On a recent issue on plagiarism, PH senator Tito Sotto was caught flat footed by delivering a speech in the senate, which contained some verbatim works of Sarah Pope's blog on the adverse effects of pills. And to air Sotto's side, his legal counsel, Atty. Hector Villacorta explained the situation and asked for an apology.
|Sotto vs. Pope|
It was pointed out there not only MVP was involved in plagiarism issue, but there were many especially world renowned writers, authors, and poets.
On Sotto's dilemma, however, there were group of PH bloggers who reacted differently. Some of the them couldn't accept such disparaging statement of Sen. Sotto: "Bakit ko naman iko-quote ang blogger? Blogger lang iyon. Ang kino-quote ko si Natasha Campbell-McBride.” (Why should I quote a blogger? She’s just a blogger. I’m quoting Natasha Campbell-McBride.) (source: "Sotto: Why should I quote a blogger?", www.rappler.com)
PDI cited the definition by the Modern Language Association of the United States which states: "To use another’s ideas or expressions in your writings is to plagiarize. Plagiarism, then, constitutes intellectual theft. …[I]t is a moral and ethical offense rather than a legal one, since most instances of plagiarism fall outside the scope of copyright infringement."
The editorial suggested the following: (1) If you use someone else’s ideas, you should cite the source; (2) If the way you’re using the source is unclear, make it clear; and (3) If you received help from someone in writing the paper (or report or speech), acknowledge it. Even if one is paraphrasing, one is still using someone else’s ideas and arguments, and must cite the original work.
Following are some important excerpts from the blog of Isagani R. Cruz' Critic-at-Large, 30 September 2008, on plagiarism 101 which cited Michael Harvey's The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing (Hackett, 2003):
He enumerated the following instances where plagiarism is committed:
“1. Quoting material without attribution. The most obvious kind of plagiarism.
“2. Passing off another’s idea as your own, even if it’s been reworded. Changing an original’s wording doesn’t avoid plagiarism. The underlying idea of plagiarism is unacknowledged borrowing of ideas, not specific words.
“3. Imitating a passage’s structure or argument without attribution. Suppose a source presents an assertion and three supporting points. If you adopt that particular structure, including the particular examples or supporting points, you need to provide a citation to the original. This holds even if you substantially revise the wording.
“4. Concealing the extent to which you’ve borrowed from a text or other source. Citing a specific passage in a work doesn’t give you license to draw on the rest of the work without citation. This can be the nastiest kind of plagiarism because it’s so sneaky.”
How to avoid plagiarism
From the PowerPoint Presentation on plagiarism, following are Charles Lipson's suggestions to avoid plagiarism:
"When in doubt, give credit by citing the original source.
If you use an author’s exact words, enclose them in quotation marks and include a citation.
"Tip: When taking notes, enclose all quoted material in big “Q”s and write the page number down.
"If you paraphrase another author, use your own language. Don’t imitate the original. Be sure to include a citation.
"Tip: When paraphrasing, check your work against the original.
"Tip: write down the citation information for every source you take notes on.
"Depending on the source this may include title, author, publisher, volume and issue number, year, page number(s) or URL.
"You will save yourself time and aggravation if you do this when you take your notes."
Now the question is: To plagiarize or or not to plagiarize?