Better Safe Than Sorry

Plagiarism is a serious topic, but it is also one that sparks a great deal of controversy.  The consequences for this violation can be dire, because it is just like stealing, only with words instead of material things.

So here is the question: Do all plagiarists know what they are doing?  Is unintentional plagiarism a rare case, as the committee agreed?  We all know plagiarism is a serious offense, so why would someone take that risk?

The Ledger’s Report said it perfectly when they said there is no “hard-and-fast rule” to distinguish the line between using information as background, and plagiarizing.  Their report went into detail about the various cases where plagiarism was in question.

There are a few instances where plagiarism is not an issue, such as alluding to a literary phrase or commonly available facts, but since the rules are sometimes unclear, it is best to remember the phrase, “better safe than sorry”.  To avoid the chance of plagiarism, the Ledger’s Report recommends to keep clear notes, use direct sources, and ATTRIBUTE.98edd9dd90aa44fea82a4bf17b32f6a8

The Ledger’s report addressed the Internet and its integral role in the cause of plagiarism multiple times.  I can attest to the statement that a great deal of Americans today rely on the Internet for information, because I know I take full advantage of having Internet connection available in my pocket 24/7.  With such easy access to a Google search, the lines are often blurred between what information is shared and what is original.

Bottom line: Play it safe, double check your wording, and cite your sources!

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5 thoughts on “Better Safe Than Sorry

  1. I feel like the phrase “better safe than sorry” is so common among journalists. I actually used it in my own blog post as I’m sure a handful of our other classmates did as well. We have been drilled since elementary school not to steal someone else’s work and it will now carry it with us for the rest of our careers. I truly don’t understand why some journalists would risk losing their professional reputation to plagiarize a peer’s work. I feel like I’m personally going to spend the rest of my life attributing and covering my rear rather than risking my job!

  2. I also used a phrase along the lines of “better safe than sorry” in my blog post. It is the simplest way to assure you are not plagiarizing. There is no such thing as over-citing! Even if some of the sources did not need to be attributed, who is it hurting if you do anyway?

    @sarah I cannot believe people risk their job, and potentially career, to plagiarize either. You would think someone who is in the journalism field, and most likely took these kinds of classes in school, would know that plagiarizing is never okay and never worth it. Also, it just comes down to flat-out morals. If you wouldn’t steal a peer’s car or money, then why would it be okay to steal their writing or ideas? I brought up a common saying, which I am sure you know, in my blog post, and that is to “treat others the way you want to be treated”. I think that applies very well to this situation.

  3. I completely agree with you. In the Ledger’s report, it actually says there are only a “few accidental cases of plagiarism”. This makes sense because of what you said about so many people using google. Most people don’t even think about fact checking, which is sad. 😦

  4. Your title says it all. Better safe than sorry. It’s the only way to make sure nobody plagiarizes. A lot of students have different viewpoints on what is considered plagiarism, the only way to really assure students is to be safe than sorry. Students need to ALWAYS give credibility to the author. Students also need to be able to cite correctly. Clear notes is the key to making sure you aren’t taking credit for something that isn’t yours.

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