Let’s Be Clear: Don’t Steal Words

📝 This Week’s Goal: Don’t “adapt” other people’s workPhoto by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash; Edited by the author

The other day a prospective client approached me with an opportunity. They wanted an article writer to “adapt” content from other published blogs. “We provide the source material,” the client said. “You just adapt and submit for our blog.” I declined the offer.

Unfortunately for many writers, plagiarism is an all too common offense. The first time I discovered someone poached my words to repackage as their own, I was astounded someone would have the gall. I sent DCMA takedown emails to anyone and everyone — the individual, their web host, their domain provider. It was a lot.

Now when I see plagiarized content, I report the violation and hope for the best. Truth be told, it’s not an easy problem to solve. That’s why writers of all types need to cite sources, link to original ideas, and turn down any requests to “adapt” other people’s content. Sure, there will always be bad actors willing to ignore the rules, but we can all strive not to be one of them.

The latest update to The Writing Cooperative’s submission rules includes a requirement to cite all sources (rule 5d):

Every reference, claim, quote, or acknowledgment must be backed up with evidence and links to the original source. Submissions making claims without citing or linking to sources are rejected.

We’re strict with this requirement. At The Writing Cooperative, we want to strive for a standard where writers receive credit where credit is due. You can help us by linking, citing, and acknowledging all source material.

💬 What is your process for acknowledging the sources of your content?

👀 Read more from The Writing Cooperative on preventing plagiarism:

A Guide To Avoiding Accidental Plagiarism In Your Articles by Brittany Jezouit

Patchwriting is Plagiarism by Mwanikii

The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Copyright, Plagiarism, Libel, Taxation, and Contracts by Austin Hackney

Let’s Be Clear: Don’t Steal Words was originally published in The Writing Cooperative on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Read more: writingcooperative.com

  • May 12, 2021
  • NEWS