Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Open Letter on Plagiarism in Blogging

This is the third post in a series of 'Open Letters' about blogging.

Dear Students,

Now is the time to address the issue of plagiarism in our blogs. Plagiarism is the literary term for 'cheating', as it means that we have taken someone else's ideas or work and passed this off as our own.

Plagiarism is not always deliberate cheating or stealing. Sometimes it is due to our own ignorance of the expectations of referencing, or it might be due to forgetfulness or haste. Whatever the case might be, plagiarism is still unacceptable, and it often carries serious consequences.

If we take ideas from another website without acknowledging the author and the site, we can be sued, or forced to remove the content. In High School and College, plagiarism can lead to failure in assessment, or even expulsion.

Plagiarism can be avoided though. It is not a bad thing to use other people's ideas. In fact, it's usually a very good thing to do because it proves that we have read from other sources. We just need to make sure that we provide a hyperlink to the original source, and place quotation marks (" ") around anything that is taken 'word for word'. We should also give mention to the author of the article, when this is known.

Happy hyperlinking,
Pat Wagner

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