Avoiding Plagiarism

April 17, 2014

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Avoiding plagiarism

The internet is such a treasure trove of information that it is incredibly easy to do research online. As a copywriter, you want to create content that is informative, interesting and widely read but you also don’t want your work to be copied and passed off as somebody else’s. If you have worked hard to create content then the last thing you want is someone else taking credit for it.

As a personal finance blogger I get approached daily with individuals looking to place “guest posts” on my blog. Depending on the service sometimes I allow it, sometimes I don’t. But what I am starting to notice is a lot of advertisers are spinning articles or down right submitting the same articles to multiple bloggers. If Google gets a hold of this your site may suffer a penalty and be marked as a spam site. We’ve all worked way too hard to let one wrong decision ruin our site. 

This is why I’m glad to introduce a website that may help detect spammy articles presented by advertisers.


Additionally there are some bloggers who pay money to have articles written for them. If this case I would definitely recommend they check out a content plagiarism checker.

There Is A Plagiarism Case In Copywriting

Imagine you are surfing the Web, research your next article. You find an interesting Web site, where you will find an article that seems tantalizingly familiar. You read a paragraph or two – and realize that the reason it looks so familiar is because you originally wrote it! Why is the web site of another person, featuring content that you produced?

Sadly, the incidence of copyright infringement online seems to be growing more and more. The following are just some of the incidents I’ve found in the past year:

  • A writer found his pet article published on a website related to pets without permission. The owner of the site says it is “OK” to publish this type of article as long as credit is given to the writer, and refused to get rid of it.
  • A writer discovered that an item sold through an e-zine is now included in the course materials online from a teacher, without attribution. Further investigation determined that the professor had published several articles taken from the websites of other authors in their materials without agreement, acknowledgment or copyright notice.
  • Parts of my article were published in a newsletter by email. A few months later, I found the same article in another e-mail newsletter, in another byline.
  • An editor received an ebook that offered services that seemed too good to be true. An internet search confirmed that the product was in fact produced using three articles published by three separate authors, and presented with a new name and title.

All of these cases occurred within the same year, and both follow similar arcs, but with one important difference. The Canadian conservative columnist Wente was accused of copying and pasting the material verbatim from older articles. They also said he copied materials of liberal columnist Zakaria. In both cases, the columnists were called out, but the difference was the response of publications. The Globe and Mail circled around Wente offering her support, defense her during an investigation, and managing her communications in public media. This caused a lot of scrutiny for the aim of the publication and Wente herself. For Zakaria, Time Warner suspended him immediately and responded strongly, which blunted the impact of the claim.

In the end, both completed their research publications and columnists have continued their career paths. 


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