You might not believe it (mostly due to my lack of grammar, made up words, and overuse of the passive voice), but I was actually an English major in college! So I know some things, albeit very few things, about plagiarism.
You probably know some things too! In fact, I would say the majority of people who graduated elementary school or high school know about it.
I bring it up because I was recently blown away by plagiarism in my own surroundings. Somebody asked me to edit their paper and 90% of it was transcribed word-for-word from another manuscript. I have no idea how you do that. How am I supposed to react when I find out you stole? What consequences should there be? Can it be possible that someone in college has no idea what stealing is?
My mind basically imploded on itself.
Then, I was reading one of my go-to blogs: The Life & Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch. Pictures were stolen from her blog and she had something to say about it!
For some reason, the blogging community hasn’t fully embraced the laws of plagiarism and the hurt it can inflict.
Borrowing ideas that spark your own creative juice is one thing, but pictures, text, and quotes need to be cited.
I’m guilty too! In the past, I frequently “borrowed” images from Google Images, foolishly thinking it was kind of a free-zone of pictures. NOT. OK. I literally smacked myself on the forehead as I read Honeybunch’s post about plagiarism. Now, every picture I post contains a link back citing the author. How can it not?
So, I ask you, are you guilty too? How often do you cite sources for your ideas? Is the blog world still a gray zone for this?