Showing posts with label Writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writing. Show all posts

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Plagiarism – The Formidable Sin

Writercommits_Plagiarism_the_formidable_sin_Neha_AgrawalTo cite Wikipedia, Plagiarism is the "wrongful appropriation" and "stealing and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions" and representing them as your original work.

 What Constitutes Plagiarism?

However, plagiarism has many forms and facets. Let’s have a look –

  1. Copy pasting the entire text without bothering to change even one word



  • This is the most common form of plagiarism. Well, if you are lazy to write your own stuff, or can’t afford to rephrase the original text due to any circumstances, the least you can do is quote the author and give them credit in any of the following ways:

    • Incorporate it into your writing (“According to James, in his biography...”) 

    • Add footnotes or note towards the end

    • Next to your paragraph, add an in-text citation in parentheses

    • Add a Works Cited List

    • Add Bibliography





  1. Changing some random words in between



  • Do you really think that changing every fourth word in a sentence written by another writer, will make it your own work? Not really. If you really want to escape the tough route or can’t write afresh due to any reasons, why take the pain of changing random words?

    • Use the original text verbatim, and give them the credit.





  1. Changing the sentences (paraphrasing), but, keeping the essence of the original text intact



  • Yes, this is also a form of plagiarism, though a bit more involved than the former. Remember the Wikipedia definition - publishing someone’s thoughts, ideas, or expressions as your own is plagiarism! Most of the writers (including me, at times) are guilty of this form of plagiarism. This is unethical, as even though you have changed, paraphrased or rewritten the sentences into your words, but the core subject idea or the content structure is still not your own!

    • So, cite the author for his/her idea




Does Referring Always Means Plagiarizing?

 Referring any information or fact that constitutes common knowledge or practice is not plagiarism. For example -



    • Quoting historical facts in your article

    • Suggesting correct grammar

    • Using Idioms, Phrases

    • Incorporating Mathematical formulas, etc.




 Plagiarism is Not Cool. Period.

Plagiarism is not just a sin, it’s a crime. How would you feel if someone steals your prized possession, and flaunts it the very next day as his own? You don’t even have to reply to that, as I am sure you will be full of anguish and hatred!

Plagiarism or stealing someone’s intellectual property is a similar offence. If it is not your idea, and you are working around it without giving credit to the original writer, you are plagiarizing.

People take plagiarism in a lighter vein and don’t understand its gravity. I have heard some writers justifying copying by saying that everyone seeks inspiration, as not all thoughts are organic. Some say that imitation is the best form of flattery, so it’s kindda fine!

I have a suggestion for writers who want to take the easy route - If you really want to flatter people by imitating, don’t forget giving them a due credit towards the end!

Use safe text. Respect, and be respected.

Live and Love,

Neha Agrawal

 

 

Friday, 6 February 2015

Writing Lessons from Steve Jobs

writing lessons from Steve Jobs

I really admire Mr. Steve Jobs. He was a man with a vision, who had the courage to think out-of-the-box, fight against all odds, and work towards realizing his dreams no matter how hard or unrealistic they seemed in the beginning.

I was reading about a man with one of the most creative minds in the history, and his one of the sayings left me intrigued -

“Your model for business should be ‘The Beatles’. They balanced each other beautifully, and the output in totality was better than the sum of the parts individually. That’s how a business should be.” – Steve Jobs

It made me realize how cleverly he explained us something that marketing books have been screaming all this long – “Great things in business are never done by an individual; they are done by a team!”

But, what fascinated me was his choice of the words to explain something that we already knew. His marketing genius can be understood by the fact that he related a boring marketing concept to Beatles, what people love, and instantly got his readers/listeners hooked.

That’s the power of words.

It’s time you stop calling yourself a ‘writer’. As, all we writers are essentially marketers having the power to sell even the most boring or uninspired ideas/products to the world. The only thing you need to do is choose the right words to make a difference.

Single alphabet means nothing; it’s standing in isolation seeking a purpose in life.

An alphabet gains significance only when it meets other insignificant alphabets, and together they have the capability to create History. Remember the age old saying - United We Stand, Divided We Fall?

So, what are you waiting for? You have it in you to give birth to an idea that can change the future of brands, and in turn change your lives as well.

Happy Writing.

Neha Agrawal

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Winners Never Quit. Really?

[caption id="attachment_140" align="alignleft" width="192"]Winners never quit Winners Quit, but they QUIT the WRONG STUFF at the RIGHT TIME![/caption]

I was fumbling through the pages, when I came across a headline, “Winners Don’t Quit”.

I was into this hibernation, where I had not posted anything on my blog for a long time, and if anyone asked me the reason, I had an excuse ready – “My hectic schedules are keeping me totally occupied, leaving me with no time to sleep, forget writing, life is tough, you know!!” And, trust me I used to say it with such a conviction that most of the people would fall for it.

And somehow, I had started believing in my own statement! I guess people rightly say that if you repeat a lie 99 times, at 100th instance you somehow start believing in it yourself!

So, this headline made me ponder.

Am I a LOSER? Am I more than busy than the busiest of the people in the world? Or am I being plain lazy? After all, I love writing, and how long can it take to write a few lines?

That’s when I determined that no matter what, I have to follow my passion, and shine above the cloud of laziness encircling my life. I decided to quit my laziness and become a winner again…

This thought made me realize something else as well. It’s not that winners never quit, they are humans and can fall at times. But, they know how and when to bounce back again by quitting the very reason that led to their fall.

Quit the very reason, person, or situation that is pushing you back and making you quit your dreams. Always remember, that nothing in the word is worth your dreams!

WHO SAYS QUITTING IS EVIL OR BAD?

If someone says Winners Never Quit, they are LYING.

Winners Quit, but they QUIT the WRONG STUFF at the RIGHT TIME!

Love and live,

Neha Agrawal.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Writing lessons from the Indian Festival of Colors

 

Writercommits - Writing lessons from the Indian Festival of ColorsAs soon as we hear the word “festival”, our heart gets filled with joy and profound happiness, as festivals signify celebration and family time. Festivals give us the much-needed break from our monotonous hectic schedules and mundane tasks, and allow us to be with our near and dear ones, and do the things we love to do, or are rather longing to do.

There is a popular Indian festival of colors, called HOLI, which is celebrated every year around February or March with great fervor. It’s quite similar to the Spain’s “La Tomatina Festival”, with the difference that it’s played using organic / artificial colors in India, rather than tomatoes!

We can learn a lesson or two from everything in life, and Holi is one such festival that not only spreads happiness but can also help us become a better writer.

5 Things to Learn from Holi:

1. Embrace unity - Holi soaks everyone in the colors of life; be it children or adults, and unites people irrespective of their caste, creed or financial status. Write a content that is universal in appeal and unites people, rather than creating boundaries or anguish among communities (stay clear of cultural stereotypes while writing).

2. Use all possible colors – Imagine wearing one color all your life! Life becomes boring if it is monotonous, and so does writing. Add different colors to your writing by displaying different emotions in the written word. Be informative, add suspense, sprinkle a touch of humor, preach a little, and be silly sometimes.

3. Organic is the way to go – Artificial colors ruin your skin, and that’s what plagiarized content does to your reputation. Be organic in your thoughts, though you can seek inspiration for writing.

4. Be unpredictable – The charm of holi lies in its unpredictability. You never know when someone is going to splash color on your face, throw water or give you an impromptu hug. Similarly in writing, you started losing it the moment your readers start making predictions about your next topic. Surprise your readers, and offer them content they were not expecting out of you.

5. Have Fun – Last but not the least, have fun while writing just like you enjoy celebrating festivals. Don’t write just because you have to, but because you love doing it, and you will end up creating your best work!

Happy writing,

Neha Agrawal.