What is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is the stealing of one’s work and ideas and taking credit for it as if it were that person’s own undertaking. In the context of content, if you are copying and pasting someone else’s articles and slapping your name on them, that’s plagiarism and plagiarism is just a fancy word for stealing. No one likes a thief.
Woes of a Writer
Being a writer is often an underappreciated profession. Unless you are in the entertainment industry or working for a multi-billion dollar enterprise, chances are the pay doesn’t encourage an early retirement. As a result, writers can be particularly sensitive about their work, as it’s sometimes all they have, especially for independent writers. So for someone to steal our original work really pisses us off!
The Opportunity to Shine
The Internet is getting more attention than television these days and what’s more, it gives everyone the opportunity to become a star, especially writers who might otherwise be overlooked in the literary industry. With the rise of social media every writers can heard. No longer does one have to wait months on end to determine whether or not his or her article will be accepted for publication.
Don’t Everyone Yell at Once!
The communication industry has now flipped to having too much content. Many writers, whether professional or independent, have quickly discovered that the message that they are trying to convey isn’t so original after all. In fact, depending on who you’re writing for and what industry, people are pretty much saying the same thing: “Buy my stuff!” Here’s where the creativity comes in: “Buy my stuff because it’s great and better than everyone else’s!”
Yes, this is an exaggerated generalization of the overall message, but is it really? Think about it. What is your business? What are you trying to sell? Who is your competition and what are they trying to sell? It can be argued that you guys are pretty much trying to say the same thing.
Well, Well, Well! You Rang?
Here’s where the copywriters come in. Someone needs to be skilled enough in wordplay to write the same message in an original way. Talk about an oxymoron! Again, such a talent can be under-rated. Writing takes a considerable amount of time to compose a body of work that combines technical and creative thought. We are essentially producing a tangible and sometimes intangible commodity that introduces to some and present to others a product or idea that has the notion of some sort of sustainability. That, my friend, is called sales. Many can talk the talk. However, many more have found it challenging to write the copy.
Plagiarism: Why it is Frowned Upon
So when someone attempts to literarily copy your sales technique word for word without giving you any credit, that’s just not cool. You’re like the bully in the lunchroom. No one likes you and people will do their best to ignore whatever you try to do to gain attention because most likely, what you’re saying isn’t an original thought.
So now that I’ve scared you into being completely shunned from your industry, let me at least encourage you by saying that there are ways to recycle an article.
Here’s the deal, we do it all the time! We did it in high school and college. In fact, our school system taught us how to recycle an article! In the subjects of history and English in particular, there was always some type of essay or report that we had to write based off a text that had already been published. We were taught to read assess, question what had been written and process these thought onto paper, referencing the original content every now and then. This body of work then became an original thought based on that which had already been published.
It’s OK. Really, it Is!
See what I did there? I just told you what you needed to in order to make a stale old article fresh and new! As long as you’re not copy and pasting, you’re good! If you do feel the need to copy and paste certain parts, be sure to include quotes around the text totaling no more than four lines and above all, give credit to whomever has written that text you’re quoting. After all, you’d want someone to do the same for you!
These basic tips should keep you safe in terms of avoiding plagiarizing your copy. It’s all about going back to the basics. You may think that you are re-inventing the wheel, but you must realize that the content that you are researching will not attract the same readers that you will. It’s all about how the message is conveyed. By simply researching and interpreting what you have written to your own understanding, you will have composed an original informative article!