Friday, January 18, 2008

Plagiarism - my turn

I know, this has been going on for some time, but I have been spending the last week discussing research in my college classes so it's time to chime in.

This is simple enough. The definition of plagiarism is using someone else's material intentionally or unintentionally in your own work. There are no loop holes, there are not exception. That's it.

According to Diana Hacker in her 2007 edition of A Writer's Reference "Three differne acts are considered plagiarism: (1) failing to cite quotations and borrowed ideas, (2) failing to enclose borrowed langauge in quotation marks, and (3) failing to put summaries and paraphrases in your own words" (pg. 418).

Can't get any easier than that.

As a fiction writer, it is your job to acknowledge where you get your material from when you copy the material from someone else. Now, I understand that we might not want to bog down our writing with line notes and foot notes, but we can certainly put end-notes into a book.

The other option is to learn how to take information and use it truthfully as a resourse, learn to paraphrase and then write.

I'm sorry, but I have no sympathy for anyone caught in this situation.

As always, in my humble opinion.


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