Look, we’ll be honest. When we heard that a blogger plagiarized posts from Amalah, we were so angry that we almost started to Mouth Off on the subject. But then we thought, why not use this as a teaching moment? Because many of you out there may need an easy reference guide for avoiding plagiarism. And we are nothing if not full-service! (We think. Also, we just made that up, so don’t start dropping off your laundry or anything like that.)
So, here are some easy and fun tips to help you remember not to plagiarize!
1. When you are about to copy someone’s words and use them as your own, don’t. Instead, make yourself a smoothie.
2. When you read something that you love on a blog, leave a comment, not a copyright violation.
3. Remember, it’s See Something, Say Something. Not Read Something, Steal Something.
4. If you are a mommy blogger and you wrote the most amazing travel post about how you just sailed around the world solo, you may have accidentally stolen it.
5. Do not mix margaritas and your computer’s copy and paste features.
6. If you are writing about a fork in the road, you better be talking about flatware or you may be stealing someone else’s idea.
7. If your post is about how you can’t believe you won so many Grammys and you want to fank all of your fans and snarf some fish and chips, you may have accidentally lifted a few quotes from Adele’s website.
8. If you’re only 27 years old, but your post is about raising babies in the Great Depression, maybe you should do a few moments of soul searching.
9. If your blog usually reads like the work of a demented 3rd grader and then one day it suddenly sounds like you got a PhD overnight, there’s a chance you maybe copied the work of someone a hell of a lot smarter than you.
10. If you don’t remember writing the words on your screen and you don’t have either a smack habit or multiple personalities, then you are probably stealing.
11. If you’re 27 and you still don’t understand the old adage, “If it’s not yours… It’s NOT YOURS” then even The Mouthy Housewives can’t help you.
12. If you find yourself constantly using catch phrases like: “Have a Coke and a smile”, “Fair and Balanced”, and “Neglecting our families to give you advice since 2009″ then you are probably plagiarizing.
13. Unless it’s 1963 and you’re standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, we don’t think your “I Have A Dream” post was written by you.
14. Not sure if you’re plagiarizing? Keep this simple rhyme in mind! If your source is pissed, you’re a plagiarist!
15. When you’re proofreading your writing and you see something that seems familiar, be sure to find the missing citation before printing. Sometimes neighborhood fliers can help.
(Annoying husbands, on the other hand, do not help.)