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  1. #1
    Charles Aidan
    Guest

    Plagiarism vs. Fair Use

    Is the following plagiarism or fair use?

    Take a single sentence from another writer\'s work (let\'s say a newspaper article), rearrange some of the word, and insert it into the new 500 page work without citing the original source.

    Please explain your answer.

    Thank you.



  2. #2
    jayce
    Guest

    Re: Plagiarism vs. Fair Use

    Is this a quiz?

  3. #3
    Charles Aidan
    Guest

    Re: Plagiarism vs. Fair Use

    >> Is this a quiz?

    No, you don't get any grade for your answer, therefore it is simply a question.

  4. #4
    Gregory White
    Guest

    Re: Plagiarism vs. Fair Use

    I suppose it would depend on the sentence, if it was highly recognizable. Such as:

    "Honestly, my darling, I don't give a crap."

    vs.

    "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

    I'm sure the context would have a lot to do with it.

    ??

    Gregory

  5. #5
    Charles Aidan
    Guest

    Re: Plagiarism vs. Fair Use

    How about this example?:

    Original sentence: Such instances of love are often inspiring because, to many, they are so precious and so rare.

    Reworded sentence: These instances of love are remarkable because, in this day and age, they are so rare.

    The original sentence is found in an online news commentary on a specific news event. The latter sentence would be inserted into a 500+ page book in which the news event is mentioned on 3-4 pages of the book.

  6. #6
    nom de plume
    Guest

    Re: Plagiarism vs. Fair Use

    Gregory's example is a clear of example of plagiarism.

    In Charles' example I find the suggested rewrite missing the boat. Imho, the emphasis in the original is on "inspiring" which is left out in the rewrite. But heck, i haven't read the article. I think you could do better in capturing the author's thoughts. Since you use the news event in 3-4 page, can't you say thomething like "As pointed out by the author, blablabla"? In that case, make sure you really reflect the author's opinion.

    Nowadays, people don't withness such expressions of love often. When they do, they draw inspiration from them.

    or something

    Charles, your "in this day and age" is cliché.

  7. #7
    nom de plume
    Guest

    Re: Plagiarism vs. Fair Use

    Gregory's example is a clear case of plagiarism.

    Shrugs

  8. #8
    Busy Lizzy
    Guest

    Re: Plagiarism vs. Fair Use

    I don't believe that using just one single sentence comprises plagiarism, unless it's a really important sentence in your text and everything turns around it.

    In my opinion, plagiarism means copying long passages without citing the source and pretending that they are your own.

    If you imitate a sentence from a text most readers don't even know and nobody expects them to know, hell - that can't be plagiarism. And who is going to point a finger at you?

    If your example would be a case of plagiarism, you could even become a plagiarist by accident. Nobody would dare to write anything any more.

    Just my opinion.

    Busy Lizzy

  9. #9
    nom de plume
    Guest

    Re: Plagiarism vs. Fair Use

    Lizzy, i disagree completely with you. If the sentence is worth copying, it must have importance to someone. It certainly had to the author who originally wrote it.

    It's patronizing to think that "most readers don't even know a certain sentence." Just because YOU might not know a certain sentence doesn't mean that many others might not recognize it immediately.

    I'm sure sentences such as "Who knows?" and "I don't know" (to give two easy examples) are used in many books because they are generic.

    Here's a great example of plagiarism

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/02/books/02auth.html

    If someone's going to fix the link could you also say what to put between the < >? (i have forgotten)

    In the original, there's an ARGUMENT over animal rights and a character says,
    ""The mink like being made into coats.""

    In the plagiarized work, there's a DEBATE over animal rights and a character says,
    ""The foxes want to be made into scarves""

    The plagiarizing author pulled similar stunts forty times or so (borrowing from two authors) in her book that, fortunately, got pulled from the shelves.

  10. #10
    Charles Aidan
    Guest

    Re: Plagiarism vs. Fair Use

    >> The plagiarizing author pulled similar stunts forty
    >> times or so (borrowing from two authors) in her book
    >> that, fortunately, got pulled from the shelves.

    But what if the "plagiarizing author" pulled similar stunts forty times, borrowing from FORTY AUTHORS--one sentence only from each of the 40 authors, and rearranged the words from the 40 sentences in a 500+ page book, scattered amidst 99.9% of the "plagiarist's" own words. Is this plagiarism?

    I'm still waiting for an example of fair use when it comes to a single sentence from another author's writing.

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