Recent events have made me interested in the definitions of plagiarism.
The US academic community seems to have a clear sense of what it is. Here is the advice to students from one university, the University of Indiana, taken from their website, HERE. I thought this was very clear, and very helpful. Although it is obviously an academic context, this definition appears to be applicable to creative writing too. I post it because it mentions not just words, but ideas.
Plagiarism. What it is and how to avoid it.
What is Plagiarism and Why is it Important?
In college courses, we are continually engaged with other people’s ideas: we read them in texts, hear them in lecture, discuss them in class, and incorporate them into our own writing. As a result, it is very important that we give credit where it is due. Plagiarism is using others’ ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information.
How Can Students Avoid Plagiarism?
To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use
* another person’s idea, opinion, or theory;
* any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings—any pieces of information—that are not common knowledge;
* quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words; or
* paraphrase of another person’s spoken or written words.
In addition, a quick look at an online guide to avoiding plagiarism for creative writing students at Lancaster University, turns up this:
You are committing plagiarism if you copy without acknowledgement:
• an idea;
I highlight areas of interest to creative writers.
.Little burglar-person from HERE