With respect to article writing, there seems to be some confusion about what is allowable and what “borders” on plagiarism and theft. So allow me to list the actual process that I personally go through.
I hope this does not bore experienced authors. My intention is to clarify the steps that one should take to write an ORIGINAL article, not copy and change somebody else's work.
When I write an article, here is what I DO, roughly:
- I see, hear or read something that inspires me. Often an idea will just come from that incredible place called “nowhere. ”
- I take my clipboard, pad and pencil (yes, I write in pencil because sometimes I will lay down and write upside down and you can’t do that with a pen) and I start to write.
- I write around a page and a half from my own “brain” - nowhere else. I just let it all flow out. I know that this will measure around 350 to 450 words.
- I then research any quotes that I may use to get them EXACTLY word for word and I place them between apostrophes and assign an ownership (ie author’s name). I also italicise them so that they stand out during the typing task.
- I type the entire article in Microsoft Word. I never personally use the spell check (bad “advice” here) because I personally do not trust it. I edit each article two to three times.
- I then copy and paste into my own websites or wherever else I want the article to appear.
- I check the “look” of the article in the preview panels to see that it looks OK (eg no missing html closing tags). This allows a “visual” of how others will see it. At this point I will separate into a few more paragraphs if there are too many big blocks of print as I believe strongly that big blocks are reading barriers.
- A final proof read to make sure it all makes sense and I hit “publish” or send.
- hunt around for another person’s well written article.
- copy anything to my hard-drive that is not my own intellectual property.
- mish-mash another person’s work and then call it my own (ugh - even the thought of doing that reviles me).
I read a LOT of books, magazines and newspapers. That is often where ideas will spring from. I also read and/or scan many articles online. If I believe that another person’s article is SO good I will:
(a) compliment them via email
(b) give them a star rating if the article site that I am visiting makes such an award.
I would do this, on average, maybe 1 in 30 articles.
THAT is what you should do if you are impressed - NOT steal it, re-hash it or do ANYTHING else with it. There is absolutely no honor in thieving anything. You don’t own it. Leave it alone. Let others enjoy it by allowing it to stay as it is.
Anyway, these are my thoughts.
I hope these steps and comments help others to see the DIFFERENCE between fresh, original work and “re-badging” somebody else’s hard work. Re-badging, re-arranging, altering, cloning, cloaking - all that stuff is morally, ethically and legally wrong.
If you follow the steps above there is no need to do any of those nefarious things. Besides, writing original articles will give you great satisfaction and a feeling of accomplishment.
Brought to you by: Gary Simpson's http://www.MotivationSelfEsteem.com/Zenspiration.html website where you can receive motivating "Zenspirational Thoughts" plus an immediate FREE copy of the highly acclaimed, life-changing e-book "The Power of Choice. " Here you will also be able to get your password for the "Wealthy Minds" Newsletter.
Gary Simpson is the author of nine books covering a diverse range of subjects such as motivation, self esteem, affirmations, self defense, wealth creation and much more. His many motivation and success articles appear all over the web.