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Blog

5 lessons to learn from plagiarism at the Senate

Posted on August 19, 2012 at 10:25 AM

At the height of the plagiarism uproar at the Philippine Senate, the issue of intellectual property rights has once again come to the fore. As an educator, here are some lessons I’ve learned and taught to avoid plagiarism.


Lesson 1: Cite your source.

The most fundamental rule when using someone else's ideas in your own paper or speech – whether through a direct quote, a paraphrase or a summary – is to always cite the source. This includes not only academic research, but also both old and recent readings, which have eventually become part of your stock knowledge. At the end of the day, every writer should realize that she or he still owes these ideas to the source.

Applying this rule would have prevented the lifting of excerpts from the blog of Sarah Pope who said, "I don't like the fact that my blog was used without my permission against the education of the women of the Philippines and their reproductive rights. That is the issue and it was indeed plagiarism"

Lesson 2: There is such a thing as a "source in another source."

Sotto's use of Sarah Pope's blog entry would have been all right had he and his staff understood what is known in academic circles as citing a "source in another source." Sotto or his aides should have said something like, “According to Natasha Campbell-McBride who is quoted in Ms. Pope’s blog…” Pope has good reason to claim that the Senator and his staff used her paraphrase of Campbell-McBride’s ideas without acknowledging Pope’s authorship.

Pope said: "If his staff did it, he (Sotto) condoned it. He is responsible for your actions. My blog was quoted, not Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. I put her work in my own words and you copied my words."


This article was published via Rappler.com on August 18, 2012. To read the article in full, please visit Rappler by clicking here.

 

Categories: Writing, Education, Speaking

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