What is plagiarism? I sometimes copy the same sentence structure as used by the experts while writing letters and answering questions. Not because I want to plagiarise, but I like the way the experts like Mr. Jeff, sir, Ms. Patty, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Tolley and Mr. Shawn coin their sentences. I use their sentence structures in all my write-ups. By doing this, I am able to write letters, short stories and so on without any grammatical errors. Secondly, I can confidently use sentence structures without thinking much about grammar rules. Do you think this is the right way of learning the language or do you want me to try out framing variety of sentences on my own? Mr. A.J. Hoge, a native speaker, in all his speeches, suggests to copy his style of speaking, sentence structures and intonation pattern.
I would like to here more comments on this from experts.
Plagiarize is neatly defined by my Chambers Dictionary as "to steal from the writings or ideas of another". There is certainly nothing wrong in copying sentence structure you see here or elsewhere: of course, the ideas they contain may be original and should not be copied, at least without accreditation. But the actual sentence structures do not belong to the writers. If they were good, they were written by following rules that have developed over centuries. Those of us interested in writing have developed our own style by reading and absorbing the styles of others.
Sanjay, it is to your credit that you have learnt to write so well with the help of native speakers who contribute to this board. In my own case, when I was long ago seriously interested in writing, I tried to model my style on that of Ernest Hemingway - he wrote with such beautiful simplicity and spellbinding clarity. I would recommend that you read any of his novels starting, perhaps, with his shortest, The Old Man and the Sea. No doubt other contributors will have their own style models.
|link||edited Jun 15 at 13:53 Michael Cranfield Expert|
Sanjay, plagarism is when you "steal" (or take credit for) the ideas of others. On the other hand, style -- the structure of sentences and the choice of words - belongs is the property of all and cannot be stolen.
Let's look at an academic dissertation. To earn a PhD, one is expected to contribute original research (and findings) to the corpus of knowledge. But all new knowledge is built on the shoulders of those who came before. It is therefore important to distinguish between what is new and original (your ideas) and what is existing and background knowledge. You do that by crediting those ideas that are not yours. If you don't, it is assumed that the idea is yours -- you've stolen it.
Plagarism is also when you copy word-for-word (or almost) the writing of another. But borrowing a phrase -- a certain word order or sentence structure -- in the context of your own thoughts is acceptable. For instance, I like to begin many sentences with an introductory phrase (like this sentence), but I do not own this structure.
Business writing often includes "standard" phrases and sentences -- "Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions." While these my be overused and cliche, it is not plagarism to use them.
You may wish to visit plagarism.org for more information.
|link||answered Jun 15 at 14:34 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
Though I'm no expert, I hope you find this helpful.
Sanjay, your elevated position on this board is a testament to your dedication to furthering your education with English. I think I can say with some certainty that no one on Grammarly would object to the use of our postings elsewhere. It is only when "borrowing" from others that you might have a problem. Usually a simple rewrite relieves you of any responsibility to "source" a document found on the internet, in a book, magazine or elsewhere. If you have any doubt, or are directly copying verbatim the words of someone else, a simple note at the end of your entry should suffice:
If you see this icon © it means the work is copyrighted and you must use the “source” in this case (the copyright symbol/icon can be made by holding down the alt key and simultaneously typing 0169): Source: © 1952 Ernest Hemingway “The Old Man and the Sea” (technically, if using a long passage you should seek permission, the source comment would then include) with permission: Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, NY
|link||answered Jun 15 at 14:35 Brother Dave Contributor|
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