By Vilan Trub, Business Wire
With the explosion of news media on digital platforms came a constant onslaught of content for audiences to consume. The journalists penning that content are forced to break stories quicker and more often to attract and maintain readers. With the modern 24-hour news cycle, and speed motivating much of today’s publications, the issue of plagiarism raises its nasty head with cases popping up on some of the most widely-read platforms.
Although there exist a few rotten apples in the bunch, intentionally lifting content that isn’t their own, many journalists caught in the plagiarism whirlwind are unaware they’ve even committing the act. With everything moving so fast, it’s important to slow down and remember the old rules for a new age.
Write what you learned, not what you read
A lot of content can be consumed when researching for an article. Sometimes the words you read might come out as your own simply because you don’t even remember that you read them, their origin got lost in the mix. This is why it’s important to learn what you read, instead of just filtering information. If you actively learn the material you come across, it makes it easier to translate that content into what it means to you personally.
Even if you’re not copying text word for word, you should still attribute the sources of your information. No one is born all-knowing and especially when researching for an article, you come across specific information from specific sources that were a mystery to you prior. Let your readers know the source of information that creates the meat on the bones of your piece.
If you’re quoting, use quotes
If you’re using someone else’s words, you’re quoting them. Whether the words were initially intended to be a quote or not is irrelevant. Remember to attribute quotes to their source and you’ll avoid any issues in the future.
Check your work
Even if you have all the right intentions, sometimes a few words that weren’t your own might slip through into your own work. You might even think they were your own, but in the end, it’s still plagiarism. To avoid breaking the cardinal rule of writing, always check your work. There are plenty of free options available including Dupli Checker. If you find instances of copied words, rewrite it. It’ll make you a better writer and offer your readers better, original content.
The world of copy offers a lot of content. Quality journalists learn from their sources and present their own articles, their own take on the happenings they’re covering. Use these lessons to avoid unintended instances of plagiarism, unwanted consequences, and offer your readers breaking news in your own words.