Questions tagged [plagiarism]

Plagiarism is the use of the ideas and words of another passed off as one's own. Issues here include similarity of work, theme, and characters. Plagiarism is not always a crime, but in academia and industry it is seen as a serious ethical offence. Cases of plagiarism can also constitute copyright infringement.

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35
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9answers
12k views

Can I write a book of my D&D game?

I am a long time Dungeon Master of Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder. My games run in a custom world of my own making. However, I utilise a lot of the traditional lore and races of D&D. I'm ...
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8answers
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How do I know which elements I can use from the work which orginally inspired me?

I recently read the Blood on the Stars series by Jay Allan and really enjoyed the idea of a post-Golden Age human civilization that has splintered into factions and is now at war with itself. I ...
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6answers
2k views

Borrowing Characters

Would it be a violation of copyright and/or plagiarism to “borrow” a character from another novel? For example, I have a short story and want to include as a side character Ender (of Ender’s Game). I ...
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2answers
3k views

How can I know that I'm not plagiarizing?

New to the web. I just recently started to write again. I won a few highschool prizes writing short stories. Around the same time, I began to play Roleplaying games and to write different stories for ...
12
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3answers
500 views

How much is considered plagiarism?

I'm aware that some fictional work is loosely based on others, consciously or not. For instance, Lord of the Rings has some common elements with the Saga of Nibelung from the old Norse traditions. ...
11
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2answers
418 views

Can my work be stolen if I post excerpts and ideas on critique sites?

Participating in writing-related sites (for example on critique sites) sometimes involves describing a plot problem or sharing an excerpt from my work. I'm usually vague because of the fear that ...
10
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5answers
709 views

Would it be plagiarism if you use a changed scene?

If I read someone else's scene that describes a situation in my own work if adapted to fit my characters and plot, would it constitute plagiarism if I so use it?
9
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7answers
3k views

How does one avoid inevitable influences being obvious when writing something like superheroes?

So I have been debating writing a story idea I have had swimming in my head for a long time. I love superhero comics, and I love the more character driven aspects of the stories. I have been ...
9
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5answers
1k views

When does inspiration across artforms become plagiarism

eSpoilers for Green Book in the E.g. section I listen to a lot of music, and when I come up with stories, I often use songs as a source of inspiration. However, what I was wondering is are songs ...
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4answers
4k views

How to assemble recipes without plagiarism?

How does one collect and compile recipes for publication in an ethical way? Some cohorts want me to help build a website of culinary recipes, and their plan for content is to rely entirely (initially ...
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4answers
2k views

How do I determine if a paper has been plagiarized?

Is there a service which allows you to check if a paper/article was plagiarized? At this moment, I use Google to check if some papers are plagiarized or not, but I think that are other smarter ...
8
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3answers
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I'm afraid of [accidental] plagiarism

I've recently written a screenplay about an alien invasion. A friend immediately commented that he found similarities (some general ideas, plot devices) with Half-Life 2: Ep 2, which I haven't even ...
7
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1answer
68 views

How to use a quote with frequent changes

I am editing a manuscript in which the author frequently wants to change words within a fairly long quote (two sentences or more), and believes that if he does so he no longer needs to put the rest of ...
7
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1answer
458 views

What is the correct way to cite a paraphrase of another source?

I am trying to cite a paper that paraphrases a quote from another paper by the same authors. However, 1) it is unclear where the paraphrase starts, and 2) they have not yet published the second paper. ...
6
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3answers
260 views

Questioning Plagiarism Rules

Who we are, where we came from and how we came to be what we are This sentence was flagged as plagiarized by Grammarly. So I looked up the cite that Grammarly says I am plagiarizing, and the ...
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2answers
320 views

On copyright infringement and plagiarism

So, I'm writing a novella about this guy named Peter, who is an actor living in LA. In the fall, he comes back to his hometown, a small town in New Jersey, after a gap of three years. He has a large ...
5
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5answers
677 views

Unofficial Fan Fictions - How can I Secure Them?

For a long time now, I have been writing fan fictions based off of the storyline of a board game. I have posted these fan fictions on a website dedicated to the same board game. I am not the only ...
5
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4answers
344 views

If I unnofficially create a theory and use it in my story, will it have any validity that I'm the author of such theory?

I have some theories that I've contrived, some are philosophical, others are logical or physical, and some are just jokes about life told in a theory format. But I'd like to use some of these theories ...
5
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6answers
11k views

Is translating into another language plagiarism?

I'm currently writing my Masters thesis in English. If I take some (small) German text snippets from some papers (I'm German-speaking) and just translate them into English, would this be plagiarism? ...
5
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4answers
4k views

What is the best way to use your favorite authors as inspiration without plagiarism?

I am a big fan of certain authors' writing styles and stories and I am convinced that when I sit down to start writing my first book, I'm bound to copy an idea or theme from an author. How do I create ...
5
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3answers
2k views

When does satire (parody) become plagiarism?

Stephen Fry wrote a novel called The Stars’ Tennis Balls, and claimed that only afterwards did he realize he’d rewritten The Count of Monte Cristo. Fry’s novel is set in modern-day England; Dumas’s ...
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1answer
86 views

What's the best way to cite non-fiction in fiction?

I'm reading a (proposed) novel for a friend, and they've used large chunks (as in, full paragraphs verbatim) from online sources within their text, usually sourcing from encyclopedias. The way they've ...
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3answers
3k views

I'm scared that my story is plagiarizing another story

I am working on my debut story. In my freetime, I write another story that will be the start of a series. The series consists of Steampunk fairytale retellings. Lately, I have been worrying that it ...
5
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4answers
749 views

Is it plagiarism to adapt a known figure into a fictional charcter?

What if I decide to write a story with a character based off a historical figure but under a different name? For example: (1) I write a story with a hero named Tom, who is a political figure. (2) ...
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2answers
1k views

plagiarism vs. reference?

I just finished reading the annotated edition of Lolita, and Nabokov hid references to other works of literature everywhere. Lately I've also been considering ways to work in lyrics and other oblique ...
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5answers
399 views

I feel like I'm plagiarizing my story? [duplicate]

So my fears are kind of taking over my enjoyment of writing my book because I feel I'm doing something wrong. In my story I stole ideas from other stories. I took the idea of Bioshock's infinite ...
4
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8answers
564 views

Would employing the use of philosophical ideas in fiction without citing the sources be considered plagiarism?

I am working on a fictional book which would be similar to that of Winnie-the-Pooh in terms of its format and ability to be read, but I want there to be philosophical meaning to what goes on in the ...
4
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2answers
473 views

Is it required to cite the original author, when the original author is unknown and in a foreign language and adapted by an oral narrator?

Here's the scenario. Person A may read a story in a non-English language. As time passes, he still remembers the story and passes it onto his offspring. His children ask him about the author, but the ...
4
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1answer
209 views

How can I make the plagiarism detector “Ithenticate” identify “θ-continuous” as a single word?

I have a problem with the similarity index of one of my works since the plagiarism detector "Ithenticate" identifies θ-continuous as continuous. In my university, all that matters is the similarity ...
3
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6answers
58k views

What exactly is the “five (consecutive) word” plagiarism rule?

My understanding is that the toughest standard regarding plagiarism is the "five (consecutive) word" rule, which holds that, if there are five consecutive words identical to someone else's writing, ...
3
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3answers
370 views

How can I trust that the proofreader and designer of a book will not plagiarize our work?

My friend and I are writing a book in English in the Electrical Engineering field. At this stage, we need someone to proofread our texts and also to design the layout of the book, so we will need to ...
3
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3answers
228 views

If I write a scene almost exactly like in someone's photograph, would it be plagiarism?

I have a story which has a scene inspired by a photograph. When I saw that picture, I liked the fact that the person in it matches perfectly a character from my story, and I liked the idea of putting ...
3
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2answers
229 views

Can I use names of characters and groups that other authors/creators have used already?

After I began writing my series, I decided to type some of the names into Google. I found that the name of one my characters (Trent Steele) was used in an episode of The Simpsons. I also found that a ...
3
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5answers
268 views

How to secure my written work from being stolen or copied before publishing?

I'm a newbie in the field of writing. After writing a book, I need to visit a number of publishers. So, how do I secure my written work from being stolen or copied before it's published? Is there any ...
3
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4answers
2k views

How do we draw the line between plagiarism and allusion?

It’s no secret that in literature we see characters that remind us of other characters. Furthermore, it’s no secret we see plots that remind us of other plots. For example, an author reads Book A and ...
3
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3answers
3k views

What is the smallest amount of text that can be plagiarized?

Can the following be considered plagiarized? I am interested in finding out the limit of words one is allowed to use. Java is a programming platform that's used for developing computer applications. ....
3
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4answers
156 views

How do I keep from plagiarizing others?

I would like to start writing blog articles online as a guest writer. Most blogs have guidelines that have to be loosely followed; like what the niche should be, if it needs to be a list, and a bunch ...
3
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2answers
61 views

Copying Certain Information From A Official Website

Hey Guys I was researching on a assignment I have to submit to my university. When i was about to copy certain information i went under the "Terms of Use" seeing if i could copy the said information ...
3
votes
3answers
126 views

Are there any “quantitative” (computer) programs that measure plagiarism?

An example might be the following: "Romeo, wherefore art thou Romo?" from the classic Shakespeare play. Suppose I changed it slightly to "Roberto, why are you Roberto?" Is there a computer program ...
3
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1answer
175 views

Translation as the starting point of a new work of fiction

In the past, there has been famous cases of translations becoming works on their own. Many dramatic plots were copied from country to country (Elizabethan dramatists used to translate Spanish plays ...
3
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2answers
68 views

What are the copyright laws and permission requirements for a teacher using a student's work as an example?

If a teacher makes a writing assignment for students (some would be minors), can the teacher use those writings as examples in the future? The teacher would examine the writings and provide analysis ...
3
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1answer
184 views

Best practice for stories based on other writers' stories

I want to rewrite someone else's novel in a different way. Just to show the other side of his characters. My story will be based on these characters, but they will have more "realistic" sides. What ...
3
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1answer
82 views

MLA: How to cite academic summaries

When writing long academic summaries, like 2 or more pages long, how should we acknowledge the sources in MLA format? Should it be as in the example below? Original Buffy, a small, delicate-looking ...
3
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2answers
178 views

Questionable behavior by editor

Last year, I worked for an organization that published a weekly blog on its website. The blog was also published as a newspaper column and was included in a weekly e-newsletter. One day, the owner/...
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3answers
2k views

I noticed that several already-existing poems used the same highly specific puns and phrases that I used. Is this unintentional plagiarism on my part?

A bit of context: Exhibit A) I wrote a poem that had the line "crystalline crystal lines." I googled this phrase, just to see if it was out there, and I saw that it was. I had never read the poem ...
2
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2answers
188 views

I may have unintentionally copied a TV series

As some of you might know from my other question, I'm writing a middle-grade book (hopefully the first in a series). In the setting of the series, a very small percentage of the population are born ...
2
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5answers
5k views

Should I worry that my storyline is very similar to another? [duplicate]

I've written a story about anthropomorphic animals in a noirish setting solving murders. I came up with the concept and wrote the first draft about a year ago and am planning on releasing it soon. ...
2
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3answers
439 views

In literary fiction, when does allusion, pastiche or intertextuality cross over into plagiarism?

I want to write a novella that to some degree translates Conrad's Heart of Darkness to a modern urban setting, and I want the astute reader to be able to make multiple connections between the two ...
2
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1answer
112 views

Can a story be considered plagarism even though its in a different world

If there are two works with the same character name and family type can it be considered a plagiarized work even though the plot is different? One work is about two brothers raised by their father to ...
2
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2answers
147 views

Is it poor form to paraphrase well known authors in dialogue?

Sometimes a situation will suit a well known author's quote and I do like expressions. Someone joked that I had no shame in paraphrasing. Is this poor form and if so why?