an awful situation that
will irreversibly alter my life forever scares
the crap out of me. The last thing I want to do
is nonchalantly go about my business and get my
arm chopped off/soul eaten/past transgressions
avenged by a murderous poltergeist. I feel the
same way about horror movies as I do about
plagiarism. Can you imagine, nonchalantly going
about your business, making money and supporting
your lifestyle or family, when BAM someone
strolls up and slaps you with a plagiarism
suit? Getting sued, specifically for freelancers
and small business owners, can be an utterly
catastrophic experience. Whats scariest about
the potential for plagiarism is that it isnt
always blatant, and is unknowingly committed by
freelancers the world over. Youve heard those
horror movie dos and donts lists, right? The
basic gist is, if you find yourself in a horror
movie-type situation, there are things you should
never do.
Never split up, never move into a house built
over old bones, never get too frisky with the
person youre stuck in a dark basement with,
etc., etc. We dont want you to unwittingly
stumble into a plagiarism-slasher situation, so
weve compiled a handy Plagiarism 101 guide to
help keep you freelancing without waking up any
demonic content spirits. Plagiarism in Writing
and Content Creation When people talk about
plagiarism, its usually in the area of writing.
You hear stories of writers literally copying and
pasting someone elses words and touting them as
their own but you also hear stories of writers
pasting entire blog posts into their own posts
out of admiration for the original creator. This
isnt malicious, but it isnt legal,
either. Always, ALWAYS Attribute One of the
best ways to avoid plagiarizing someone elses
work is to properly credit them when you use it.
If you quote a line of text that enhances your
writing, add a link to the original article,
mention the writer or institution who first
published it, and make it absolutely clear whose
words youre using. For solid advice on properly
attributing online content, check out this
fantastic Hubspot article. Inspiration vs.
Imitation An extremely common form of accidental
plagiarism is idea theft. This happens when a
writer uses content theyve read somewhere else
and simply repackages it to look like it came
from their own brain. This, of course, brings up
the debate between inspiration and imitation
What if I was simply inspired by that post and
wanted to put my own spin on it? The black and
white of this issue can be found in this
question Did you add anything to these
ideas? If you didnt bring anything new the
ideas you presented, youre simply repackaging
information. The Plagiarism Poltergeist doesnt
care if you used the word cactus instead of
plant if you didnt bring your own original
thoughts to the article.
Poyntner, a leading journalism resource, provides
a Thorough explanation of the many kinds of
plagiarism and their nuances, along with a
super-helpful plagiarism flowchart. Take an
inch, not a mile. In certain situations, even
quoted material can be considered plagiarism if
too much of the content is used. Its important
to check if your sources have content usage
guidelines. If usage guidelines are presented,
its likely that they will outline how many words
can actually be used as a quote in an outside
article. This ensures that the reader would still
need to visit the original source to get the full
story surrounding the quote. In an extreme
example, if an admiring writer simply copied and
pasted an entire blog post onto their own blog,
that would eliminate the need to visit the
original article. That presents almost no benefit
to the original writer, other than a quick
mention. If all else fails If youre still
unsure of whether or not youre committing
plagiarism, or if youd simply like to be double
sure youre not an expendable extra in a
journalistic slasher film, I highly recommend
using a plagiarism checker.
Grammarly is an incredible resource that provides
a plagiarism checker as well as grammar advice
for your writing. Plagiarism Check and Copyscape a
re a few of many options, includingplagiarism
plugins that you can add right onto your
WordPress website. Plagiarism in Web Design and
Development Freelance plagiarism doesnt stop
with words. Even though the world of design and
development is one of cooperation and
idea-sharing, there are limits to how much
inspiration you can put into a website youre
building, or a brand youre creating. Because a
business logo is an essential and hugely visible
portion of a brands identity, its not hard for
someone to notice plagiarism. CSSDesignAwards prov
ides an eye-opening and fascinating look into
logo design theft that plagued their company over
the span of multiple years. Plagiaristic web
designers can go as far as stealing code, images,
even entire layouts and design styles while
passing them off as their own.
The same goes for design as it does for content
many instances of plagiarism are unintentional
products of admiration or inspiration. Creativebl
oq, with its post When does inspiration turn
into plagiarism? does a great job of examining
this phenomenon in detail, and provides specific
examples of unintentional plagiarism in
design. What do you do if your work has been
plagiarized? Picture yourself surfing the
internet, minding your own business when,
suddenly, you read a blog post or see a logo that
looks very familiar. The hair stands up on your
neck, and you investigate further. Sure enough,
someone has stolen your work and is claiming that
it as theirs. What do you do? While its
tempting to find a scary mask or ancient dark
spell book to read from, its important in these
situations to stop, breathe, and make sure your
ducks are all in a row before you fly off in a
If youve ever lived in a college dorm, its
likely that your RA instructed you to talk to
your roommate or neighbor before taking it to a
higher authority. The same goes for plagiarism.
Its entirely possible that the offender will be
horrified at their mistake and remove the
offending content or design immediately. If you
cant find contact information or get no
response, you might have to move up the chain of
command. Moira Allen at has
created a comprehensive article on the process of
chasing plagiarism, and I highly recommend giving
it a look. If you feel strongly enough about the
offense, and are financially able to pursue it,
you can take legal action. This is a great reason
to have a trusted lawyer in your personal network
(although not the only great reason). Dont be
the bad guy in this freelancing horror flick. I
mean, you dont really want to be the good guy,
either. Basically, you want to stay out of the
action altogether which is totally
doable. The bottom line? Dont plagiarize. If it
feels shady, it probably is. Do some research,
use a program to do a quick plagiarism check
before you publish something, and give as much
credit to your sources as you can.
In fact, giving credit to a source can benefit
you in more ways than just protection. A proper
mention can alert that source of your existence,
lead them to your content, and pave the way for
future reciprocation. A little awareness and a
healthy dose of integrity will keep your
business, your reputation, and your limbs in
tact. Article source  https//