I used to have the site ArticleLab.net, which I planned to develop into a training platform for writers, but due to too much work load and financial restraints. I decided to shut it down. So, I will reblog some contents I made for the site, especially the ones about plagiarism.
The hottest issue today is the response of US-based blogger Sarah Pope to the alleged copy-pasting of Sen. Tito Sotto’s speech contents from Sarah’s blog “The Healthy Home Economist”. But instead of dwelling on the social media stir between the esteemed comedian-senator’s staff, trolls, “usi’s” (usiseros-intrigeros) and the rest of netizens, I will just discuss on what plagiarism really is, how to know if you are committing one and ways to avoid doing it. This goes for all bloggers, researchers and even students who might benefit in this article.
Plagiarism-an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author: It is said that he plagiarized Thoreau’s plagiarism of a line written by Montaigne. Synonyms: appropriation, infringement, piracy, counterfeiting; theft, borrowing, cribbing, passing off. (Dictionary.com)
This simply saying that it is OK to have the same source, but it is never OK to copy contents word by word and cite them as your own. You only have the right to quote the exact wordings as long as you identify your source.
There are three types of sources which you have to give credit:
Primary source- the actual material you are quoting done by the primary creator. This is the original source of information like research results, medical findings, legal statements, textbook knowledge, speech contents and lists issued by an organization or publication. You give credits to all your source, dead or alive.
Secondary source- these are materials (like news articles, blog entries, video and other material) which quoted the primary source of the information. Best example is Pope’s blog entry in which she quotes a medical doctor about some ill effect of contraceptive pills. Then you know what the senator’s staff did.
Anonymous/Unnamed source-these are source in which the material’s original source remains unknown. The credit goes to the one who published the material, but still quoting the anonymous source in between your wordings.
Lazy work (Trabahong tamad)
The problem with technology nowadays is that people are now declining to read. Some researchers make fun use of ctrl+c and ctrl-v to finish their work fast, little do they know that they can be caught and sued for it. Let us remember that all contents: song lyrics, videos, copy ads, speeches, web contents, academic materials and publication (specially in the internet) have their copyrights. A copyright is a legal concept that gives the original creator exclusive rights to own it. Even with an absence of a piece of paper to prove an ownership, any creator has a right to sue any plagiarist as long as he can prove himself as an original author.
How to quote properly and avoid plagiarism: This is sooo texbook!
Below are some net-friendly ways to cite your source:
1. Indicate the name or book title of your source either before the sentence.
Dr. You Know Who in his book, “Book Title” proves that…..[insert information here]
2. Add the citation at the end of the borrowed content.
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”-Confucius
3. For blog articles and web pages, you can embed the source URL to a relevant anchor text.
Best example is Pope’s blog entry in which she quotes a medical doctor about some ill effect of contraceptive pills.
4. Also, you can add your source links at the bottom of the page.
- The Rappler|Blogger confirms Sotto ‘plagiarism’
- The Healthy Home Economist|On Plaigiarism, The Pill and Presumptuousness
5. If you are borrowing media such photos, put credits as watermark or caption.
6. If you are embedding a video on a blog, make sure to put some introduction on what the video is all about.
7. Better yet, when you see a secondary source then dig for the original source then have content reworded. If you cannot find the original source in the internet or elsewhere, then reword your secondary source’s content. And when we say reword, we take time to use other wording, sentence structure, vocabulary and syntax, but still retaining the meat of the information.
A 40 year-old restaurant owner is found unconscious in a dumpster. Police say that he was beaten, robbed and left in the dumpster as the culprits escape. (An all-made-up news)
A middle aged business man was found unconscious by the local police in a trash bin. He was apparently drugged and robbed by unknown suspects and threw him into the dumpster as they flee.
FIY: Quoting a source once is enough. Use any writing style (footnoting, use of reference numbers and others) that you feel appropriate for your material.
Hope it helps! Enjoy your weekend!