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Giving Recognition - A Way To Avoid Plagiarism

Updated on September 21, 2013
chanpipat @
chanpipat @

According to my favourite dictionary, wordweb, recognition is -

  • Acknowledgement, praise or respect for something, e.g. having a quality, producing something, doing something, etc.
  • The realization and identification of something as having been previously seen, heart, known, etc.
  • The acknowledgement of achievement.

A few statements I dare to make, whether they have been stressed before as the truth or not:

People are born with a need to be recognized. The moment we were born we were giving a name in order to be identified, recognised and acknowledged. If we are not recognized we feel ignored and disrespected, consequently the feeling of being worthless starts to grow in us. These feelings turn into an Inferiority Complex and other serious and less serious personality disorders that eventually determine our character and inner battles between our True-Self, Self-Image and Ego.

I believe that most of us grow up (and old) in dire need of recognition. Especially Christians find themselves in early adulthood in such a need of recognition that they go to extremes trying to get it, for they were indoctrinated with the concept that they are ‘nothing’, all praise belongs to God.

Personally, I have mastered too many skills at the cost of my well-being and happiness in order to be recognized and acknowledged for the person I was and still am. Looking back, I can even see myself in some situations being a fool obviously in search of recognition. Today I say ‘to hell with those who were for some reason not willing to fulfil my need’. With the same feeling of disdain for self-aggrandized people I say the same today, because I have learned the hard way the truth so well stressed by Abraham Lincoln and Marianne Williamson -

“Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.” - Abraham Lincoln.

“Maturity includes the recognition that no one is going to see anything in us that we don't see in ourselves. Stop waiting for a producer. Produce yourself.” - Marianne Williamson.

Witthaya Phonsawat @
Witthaya Phonsawat @

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is deliberate act of acquisition of thoughts, ideas or expressions without the permission of the owner. However, as I have said at the sherry-fountain in my foyer, in the world of writers there are but only a limited number of themes to write about. Whatever topic we try to cover today has been covered before in many different genres and styles. Frankly, to come forward with an original perspective on a topic seems to be totally impossible.

Article spinning is perhaps the most ‘popular’ form of plagiarism on the Internet. Of course, writers read the work of other writers, they agree or disagree with the content and being writers they responsively grab the ‘pen’ to present their personal point of view, which may be the same than those of zillions.

“Originality is undetected plagiarism.” - William Ralph Inge (at


Professional writers know the meaning of the following, already perfectly expressed and published by Goodreads -

“When a thing has been said and said well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it.” ― Anatole France

“People seldom improve when they have no model but themselves to copy after.” ― Oliver Goldsmith

“To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.” ― Stephen Wright

How do professional writers give recognition to the sources of their ideas and their plagiarised presentations?

Professional writers spend time and energy to provide the sources of their ideas, facts and especially of the scientifically results of research. Of course, they are not able to know about everything and all that were written about a specific topic. Only in terms of ‘recognition’ Google presented 67,600,000 results in only 0.21 seconds! So how on earth can any writer be sure that they are not committing plagiarism?

But is it not at least possible to acknowledge our own fellow-farmers in a content farm such as HubPages? Are we not all trying to plant our ideas and perceptions in the minds of others hoping that it will run to fruitful seed? Or are some of us so desperately in search of recognition that they are not able to give recognition to those who inspire and encourage them?

So easy to do!

At the top of our page, right next to the word ‘HubPages’ is a space meant for searching. Type the keyword of the topic you intend to write about and make sure that your idea has not already been covered. If it was, feel free to present your perspective, but don’t emphasize your poverty of original thoughts by not giving appropriate recognition to writers aka fellow-presenters of knowledge and wisdom.

And what about inviting your fellow-writers to send you the link to their perspective on the same topic? Adding these links to your hub as recommended reads will surely boost your reputation.

© Martie Coetser
© Martie Coetser | Source

© Martie Coetser

Recommended Hubs about Plagiarism -

(Feel free to send me your link as well.)

And this is a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED read: “How to shamelessly steal great ideas (and get away with it!)” -


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    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Angela, I believe giving appropriate credit to the work and ideas of others is all we have to do to stay out of the trap called plagiarism. There is so much truth in the saying, 'Copying one is plagiarism, copying many is research'. Whatever we say and write and think have been said/written/thought before. Thanks for your visit :)

    • Angela Kane profile image

      Angela Kane 

      7 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Very useful information. There has been a lot of plagiarism of people's work going around lately with writers not be credited for articles they wrote or phrases they created.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Mark, welcome in my corner. I am so glad you agree with me :)

    • Mark Johann profile image

      Mark Johann 

      7 years ago from New Zealand

      This is a precious hub worthy of a read. Many hubbers are not aware of this. There comes the Stephen Wright's quote which I really do on my hubs. :)

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      @ Pamela99 – We surely use the info provided by other writers – we call this research. I mean, knowledge, facts, doesn’t rain out of heaven on us. But there is a line we should not overstep. We know where that line is while ‘they’ have no clue. Copyscape? I must go check it out....

      @ epbooks – Thanks for your supportive comment. I think many people just don’t know how to give recognition and maybe they don’t even realize that they should give it. Like the words, “Thank you”, “Please”, ‘I am sorry”.... so many people have never learned how to use it :)))

      @ drbj – So true: We have a desperate need to be important, for at least one person on this planet. So strange, if that one person does not think we are important, all others who think we are can’t manage to make us believe that we are. Or it will take them quite a long time. We also have a need to sleep in a comfortable bed, but surely we, who are not thieves, will not go out and steal the neighbor’s bed. Oh, my gosh, and what about the women in need of love who steal other women’s husbands? Let me rather get out of this bus! Lol! Moral of the hub: Don’t steal! But if you HAVE TO use facts and ideas provided by others, say at least ‘Thank You!’ Maybe the keyword is ‘provide’. As writers we must realize that we provide facts, ideas, knowledge, wisdom, and-and; why write if we are not willing to give away what we know, and so wonderful, without losing it? But here I am back to good manners: Use the golden words: ‘Please”, and “Thank You!” As always, thank you so much for being such a pillar of strength in my corner :)

      BTW, LMAO! Seeing them 'drawn and quartered', framing my computer screen :)))))

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      I have always believed, Martie, that one of the most important needs of all humans is the need to feel important - it's way up there on the list of Maslow's (famous psychologist of the 50s) Hierarchy of Needs. Isn't it sad that so many writers (?) feel the need to plagiarize in order to feel important?

      With the use of the various search engines, it has become too easy for such folks to steal the works of others. They should be drawn and quartered - at the very least. :) Thanks for this intelligent dissertation on the subject, m'dear. Voted up!

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 

      7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Great hub, Martie! There are sure to be certain topics covered more than once but to steal someone else's work or ideas is uncalled for. Topics can be covered many different ways, introducing new ideas without stealing. Thanks for sharing!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Martie, This is an excellent topic and so true. I have stated running all my articles through copyscape, just to avoid plagerism. As much time as I spend reading I thinki it would be so easy to plagerize and not realize it. This is very well written. Voted up and shared!

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      7 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      You make some very good points here Martie. No there is nothing new in this world, its all been done before. Butr to write ones own experiences, thoughts often needs that extra information to boost an article or give inspiration. Taking ideas is fine but copying is stealing and it is so easy to insert a link to the original article or credit the writer.

      Funny but I never think to search HP but then I don't write many articles anyway.

      Excellent piece

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      @ Victoria Lynn – Thanks for you supporting comment. I am sure all of us know that awful feeling when we realize that we are the victim of a plagiarist: Righteous indignation :(

      @ marcoujor – You know me too well. If I could drive a bulldozer you would have seen many bodies lying flat on the path of my life. Fortunately I discovered a pen.... :))

      @ tillsontitan – I believe ‘preaching to the choir’ is the very reason why criminals will always wreak havoc on every level of society :)

      @ always exploring – lots of hugs to you. Let’s hope this hub change at least a handful of minds :)

      @ nighthag – I am in awe of this sea of knowledge. I hope to see in the future some feasible structures in place that will make plagiarism almost impossible.

      @ Mike Robbers – thanks for assuring me that I have managed to share GOOD points, i.e. giving recognition is the best way to avoid plagiarism.

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 

      7 years ago from London

      Excellent hub Martie! You do share some very good and basic points for any writer.

    • nighthag profile image

      K.A.E Grove 

      7 years ago from Australia

      I think this is one of this subjects which can be very confusing to. Any writers myself included. This was a thoughtful article that has some very good points. We all write to "heard" and recognised and with just a little bit of shared loved our opinions and knowledge can only add to the sea of knowledge that is the Internet

      A great read

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I agree with Mar. This is a revealing topic and expressed well by a very talented writer..Hugs..

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      7 years ago from New York

      So very well put my friend. Why work hard to be original when others can so easily steal your work? Sure everyone's talked about love at one time or another but have they really had the exact same feelings or the exact same experience? Different people, different perspectives so keep your mind out of other writer's works!

      Very well done and as always a piece that leads (or hopefully so) others to think. All of the comments here are from great hubbers, kind of like preaching to the choir but hopefully the word will spread!!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, shared and pinned.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      7 years ago from Jeffersonville PA


      You are fearless when you tackle a subject and you do it with thorough and utter completeness. In this case, the comments are most illuminating as well.

      And you, my dear, are one in a million. Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, mar

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      This is a very important point, Martie! Plagiarism is a huge deal. I still see a lot of writers using photos that aren't attributed to the source, either. Thanks for writing this. Well done.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      @ AliciaC - I hope you are doing regular checks on your hubs, as they are all highly informative and unique and therefore irresistible to the professional plagiarist.

      @btrbell - I so believe in recognition, as I know what it is like to be not recognized and also to be recognized. Recognition certainly build and/or strengthens our Self-Esteem, and why not love our fellow-man by recognizing their ability to do something positive like supplying needed information and perspective and inspiration or anything positive. Ignore those who don't do something worthy of acknowledgement.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 

      7 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Hey Martie, these are all good and valid points. I think if we all believe in giving credit where it's due, we can all help each other as writers! Thank you for this important hub!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is another excellent hub, Martie. Plagiarism is an important topic. It's sad that we have to watch out for others plagiarizing our work as well as make sure that we don't inadvertently copy from other people, but these are essential processes for writers today.

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      @ Midget38 – Thank you, Midget. I do find the search facility in HubPages very useful, just to make sure the topic was not recently properly covered. If it was, but not the way I plan to do it, I simply add the links to those hubs. I don’t ever want to be suspected of plagiarism in any way, or even of being a copy-cat. Thanks for hopping in for the read and for sharing in HH and HPCW :)

      Ps. – I once accidently used a copyrighted picture of a map. What an embarrassment! The owner sent me a request to remove it. I had no idea which picture he was referring to. Instead of answering my question, he reported me and my hub was summarily unpublished. I am still blushing with shame about this episode.

      @ Sunshine625 – Thanks for supporting me, you darling friend. That picture of the new County and Western singer in your family deserves a 1st prize somewhere :))

      @ The Frog Prince – Oh, let me just get back on my chair.... and wipe the surprise off my face. Lol! Good to see you for a change in my corner, Prince Frog :) We would certainly be nothing but zombies if we were not able to have (and express) our point of view on the ideas of others. But I promise you, when one of your writings inspires me to write an article or story, I will give you the credit you deserve.

      @ Genna East – So true: “I think sometimes we take this too far, while others don’t take this far enough.” I think integrity is the keyword here. WHO have it and WHO have it not? Now this, Integrity, goes straight to my list of ideas for an article. Halou-oe, who's going to steal my idea? Lol! Oh, Genna, I have found many of my work copied by ruthless and shameless bloggers – seeing this arrogance always infuriates me. Fortunately we can follow the procedures implemented by Google to get the scoundrel unpublished. Thank you so much for your support :)

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I have a very low level of tolerance with plagiarists. My work was stolen years ago, and I will never forget it. I’ve read a couple of articles on the Hub – How To’s – that seem to be regurgitated from other Net sources. As for me, when I write poetry or short story fiction, I am almost afraid to read anything else during this time so I don’t inadvertently use as little as two words that came from something I had read. I think sometimes we take this too far, while others don’t take this far enough. Very interesting hub, Martie. :-)

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 

      7 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Intellectual ideas are wide spread and all over the spectrum. It might actually be interesting to see what would be available if you couldn't spin off others. Putting a thought or idea into your own words using your own thought process I don't see as plagiarism.

      Excellent Hub Martie.

      The Frog

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      7 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Kudos to you SAA for spreading the word that plagiarism is unacceptable in our world of wonderful writers.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Too true. We make an effort to write, and so should be recognized for that, as we should other writers. The same must be said of photos, and as some of our fellow hubbers have said, music too. Well said, Martie!

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Ghaelach, copyright laws are surely in place to protect writers, and Google, as well as HubPages and most content farms on the Internet are actively against plagiarism. Unfortunately, most of the time we are dealing with 'discreet' plagiarists. How do you prove the theft or copying of an idea? Listening to others talking about a specific topic evidently encourages us to talk about the same topic, so where exactly is the line between ethical and unethical?

      A memory just came to mind - when we were kids we used to play the fool by imitating the teacher while the teacher was not looking. Just to pretend afterwards that we have done nothing that had caused the hysterical outburst of laughter in the class. If someone - a backstabber - spilled the beans, it was our word against theirs. Next time we would be more careful, playing the fool when the teacher AND the backstabber were looking the other way. So sometimes reporting a case of plagiarism will be a waste of time and energy.

      Thanks so much for your supporting comment :)

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Aauuww, hawaiinodysseus, thank you for your lovely comment. I honestly feel blessed, having online friends like you. I've just visited your hubs and realized once again that you are most certainly one of a very original kind. Talking about spunk - you ought to be the chairman of the club for people with spunk :)))

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Morning Martie.

      A very well put together article, and I think the responce in the comments shows this to be so. I read your own responce to a comment, you touched on the subject of music. It is said that there are no more new songs as the songs have already been sung along with the music, and anyone who wants to sing another persons song(s) in public must pay a price to do so. This is a way of getting around copyright. Could this law of the music industry not be implemented into the writers world to stop all this steeling of a writers work (Plagiarism).

      This type of rule may already apply I don't know, it's just my quick responce to your comment on music.

      Have a great Sunday.

      LOL Ghaelach

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      7 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Thanks, Martie! I do see your point. I love your spunk and your brilliant mind, and I am honored to have you as a resident friend here in the HP community. It's almost 2 AM over here, but I'm off to YouTube to do some eBay research, and then I'm hitting the sack. God bless you, and thanks again for taking time to acknowledge and respond to my comments. You're the best!


    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      @ hawaiianodysseus – I can clearly see your point of view. Originality lies in ourselves, our environment, our personal perceptions, our style of writing.

      Your writings are surely original if we use this as a criteria.

      But talk about love, heartache, human behavior, miracles, disaster, or any THEME you may think about, and ask yourself if it is new. What’s new is the buildings we live it, the things that make our lives more comfortable, language (new words, new ways of expressing our thoughts, new genres, such as flash fiction instead of comprehensive novels. And also knowledge and norms – like living together instead of getting married. Oh, and there are so many new norms - the way we discipline our children. Etc.

      So, considering themes – what was, is and will be.

      LOL at 'Grandma... please, take your hands off my throat!'..... Oh, what would we have been without our imagination? Must say, I have never heard of this before, so it was quite original. LOL! (I better go check this story; I am sure I have deleted that sentence during one of my editing sprees.)

      Thank you so much for your profound comment, hawaiianodysseus, and for making me laugh :)

      Enjoy your Sunday! Aloha! (How I love this greeting!)

    • MartieCoetser profile imageAUTHOR

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Good morning to All

      I need to share this with you all -

      In the world of music you get, what I call, True Musicians. They are able to compose new songs and they can syncopate like mad, often on various instruments, while some of them cannot even read or write music – they may need a PRO to write (notate) the songs that are produced by their brains and performed via their voice/lips/fingers/instruments.

      Then you get, what I call, the Music Technicians. They are masters of their instruments; they are able to present written music even more virtuous and passionate than the composers themselves.

      In the world of writing we get the same scenario: True Writers and Language Technicians. I regard myself as a True Writer. Others may inspire me, their ideas may impress me, but a passion inside me makes me grab my pen and write my own thing the way I feel like doing it.

      The Language Technicians produce articles, or whatever, according to a plan. They copy the ideas of others and then they present it in a specific form (mould), which they have also copied somewhere along the line. The fools among them would even copy an entire article and use it as it is. (I am doing this with music, when I entertain others with songs that were composed by the masters.)

      I don’t have a problem with the latter. I feel honoured when they use my ideas. But something in their doings irritates the living daylight out of me. I can find that something somewhere in my soul, but at present I don’t feel like spending more time on this issue. Wait until the next time… :)))

      I might as well publish this comment in B—ws…. ???

      @ bravewarrior – We are on the same page. As always.

      @ PegCole17 – I love to use that searching option. It is almost as good as Google, if not better. Especially when I need to know something about a specific topic. Great source of facts and perceptions. Try it!

      @ billybuc – You are certainly a True Writer, and on top of this you are a loyal and diligent supporter of writers – I really don’t know how you manage to support so many of us. Do you ever sleep, Billy? Your opinion always counts in my corner.

      @ MsDora – Of course, we may speak our minds and reveal our personal perceptions. But it is the way we do it that deserves either respect or contempt. If I decide today to repeat what you have said differently, you will see your name in my hub, because something inside me always makes me recognize and acknowledge those who have inspired me to put my thoughts on paper for the world to see. You know the saying: “Monkey see, monkey do.” Just shoot me if I ever behave like a monkey. Thanks so much for your loyal support, MsDora :)

      @ mckbirdbks – I saw those software yesterday during my research on plagiarism. My goodness! What kind of True Writer will waste their precious time and creative talent using that, I wonder. I would recommend another admirable hobby or profession for people who like to play with words: Learn more languages and become a translator. I, myself, would love to translate EWC into Afrikaans. Mmm, as if I will ever have the time for this kind of fun....

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      7 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Martie!

      I respectfully disagree with the premise that there are no original ideas, and believe me, I'm not saying that to represent a minority looking for recognition. I sincerely operate under the motivation that I write without the handicap of copying someone else. If I do use someone's material, it's in the form of a quotation and/or acknowledgment.

      That said, no one else has ever lived in my cerebrum but me. Are we not limiting ourselves by saying that there are no new ideas? How sad!

      Case in point, and one close to home, Martie, is the fresh and innovative idea of an elderly and definitely deceased woman choking her lovely granddaughter and dragging her into a formidable abyss. Here's the quote that the author devised: “ 'Grandma... please, take your hands off my throat!' I begged. "

      You were that author, Martie, and when I read your blog post, a short story entitled, "The Curse," I knew that I was reading the work of a very talented and, yes, original writer.

      Thanks for hearing me out. I'm just keeping it real.

      Aloha, and have a wonderful Sunday!


    • mckbirdbks profile image


      7 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      There has been so much written on every subject. There is very little in the way of new creative thinking. We all can only be as careful as we can about taking the bulk of another writer’s work and calling it our own. I have seen content spinning software that will take an article and re-write it using its built in dictionary. Some very funny interpretations have occurred with my EWC. Your message is clear and important.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      "Stop waiting for a producer. Produce yourself." Good advice! I think that you are producing yourself when you repeat what someone said differently than they said it. Just don't make it a habit to repeat the same person.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Excellent points Martie. Although there are no new ideas in writing, it is possible to stray over a fine line and become a plagiarizer....I have seen it done on HP for certain. :)

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      7 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      So true. "There's nothing new under the sun." I put it in quotes since it's not my original idea, but still rings true. I like your idea of searching before writing on any subject here. Seems like that feature isn't used often enough or perhaps it doesn't result in the right matches for material already covered in hubs. Not the same as someone stealing our written material and publishing it under their name. That gets really frustrating and happens from time to time. I guess the copy-cats will always do what they do.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      Great hub, Martie. It's true - there are no new ideas. We write to give our perspective or our experience, thoughts and ideals. We just need to make sure we don't use verbatim verbiage from a source or article without either quoting the person who wrote it or embedding a back-link in the text. Then there are those who just flat-out steal someone else's article and claim it as their own. I say to those who do so, find another field if you can't write!


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