What is considered plagiarism?

by Laura
(Vanderhoof, BC)

Hello Audrey,

In this day and age of information, it is easy to take other's ideas as your own. What is considered plagiarizing these days? I have been out of school for a while now and I am no longer sure. For example, if you see a style or form you like, is it okay to adapt it and use it as a template for your own writing and subject matter? How much needs to be "re-ordered" even if the topic is different? Is it acceptable to cover the same points but in your own words and changing up the "point" word / phrasing? How much do I have to re-create the wheel by finding a new spin? I ask this, because if I review and study ads to try and develop a flexible "formula", some phrases may end up being the same such as:

Do you need ...
Get help before ...
What do you need ...
Answer these questions to see ...
Do you have this problem ...
I can help you ...
I provide only the best ...
I apply the following guiding principles ...
Here are # (adjective) rules for ...

I am new to SBI and just beginning my content pages. My topic is bookkeeping. I see so many sites where I like what they have said and how they have succinctly captured the exact problem or benefit even if I don't like the presentation. Then I can run across a site that is not on my topic but I like the writing style. I have no desire to plagiarize anyone's work but at the same time researching on the web gives a person so many more ideas on how a subject matter can be approached. Sometimes it is hard to get their ideas out of your head once you have seen / read them?

I would really appreciate any insight you could give me on this subject.

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