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How to Know Copied Content

Updated on January 31, 2011

Plagiarism and content theft are thriving all over the net and HubPages in no exception. Copied content is one of the most off-putting things to run across while browsing the net and encountering it in a fellow hubber's writing is most disappointing. Content theft is a good substitute for thinking, but it prevents a writer from improving his or her writing skill.

Thieves come in many shapes and sizes. And always where you'd least expect them.
Thieves come in many shapes and sizes. And always where you'd least expect them.

How to know copied content

There are a few things to keep in mind when you become a content thief.

  • Your hubber score will never go beyond 80:

    People who have an understanding of how hubber score works will know that you are most likely a content thief if your score is always in the 70s.

  • The theme or thread of your topic is broken:

    If you put your hub together by taking small snippets of text from various places on the net, it will most likely be inconsistent. This causes confusion in the reader.

  • Parts of your hub stand out and are hard to make sense of:

    If someone doesn't understand what they are reading, they may Google some parts of your text and immediately find the source page.

  • Some sentences sound particularly good:

    There is a reason why smart people are quoted. They say smart things. If you incorporate these things in your text without matching the style, they will stand out. People will simply not believe this insight comes from you.

Disadvantages of copied content

Stealing other people's property is generally frowned upon. It comes at a high price for the thief.

  1. Google will not rank your page and you will not get organic traffic. Making money off your hub is out of the question.
  2. You lose credibility with your reader. Worse than that, they will lose interest in you.
  3. Plagiarism is bad for your writing carrier.
  4. Producing original content requires thinking and reflection on your experiences. Copy-pasting does not require thinking, so you are deprived of the opportunity to improve your thinking and writing skills.
  5. When you get reported too often, you may get banned from what is widely known as your HubPages account.

How to avoid content copying

When you want to use something you read as source material for your hub

  • take notes (jot down the main points in the article)
  • make notes (record your own thoughts that come to you while reading)
  • abandon the source (you've got the info you needed)
  • reflect (think about what you've read)

    Do you agree? Do you disagree? Why?
    What would you add or take away? What would you correct?
    How does your life experience relate to this topic?
    What are alternatives or other examples of what you've read?
    How does the topic correlate to other areas of life?
    What is there to see in the grand scheme of things?
    What is the original authors main theme? What's yours?
    What do you want to achieve?
    So on. There are a myriad of way you can come at it.
  • Compose your piece

If you feel that experiencing research and writing has given you something, it was probably worth your while. Sure you write for an audience, but first and foremost you write for yourself.

How to prevent content theft

To find out more about the important issue of online plagiarism, read these extremely useful hubs:

How to deal with content thieves

Let me commit the heresy of saying content thieves are not necessarily bad people. They shouldn't be reported without having been warned beforehand. Content theft doesn't count among those major sins whereby people should be stoned or quartered or whatever. My suggestion is when you encounter someone who apparently commited plagiarism, you might want to talk to the individual and ask them to undo their mistake before you go about hitting the report button.

Comments

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    • ssiddique profile image

      Shahid Siddique 3 years ago from Kansas

      Just excellent writing, I loved it. Just for your information one of the link is not working (http://hubpages.com/hub/Online-Plagiarism-How-to-D... Rest every bit of this article is awesome.

    • Tams R profile image

      Tams R 5 years ago from Missouri

      Very informative. I don't know what's so difficult about writing your own words. Great hub!

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 6 years ago from Hungary

      Happy Easter, Thelma. :)

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 6 years ago from Germany

      Thank you very much Haunty. You´re a great help. Happy Easter.

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 6 years ago from Hungary

      Welcome to HP, Thelma. There are a couple ways to know if your hubs are copied. First, if the HP system detects that your hub has been copied it shows a "duplicate" warning next to your hub on the "my account" page.

      You can also use www.copyscape.com to check individual hubs, and if it doesn't work, you can try www.hubdefender.com

      HubDefender was created by a fellow hubber to help us find those who steal our content. You can use it free to check your hubs yourself or pay a small monthly fee to have the site do it for you regularly.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 6 years ago from Germany

      Hi Haunty! Great informative Hub. I´m new here in HP so I´m still learning a lot. How will I know if my Hubs are copied? Where can I look if my Hubs are copied and what shall I do to write Copywrite to my Hubs?

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 6 years ago from Hungary

      Dolores, I just wish there was a way for Google to find out about the originality of an article. If they knew which of the many copies is the original they could de-index the rest. Or maybe there should be stricter laws punishing the thieves. Then they would think twice before stealing your hubs.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi, Haunty - yes, one can copy off oneself, using the same phrases and all. I just found one (and not through HP's copied content thingy) that was such a total copy,the layout of the pictures was the same. I wrote to the site and in 2 hours, the copy cat was gone, not just her article (mine) but all her stuff.

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 6 years ago from Hungary

      hi khmohsin! I'm sure you know that it's possible to make other search engines like Copyscape, But I'm not an IT professional, so I can't help you with that.

      As to how hubpages checks copied content, I guess they either use a third-party service provider or they have their own algorithm.

    • profile image

      khmohsin 6 years ago

      Really nice and useful information. Thanks for sharing. I was searching through many sights that how to check the copied content and finally found few sites which check the copied content.

      I found copyscape.com the best, It not only gives me the copied content link also calculated the content copied density. But the thing is can we make engine like copyscape.com. is it possible or not.

      How do hubpages check our content what is it plagiarized or not... ?

    • mod2vint profile image

      mod2vint 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Very Good Insight, thanks for posting it.

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 7 years ago from Hungary

      You are welcome, Isabelle. Thank you for reading. :)

    • Isabelle22 profile image

      Isabelle22 7 years ago from Somewhere on the coastline

      Great advice Haunty. Thanks so much.

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 7 years ago from Hungary

      Thank you, Rebecca. :)

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      haunty-- exclelent points here, consider this rated up and Stumbled Upon ( if I may!)

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 7 years ago from Philippines

      There are times when I get enamored to an article I read that I write a related experience about it. I do justice by incorporating my ideas and writing my reference or source. I'm taking all advice I read from here. Thank you for the eye-openers.

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 7 years ago from Hungary

      Hi Anjali! People make sports of my many names, so don't worry about it. I know it was accidental. :)

      Some people may not feel the urge to write their own stuff, they just want to share. Those who seek to make money by stealing will get reported though. Instanter.

      Thanks for popping in. :)

    • anjalichugh profile image

      anjalichugh 7 years ago from New York

      Hi Haunty! First of, I want to apologize for misspelling your name in one my hub posts and I'm sure you know which one am I referring to. It was inadvertent.

      Copying content is definitely an issue on HP. Many hubbers have complained of it in recent past as well. I don't understand why people have to blog if they cannot write their own stuff. How can publishing a copied content satisfy someones creative instinct? What purpose does it serve finally...I don't get it.

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 7 years ago from Hungary

      Dolores, it's so true. I've learned that different people have different purposes for their writing. Some write stuff just for themselves to serve as guides in life, others compose articles with other people in mind to help them in whatever way. Either way, very nice ppl may end up copying content in a benevolent effort.

      Thank you for the good advice. I usually rewrite my stuff more than once so that I may end up with something either quite close to the original or very far from it, unconsciously.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I once stumbled onto a site that had posted one of my articles word for word. She gave me credit but posted no links. I started to get mad, but after reading her whole site found that she was such a nice person and offered all good stuff and kind advice, I just let it alone.

      Suggestion, when you take notes, write different words than what you see. Unless you wind up substituting the original words uncounsciously. Some really famous writers, especially history writers have had problems with plagerism.

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 7 years ago from Hungary

      Thanks samboiam.

      akirchner - That sounds about it. I wrote what I thought made sense. It's always easier for me to take notes and work from them than trying to rewrite or rehash other people's stuff. Quite honestly, I'm not even capable of it. Thanks for the comment. :)

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

      Good advice and kind of applying the ideas we all learned when writing a book report a million years ago...that is in fact what I do and then go back and re-read, re-edit to make sure I made any sense at all - if it is on a topic and I want to simply re-present it. I think people have forgotten though how to take notes!

    • samboiam profile image

      samboiam 7 years ago from Texas

      Haunty, good job. Very informative. Loved it.

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 7 years ago from Hungary

      Thank you, Justine. And you are always kind to me beyond my deserving. :)

    • profile image

      Justine76 7 years ago

      Good job Haunty, and I agree with Frog, you look nice. :)

      I like that you mention the harm done to the plagerist themselves, always thoughtful, you are.

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 7 years ago from Hungary

      Well, I suppose an itinerant Brit snapping a piece of crap camera might only add to the glory of the place. Anyway, I don't really care as long as I get to see the pictures. :D

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 7 years ago

      lol Haunty - I have it loaded. Now i need to upload the pictures. I felt kinda sneaky, ya know? I'm unsure as to whether itinerent Brits, wandering round with a piece of crap camera, are supposed to snap away.

      Anyway - I snapped hehe ;)

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 7 years ago from Hungary

      hey frog!!! :):):)

      Am I new? lol Thank you btw.

      I'm eagerly awaiting your report from the graveyard. I'll go check on http://lisbondrifter.blogspot.com right now. :)

    • gravitywebsources profile image

      gravitywebsources 7 years ago from Hyderabad

      thanks a lot haunty. Keep goin dude.

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 7 years ago from Hungary

      gravity - The best tool I know of is probably copyscape.com. But I'd recommend your reading shibashake's hub (the first link), which covers this topic quite thoroughly. I aslo didn't want to parrot anything found in her hub.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 7 years ago

      Well done haunty and well put together. A guide for anyone, even those new to web content writing should find this a straightforward and factual article.

      Off topic - like the new 'you' :)

      And now I have a cemetary I need to spend time in. Funny but I've been trying to get into it for a week. I tried explaining the odds of anyone being so determined to get into graveyard to the gravedigger.

      He missed my point ;)

    • gravitywebsources profile image

      gravitywebsources 7 years ago from Hyderabad

      i m very eager to know reg any stuff to find out the content theft? You didn't mention it in your article. But the article and the advice is really good.

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 7 years ago from Hungary

      gravity - sorry I must be abnormally slow on the uptake, but I don't understand this question.

    • gravitywebsources profile image

      gravitywebsources 7 years ago from Hyderabad

      i didn't get u haunty!

    • profile image

      TattoGuy 7 years ago

      Why thank you young man ; )

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 7 years ago from Hungary

      Thanks Art. :) I'm not surprised some folks are trying to spice up their stuff with a quip (or two) from you. :)

    • gravitywebsources profile image

      gravitywebsources 7 years ago from Hyderabad

      is there any unique stuff there to find out the theft content?

    • profile image

      TattoGuy 7 years ago

      Nice hub, I have caught my writing stolen a few times, nicely highlighted !