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View Diary: I Wrote "To Kill A Mockingbird" - Plagiarism and Other Follies (55 comments)

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  •  I think plagiarism is often more complex (8+ / 0-)

    than it's treated as being, especially in terms of very short phrases or concepts, such as the two words you mention above.  Memory is far from perfect for most of us, and it's entirely possible to jot down notes on something you read or heard in a lecture without correctly denoting that they were word for word, then come back years later and, having forgotten they were a quote, and turn around and use them in something else you write without realizing there was a missing attribution.

    In my own writings for assignments, my preferred way of working is to read all of the assigned materials, sit back and think for a while, and then sit down to write without any of the originals close to hand.  I could easily write down specific phrases that subconsciously 'stuck' in memory as being particularly apt for speaking on a certain topic without remembering overtly that they were used in any of the texts, since I'm not physically looking at them when I'm writing.  Now obviously that's not what happened in your specific example, but it certainly can happen, especially when using technical terminology with extremely precise meanings where shifting even a word or two can dramatically alter meaning.

    •  I like this advice: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg
      In my own writings for assignments, my preferred way of working is to read all of the assigned materials, sit back and think for a while, and then sit down to write without any of the originals close to hand.  I could easily write down specific phrases that subconsciously 'stuck' in memory as being particularly apt for speaking on a certain topic without remembering overtly that they were used in any of the texts, since I'm not physically looking at them when I'm writing
      In fact, this is the advice I give to my students when they are writing their papers, particularly their research papers. They still have to write in their own writing style. When they write something dissimilar to their own, that is where the questions come out.

      "Do they call you Rush because you're in a rush to eat?" -"Stutterin' John" Melendez to Rush Limbaugh.

      by Nedsdag on Sun May 12, 2013 at 02:41:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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