Plagiarism 101

Topic started by Lan on May 5, 2009. Last post by Niko 5 years, 4 months ago.
Post by Lan (621 posts) See mini bio Level 13
I've been considering doing a "lesson" on plagiarism for a while now. Little Sparrow's recent post on Wiki Submission Dos and Don'ts sort of gave me the motivation to do this. That and the fact that I've been finding more cases of plagiarism as of lately. I'm a little miffed because while I was dealing with plagiarism, I forgot about my slice of peanut butter pie sitting on the counter and it melted. Note this post is not a ragey, hypercritical one. It's purpose is to provide examples of plagiarism and in contrast, show examples of original content--which is what we value on Vice. I'm going to be using the character Riannon from Tears to Tiara as my example.

Example # 1

Riannon Main heroine, she released Arawn from his slumber. She takes a liking to Arawn instantly after she was saved by him, and decides to marry him. Riannon's true (magic) name Primula, she is the direct descendant of the elf king Pwyll, mixed with human genes since she is only partially elf. She, like a her brother, think simply as well, which sometimes Arawn calls them 'foolish brother and sister' due to some foolish things they do.

I copied and pasted directly from wikipedia. This is obviously plagiarsim. It is NOT ACCEPTABLE.  It's an okay description, but there are multiple grammar mistakes. Plus that last sentence doesn't really make a lot of sense. A better description could certainly be written.

Example # 2


Riannon

Main heroine, she releases Arawn from his slumber. She likes Arawn instantly after she was saved by him, and decides to marry him. Riannon's true (magic) name is Primula. She is the direct descendant of the elf king Pwyll, mixed with human genes since she is only partially elf. She, like a her brother, think simply as well, which sometimes makes Arawn calls them 'foolish brother and sister.'

Now, I changed a word or two and deleted a few more. Is this still plagiarism? YES! The fact remains that it reads almost word for word as the original article. Simply changing or deleting words does not mean I've completely changed the article and put it in my own words. I've still copied and therefore plagiarized over half the article.

Example # 3

Riannon

She is the main heroine in the anime Tears to Tiara. She is responsible for waking Arawn from his deep slumber. Arawn saves her from being killed, and as a result she takes an instant liking to him. She quickly decides to marry him. Her "true" or magic name is Primula. She is directly descended from the Elf King Pwyll. However, she is only part elf, as she contains human genes. She and her brother do foolish things which makes Arawn sometimes call them "foolish brother and sister."

Hmmm....the information is the same as that in the wikipedia article, however it reads differently. Is this plagiarism? No. This is what is called paraphrasing. I'm taking the information and putting it in my own words. This is if I'm  putting forth a minimum effort for wiki submission. I would do this if I weren't particularly familiar with the anime or character. Generally, though, I wouldn't make a wiki submission about an anime or character I didn't know a lot about. This is okay. It's accepted at Vice, nevertheless  it's not really great or original content.


Example # 4

Riannon

Riannon is the main character from the anime series Tears to Tiara. She is kidnapped and forced to become a sacrifice for the Dark Lord, Arawn. Arawn awakes from his slumber but does not kill Riannon. She becomes instantly attached to Arawn and decides to marry him, thus making him Chief of Gael. She is gifted with powerful magic as she directly descended from the Elves. Her true name is Primula, however she keeps it secret to prevent it being used to control her and her magic.

What do we have here? Original content! Whoo hoo! See how easy that was.? Nothing epic, short, very clear, and informative. You can see that I might have referenced the information in the  wikipedia article, however I did not copy it. I instead relied upon my knowledge of the character and used my own words to describe her. Watching the show/reading the manga is what will provide you with all the information you need and is far more accurate than anything you'll find on wikipedia. Take some time, do your research, and then write about the show/character/object/etc in your own words. If you're uncertain about something small, it's okay to check the web and use wikipedia or some other site as a reference point. If you're looking for style pointers look at some of the other wiki articles on Vice.



That concludes my lesson for today.


Post by Niko (865 posts) See mini bio Level 8
You should have taught that on the Anime Clubs Unite mailing list last week.
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