One of the issues I saw as “Trending Now” was the issue of plagiarism. Simply, put, plagiarism is the use of someone else’s work without giving them credit, therefore making other people think we came up with the ideas and material on our own. Now, it is not impossible that you could think of something and quite possibly somebody has already said it the same way. That is possible, so I am careful about judging. I write a lot and many times when an idea or thought comes I write it down, and believe me, I have heard people saying the same thing and they did not get it from me. So, the issue of plagiarism can be touch and go. How do you prove that you own it? How do you prove it is not your intellectual property? You have to get copyright under your name. That’s one solution.
Anybody who is doing any serious writing (academics, journalists, authors) will have to do research. In school and college you are taught how to cite an article or how to give credit to the person who originated it. Depending on the field of study there are different styles (e.g. MLA, APA). I think people have to get comfortable with the idea that they don’t need to appear smart or appear to be a wordsmith, when they are not. All you have to do is quote your source. I once read a book and when I looked at the references I had to ask myself if this author had any thought of his own. But the fact is, no one could ever get him on plagiarism. My suggestion is to learn the rules of citation and use them. You don’t have to know everything and learn to give credit where credit is due.