As someone who has had her words stolen online, I am a big advocate for giving credit where credit is due. I have no respect for people who plagiarize. Watching Melania Trump do Michelle Obama’s speech was painful to watch. It made her look ridiculous – as if she didn’t have a brain of her own. That was plagiarism on a huge level. But, that’s still what taking someone’s words online and using them as your own does for your reputation.
Today, I was on a Facebook page reading someone’s review of Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru and I started reading through some of the comments. One comment reminded me how much plagiarism is likely happening on the Internet. I blocked out the names and faces to keep their information private.
Not only does this guy copy someone else’s review and try to make it look like his own, but he really doesn’t understand what he did wrong. He almost makes it seem like it’s a valid point so he should be able to copy it word for word and use it as his own comment.
I’ve long been aware that people steal other people’s articles and try to pass them off as their own. And I’ve seen people on social media use popular quotes without giving credit to the people who said them. But, I’ve never seen someone copy and paste a comment like this; although, I’m sure it happens all the time.
Why You Should Avoid Plagiarism
It’s easy to copy and paste some else’s work. It’s tempting to copy and paste an opinion or thought that you want to represent you. But easy and tempting things are often what causes us the most problems in life.
If other people catch you plagiarizing their work, you can get into a lot of legal trouble if you happen to plagiarize from the wrong person. There are copyright laws in place and the only way to avoid being affected by them is to avoid plagiarism.
Moreover, if other people notice that you have plagiarized, you can lose credibility in your work and in your personal life. For example, the guy in the Facebook comment above looks like a complete idiot to me. It’s as if he can’t come up with his own thoughts and words. Because of his plagiarism, I wouldn’t trust him in a business venture or even in a personal venture.
In addition, plagiarism can make you look downright stupid for another reason. If you take an idea or opinion that was said by someone talking out of their ass, then you look ridiculous. I’ve seen people do this. They copy and paste someone else’s article that was so misinformed on many different levels that it was embarrassing. And that’s the chance you take when you copy someone else’s ideas and don’t use your own brain and do your own research.
Lastly, you don’t grow by copying other people’s work. Forming your own opinions and writing your own articles or comments means you need to think, read, and research. Those things help you grow as a person. And, the more you grow, the more success you have in all areas of life.
For example, if you want to be a blogger, then you can just copy other people’s ideas, or you can use your own brain and research ideas and come up with your own conclusions. One choice will take you mindlessly down someone else’s path, and one choice will take you down your own path where you discover, learn, and grow.
Why And When To Cite Your Sources
Following is a good video on why plagiarism is wrong and exactly when to cite your sources to avoid it.
Bottom Line: Don’t Plagiarize
Remember, coming up with your own stuff might be a little harder at times, but it is well worth the effort. Even though plagiarism is easy, it does nothing good for you.
If you like an idea, then you can quote it! There is nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t matter if you are writing an article on your blog, ghostwriting for someone, or posting on social media, give credit to the person who had the idea and you will feel much better about yourself. And other people will feel much better about you too.
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