Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Plagiarism I

In the past few weeks, I have received two documents to edit that have been plagiarized. In one case, the document had been written as a part of another project and the person who hired me did not realize that the health and nutrition worksheet was actually Dr. Oz's diet plan.

In this case, I began doing the edit, and thought it was very strange that this health worksheet was talking about the background of Dr. Oz's friend. However, anyone can hire me, so I thought I could be editing something for Dr. Oz's publicist. Then, as I continued reading, I came to a recipe that had no instructions. Now, most recipes are just rewrites from the internet or close enough to other recipes that I can figure out what to do. So, when the person who hired me said he would try to get in touch with the author for the directions, I just told him I would look it up. And when I did, I found the exact same recipe written using the same words. The author (who was foreign) had taken the one recipe and split it into two recipes which is why their were no directions - they were all at the bottom of the next recipe. The only major change she had done was to write "6 cups broccoli" as "broccoli 6 cups."

I decided to run a plagiarism check and found it to be 75% copied. That is when I discovered it was Dr. Oz's diet plan. When you inform your employer that he/she has plagiarized material, you never know how he/she is going to react. In this case, the employer was irate at the author and paid me to rewrite it for him.

The problem is that editing is (supposed to be) quick. Rewriting is not.

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