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For those with more Christian tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Plagiarism.
It would seem I have caught wikipedia plagiarising...Again!

Hey! You non-academics that was my article!!

~ Wikipedia on Uncyclopedia

When you steal from one author it is called plagiarism, when you steal from many its called research!!

~ Jesus on Bush

Takes one to know one. Research, mumble-mumble...

~ Jesus on Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky

Plagiarism is like masturbation: ninety-nine percent of humanity has done it, and the other one percent lies about not having done it.

~ Oscar Wilde

Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty, the communication source| of another person's idea( s ), information, language or writing. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense.

Plagiarism is not necessarily the same as copyright infringement, which occurs when one violates copyright law.


Plagiarism, my greatest invention yet!

~ Oscar Wilde on Plagiarism

Plagiarism was invented first by Oscar Wilde. His books, music, movies, ect. are considered so incredible that no one can resist plagiarizing them.

Contrary to popular belief, plagiarism is not the "stealing" of ideas but rather the "borrowing" of ideas. Accidental plagiarism is usually the result of poor citation style or of poor crap color or a misunderstanding of plagiarism. Deliberate plagiarism is an attempt to claim another person's work as one's own.

An unacknowledged use of words, ideas, information, research, or findings not one's own, taken from any source is plagiarism.

According to Diana Hacker, the following are the citation criteria as specified by the MLA ( Modern Language Association ) ( 115 ), the APA ( American Psychological Association ) ( 157 - 158 ), Chicago-Style ( 186 ), and others ( 228 - 230 ). "Three acts are plagiarism: ( 1 ) failing to cite quotations and borrowed ideas, ( 2 ) failing to enclose borrowed language in quotation marks and ( 3 ) failing to put summaries and paraphrases in your own words." A Pocket Style Manual, 4th ed., 2004 Bedford/St. Martin's.

Self-plagiarism is the act of copying one's published or submitted writing ( or products or ideas ) without attribution of the source. For example, in academic assignments, the submission of the same paper ( or substantially similar papers ) in more than one course is considered self-plagiarism, as is the uncited use of one's published material.

Plagiarism is a serious academic offense which can result in punishment ranging from a failing grade on the particular assignment or the course, an academic suspension or expulsion. Being found guilty of plagiarism can ruin an academic career; it may result in revocation of one's degree or the loss of one's job and will result in the loss of academic credibility.

Although plagiarism is often loosely referred to as "theft" or "stealing," it has not been prosecuted, according to Stuart Green. Instead, acts that constitute plagiarism are in some instances treated as copyright infringement, unfair competition or a violation of the doctrine of moral rights. More often, charges of plagiarism are resolved through disciplinary proceedings.

Just as there can be plagiarism without lawbreaking, it is possible to violate copyright law without plagiarizing. For example, one could distribute the full text of a bestseller on the Internet while giving credit for it to the original author, financially damaging the author and publisher.

Frequency of plagiarism[edit]

There is no definitive research into the frequency of plagiarism. Any research that has taken place has focused on universities. There are no published statistics for the school or college sectors; awarding bodies do not maintain statistics on plagiarism.

Of the forms of cheating (including plagiarism, inventing data and cheating during an exam), students admit to plagiarism more than any other. 100% of all students admit to plagiarism. However, this figure increases considerably when students are asked about the frequency of "serious" plagiarism (such as copying most of an assignment or purchasing a complete paper from a website – 150% and 200%).

Personal note, I've totally ripped this article off Wikipedia.

Avoiding plagiarism[edit]

“When you steal from one author it is called plagiarism, when you steal from many its called research!!”

~ Oscar Wilde on avoiding plagiarism


~ Jesus

In academe, plagiarism is avoided by using a citation style, such as MLA style, The Chicago Manual of Style, or PA style. Generally speaking, facts that are common knowledge ( for example, the date that WWII ended ) need not be referenced, while facts that are not considered common knowledge in one's field must be cited. Similarly, a quote from any source, words or information, even if paraphrased, or any ideas not one's own must be cited. If you do not cite a borrowed source, then your English teacher will viciously rip out your entrails and feed them to some rabid hyenas.

For instance, while it is acceptable to copy several paragraphs of text from a book and place them in a paper, if the source of the text ( the author's name and title of the work ) is not identified, even if the text is well known ( for example, an excerpt from Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky ) this is plagiarism.

Similarly, it is considered plagiarism to take someone's idea and then present it as one's own work. However, it is not considered plagiarism when two ( or more ) people independently come up with the same thing. This is commonly termed simultaneous inspiration, and comes about as the result of people exposed to the same source and interpreting it similarly.

There is some difference of opinion over how much credit must be given in non-academic settings, such as when preparing a newspaper article or historical account. Generally, reference is made to original source material as much as possible, and writers avoid taking credit for others' work. The use of facts in non-academic settings, rather than works of creative expression, does not usually constitute plagiarism.

Personal note, I could NOT avoid plagiarising Wikipedia's article.

Remember that plagiarism results from borrowing material from someone who has stolen it from someone else who did not get caught stealing it and so is credited with having originated it him- or herself. To avoid being charged with plagiarism, which in academia is an “offense against decency” and, in the real world outside the ivory tower, is a joyous occasion for calling one’s lawyer and, hopefully, making a lot of money, one should either:

  • cite and document one’s sources ( a laborious process best done only as a last resort )
  • obtain permission to use the stolen material ( sometimes difficult to do, as the original thief may not want some pipsqueak like you delving into his or her past crimes )
  • say that the stuff you are stealing ( which, remember, has been stolen many, many times before ) is in the “public domain.”
  • become so well respected that no one will care whether you plagiarized or not: for example, the Wikipedia know-it-alls have decreed that “Shakespeare's appropriation of stories into his plays may be considered plagiarism, except that Shakespeare never claimed that the stories were his own, and his transformations of them were so great that they served as literary sources, not as copied materials.” If it worked for the bard, it can work for you.
  • use obscure sources that are difficult to locate.
  • make up the sources that you cite, attributing them to an imaginary or deceased person who did not achieve fame or notoriety in life.
  • ensure that your tone as a writer is humble, for, as Wikipedia claims, “accusations of plagiarism seem to be attracted by a perceived hubris on the part of their target.”
  • contend that the material is “common knowledge.”
  • claim that the original thief stole the material from you.

The phrases “public domain” and “common knowledge” are like incantations and must be repeated exactly. They can save your ass, but only if you use the exact phrases. Saying that the material you stole is in the “pubic domain” or in the “public dominion” or that it is “community property” will not help your case; in fact, such awkward approximations will mark you as an amateur and awaken attorney’s bloodlust.

Commercial plagiarism and anti-plagiarism services[edit]

A market has emerged for pre-written papers, often via websites offering essays and papers for sale to students. Some sites provide free documents because they receive monetary support from sponsors. Other websites offer essays. These websites provide a database of topics or custom-made essays on any topic ( for a fee ). Generally, such sites include a copyright statement or anti-plagiarism notice with their papers.

Similarly, a counter-industry has developed, with companies such as Turnitin offering services for schools and instructors to compare a student's papers to a database of sources and search for plagiarism.

Those idiots don't even follow their own advice... Anti-plagiarism service advice? Follow it yourselves, jackasses!

~ Captain Obvious on Wikipedia

Plagiarism and the Internet[edit]

The Internet has increased plagiarism. Students are able to use search engines to find information. This can be copied and pasted into students’ documents.

The Internet can also be used to combat plagiarism. Teachers use search engines for parts of suspicious essays. Using search engines to check papers for plagiarism, is impractical since teachers lack the time necessary to check each paper with an online search engine. Many teachers have turned to plagiarism prevention services like Turnitin that automate the search by comparing each paper against millions of online sources. The techniques used in such engines are often based on variants of the Rabin-Karp string search algorithm. Despite these counteractions, evidence suggests that the Internet increases the frequency of plagiarism.

Internet plagiarism is not limited to academic dishonesty. Perhaps the most visible example occurred in late 2005 and early 2006 when the web site, was accused of stealing and otherwise plagiarising various Macromedia Flash animations from such web sites as Something Awful, sister site and

This article has being plagiarised from Wikipedia

~ Captain Obvious on this article

Plagiarism and law[edit]

According to some academic ethics codes and criminal laws, a complaint of plagiarism may be initiated or proven by any person. The person originating the complaint need not be the owner of the plagiarized content, nor need there be communication from a content owner directing that an investigation or disciplinary be conducted.

There is a number of web sites that offer custom written papers that then indeed appear copy-pasted papers that are taken from the Internet.

However, due to their lawsuit, many editors refuse to recognize any difference between either simultaneous or accidental inspiration and plagiarism. In many academic settings intent does not even enter into consideration. Princeton dismisses intent as "irrelevant" and Doug Johnson says that intent is "not necessary for a work to be considered plagiaristic and as one respondent put it, 'ignorance of the law is no excuse.' Some universities will even revoke a degree if plagiarism comes to light.

Personal note, I think i'm going to get sued by that idiot Bimbo Wales.

Famous accusations and examples of plagiarism[edit]

Obvious note, there is a soon to be accusation ( probably ) by Wikipedia about this article.

  • A young Helen Keller was accused in 1892 for plagiarizing "The Frost King," a short story that strongly resembled Margaret T. Canby's story "The Frost Fairies." She was brought before a tribunal of the Perkins Institute for the Blind, where she was acquitted by a single vote. She "remained paranoid about plagiarism ever after."
  • The 1922 film Nosferatu was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. Stoker's widow sued the producers of Nosferatu, and had many of the film's copies destroyed ( although some remain ).
  • George Harrison was successfully sued in prolonged suit that began in 1971 for plagiarizing the Chiffons' "He's So Fine" for the melody of his own "My Sweet Lord." [1]
  • Eres tú, Spainish song at the Eurovision Song Contest 1973 was a plagiarism of a Slovenian (then Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) song from Eurovision Song Contest 1966 (Berta Ambrož: Brez Besed) but due to the Cold War it wasn't disqualified.
  • Atari's video game Pong was accused by Magnavox of being a copy of the Odyssey's tennis game. Nolan Bushnell saw Ralph Baer's version at a 1972 electronics show in Burlingame, California. Bushnell would then found Atari, with Pong as its featured game. "Baer and Magnavox filed suit against Bushnell and Atari in 1973 and finally reached an out-of-court settlement in 1976. It marked the end for Odyssey and the beginning of the Atari age." [2]
  • Alex Haley settled a lawsuit with Harold Courlander for a passage in Haley's novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family that imitated his novel The African. "Accusations that portions of 'Roots' ( Doubleday hard cover, Dell paperback ) were plagiarized or concocted plagued Mr. Haley from soon after the book's publication up until his death in February 1992. In 1978, Mr. Haley was sued for plagiarism by Harold Courlander, author of the novel 'The Africans,' and paid him $650,000 in an out-of-court settlement." Haley insisted that "the passages 'were in something somebody had given me, and I don't know who gave it to me . . . . Somehow or another, it ended up in the book."
  • Senator Joseph Biden
    • Biden was forced to withdraw from the U.S. presidential election, 1988 Democratic Presidential nominations when it was alleged that he had failed a 1965 introductory law school course on legal methodology due to plagiarism "Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., fighting to salvage his Presidential campaign . . . acknowledged 'a mistake' in his youth, when he plagiarized a law review article for a paper he wrote in his first year at law school. Mr. Biden insisted, however, that he had done nothing 'malevolent,' that he had simply misunderstood the need to cite sources carefully." Biden withdrew from the race September 23, 1987, and reported the law school incident to the Deleware Supreme Court. The court's Board of Professional Responsibility cleared him of any allegations.
    • Biden was also accused of plagiarizing portions of his speeches, and that he had copied several campaign speeches, notably those of British Labour leader Neil Kinnock and Senator Robert F. Kennedy. He denied those charges. "And he asserted that another controversy, concerning recent reports of his using material from others' speeches without attribution, was 'much ado about nothing.'"
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • According to a Boston University investigation into academic misconduct, King plagiarized portions of his doctoral thesis that summarizes the concepts of God expressed by Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman. "A committee of scholars at Boston University concluded yesterday that Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. plagiarized portions of his doctoral dissertation, completed there in the 1950s." Despite the plagiarism, the BU committee recommended that King's doctoral degree should not be revoked.
    • It has been charged that for his "I Have A Dream" speech King plagiarized the 1952 address of Archibald Carey to the Republican National Convention, the similarities being in the reference to the Samuel Francis Smith patriotic hymn "America" in the peroration followed by a listing of geographical locations from which the orator exhorts his audience to "let freedom ring." Many, however, believe that the comparisons are so slightly similar that they do not rise to the level of plagiarism. King's "I Have a Dream" Speech, Carey's Speech, My Country, 'Tis of Thee. [3]
  • James A. Mackay, a Scottish historian, was forced to withdraw all copies of his biography of Alexander Graham Bell from circulation in 1998 because he plagiarized the last major work on the subject, a 1973 work. Also accused of plagiarizing material on biographies of Mary Queen of Scots, Andrew Carnegie, and Sir William Wallace, he was forced to withdraw his next work, on John Paul Jones, in 1999 for an identical reason.
  • Psychology professor René Diekstra author of popular books, left Leiden University in 1997 after accusations of plagiarism. Proceedings continued as of 2003, with Diekstra contesting a report about him on this matter.
  • Historian Stephen Ambrose has been criticized for incorporating passages from the works of other authors into many of his books. He was first accused in 2002 by two writers for copying portions about World War II bomber pilots from Thomas Childers's The Wings of Morning in his book The Wild Blue. After admitting to the errors, the New York Times found further unattributed passages, and "Mr. Ambrose again acknowledged his errors and promised to correct them in later editions."
  • Jayson Blair, then a reporter for the New York Times, plagiarized many articles and faked quotes in stories, including the Jessica Lynch and Beltway sniper attacks cases. He and several editors from the Times resigned in June 2003.
  • Moorestown Township, New Jersey, high-school student Blair Hornstine had her admission to Harvard University revoked in July 2003 after she was found to have passed off speeches and writings by famous figures, including Bill Clinton, as hers in articles she wrote as a student journalist for a local newspaper.
  • In 2003, the United Kingdom Government was accused [4] of copying some text from an article in the Middle East Review of International Affairs for its security dossier on Iraq, dubbed the 'dodgy dossier'.
  • Long-time Baltimore Sun columnist Michael Olesker resigned on January 4, 2006, after being accused of plagiarizing other journalists' articles in his columns.
  • The doctoral thesis written by Kimberly Lanegran at the University of Florida was copied nearly verbatim by Marks Chabedi and submitted at The New School. When Lanegran discovered this, she launched an investigation into Chabedi and he was fired from a professorship at University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and The New School revoked his Ph.D.
  • Science fiction author Harlan Ellison sued and won in a case against James Cameron, claiming that his film The Terminator plagiarized the two episodes he wrote for the television show The Outer Limits: "Soldier" and "Demon with a Glass Hand".
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin ( 2002 scandal )
  • Writer and television commentator Monica Crowley was accused of plagiarism for a 1999 Slate Magazine article on Richard Nixon.
  • Ethnic Studies professor and activist Ward Churchill is currently being investigated on academic fraud and plagiarism allegations.
  • Volodymyr Lytvyn, speaker ( 2002 - present ) of the Ukraine parliament ( Verkhovna Rada ) in a 2001 article in a popular daily newspaper plagiarized (in fact, translated and attributed to himself) an article by Thomas Carothers "Civil Society" ( published in 1999 ).
  • Numerous passages of Robert Mason's 1983 Vietnam War memoir Chickenhawk were copied, almost word-for-word, by Charles Sasser and Ron Alexander in their 2001 book, Taking Fire.
  • Conservative blogger Ben Domenech, soon after he was hired to write a blog for the Washington Post in 2006, was found to have plagiarized a number of columns and articles he'd written for his college newspaper and National Review Online, lifting passages from a variety of sources ranging from well-known pundits to amateur film critics. After initially blaming any wrongdoing on past editors, Domenech eventually resigned and apologized.
  • Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, has been twice accused of plagiarism resulting in lawsuits, but both suits were ultimately dismissed.
    • Brown was accused of "appropriating the architecture" of the novel The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail ( 1982 ) by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh. A British judge dismissed the copyright infringement claim in April 2006.
    • Additionally, Brown was accused by novelist Lewis Perdue for plagiarizing his novels The Da Vinci Legacy ( 1983 ) and Daughter of God ( 2000 ). A U.S. judge dismissed the case in August 2005.
  • Kaavya Viswanathan, a Harvard University student and novelist, whose first novel was How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life ( 2006 ), is reported to contain plagiarized passages from at least five other novels. Her publisher, Little, Brown and Co. subsequently withdrew all editions of the book and rescinded her publishing deal.
  • William H. Swanson, CEO, of Raytheon, admitted to plagiarism in claiming authorship for his booklet, "Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management," after being exposed by The New York Times. On May 2, 2006, Raytheon withdrew distribution of the book.

Plagiarism, South Dakota[edit]

Plagiarism is also a small town in South Dakota with a population of 329. Plagiarism is known statewide for its annual tribute parade to Potsy, from Happy Days. Every third monday of August in Plagiarism over 200 people flock to the paved road to smoke pot and watch Uncle Bob drive the firetruck from the old abandoned mill to the court house while playing "Rock Around The Clock" over the bullhorn.

External links[edit]

Anti-plagiarism software (God Wikipedia, can't you follow your own recommendations?)[edit]