Unintentional plagerism?

@GuateMom (1411)
Canada
March 2, 2007 9:07am CST
Have you ever been accused of copying when you did your level best to write original material? I think it is inevitable that some of the phrases we use in our writing will have turned up elsewhere, but what if you accidentally write too closely to someone else that you have never read?
1 person likes this
5 responses
@wayken (36)
• United States
2 Mar 07
Common phrases certainly should be steered away from. There is always the chance of writing something that seems very much like other writing. We have a whole of history of writing, from centuries ago, to last week, from books, newspaper articles, online articles, ebooks, the list continues into the thousands, even millions. Our "original ideas" aren't so original unless you are filling your writing with made up words and phrases, which will just loose your readers. We all have to watch ourselves and make sure if we get research material, we convert the information into our own words the best we can, even add information when possible to further separate it from our sources.
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@xParanoiax (6999)
• United States
2 Mar 07
I haven't run across that problem yet. People tell me the exact opposite actually. The way I write's different because I speak differently. I use an older way of speaking..and a mishmash of phrases and even words I make up myself. Cliches are probably the worst thing which leads to unintentional plagerism. And I don't use any of those. It might be obsessive-ness when it comes to writing..I'll fiddle and fiddle with things til they're the way I like them..and I'll surf and read and listen to the radio to make sure I don't copy anyone. I hate being unoriginal..so plagerism to me is the one black mark I'd never be able to stand on the record which is my life lol.
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• Singapore
2 Mar 07
I would say the trick is to avoid cliches. Those words that are indeed looking very pretty tend to "lose flavor" over time. If you try to be creative with the language and come up with new combinations of words (or even coin your own words for that matter), you should be very safe from plagiarism. How can you be copying from others when you wrote something out of the air yourself? It's original and you are the creator. :P
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@Phlamingho (7833)
• Denmark
2 Mar 07
Nope, never had that happen tp me. Always remember to state your source if you "borrow" something :-)
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@jillbeth (2711)
• United States
2 Mar 07
My problem is that if I am doing research for an article, certain phrases will stick in my head. I have to be very careful to reword my sentences. But I haven't been accused of plagiarism yet, so I must be doing OK.