On the Issue of Plagiarism

Real Estate Agent with McGraw Realtors

Plagiarism is taking what someone else has written and using those thoughts without permission.  It can also be the taking of what someone else has written and representing that material as your own.

It's stealing.Stealing is Stealing

We've always had to deal with the issue of plagiarism here at Active Rain because it is so easy to do given the technology that is available to us.

But don't do it.

Please don't plagiarize.

I'm begging you.

And here's why:

1)You have a lot to say.  We want to hear your thoughts and your observations.  Your unique voice adds to this community and that's what makes it awesome!  It's how we get to know each other in the Rain.

2)Copying someone else's words and pretending they are your own is an ethics violation.  Will it cost you your license?  Probably not.  But it could cost you your reputation and your income if clients find out you are plagiarizing on the Internet.  Trust is huge in our business.  Don't break that trust by making the dumb mistake of plagiarizing others work.

3)Plagiarizing is not tolerated at Active Rain.  We, the community, watch out for each other on this issue because our profession is already damaged enough.  See #2.

4)Writing your own words will make you better at writing your own words.  Blogging is a craft.  And the more you write your unique blogs, the better you will become not only at writing, but also at talking with clients, interacting with others and defending your point of view.

If you've been guilty of plagiarizing others work, just go clean up your old blogs and then rewrite them in your words referencing the original work - i.e. - including links to that work.

We look forward to some amazing blogs from the AR community as we blog into the future of our ever changing industry!

Blog on!Blog Baby Blog!


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Bob Haywood
Bob Haywood
Owasso, Oklahoma REALTOR®

(918) 272-7272

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Comments (32)

Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK

Anna Banana Kruchten - AZ Top Banana of Real Estate! we had quite the discussion last night on our Ambassador page regarding this, which is why we're having the discussion today here!

Jul 28, 2015 07:43 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I have to say that cutting and pasting an article is NO accident.  We're taught not to steal when we're toddlers. That doesn't change just because we're stealing from the internet.  I did some "cutting and pasting" of my own today.  Actually from Inman, but I clearly linked to the article and only cut a few snippets to express my disagreement.

Jul 28, 2015 07:58 AM
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK

 Tammy Lankford my understanding is that what you did is NOT plagairism, but you might ask Randy Hilman, Associate Broker, GRI, CBR.  He seems to be knowledable on the subject.  

Jul 28, 2015 08:03 AM
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

We read the posts, we need to be vigilant about them.  If I see something that looks like it's been copied, I check it and report it.

Jul 28, 2015 08:16 AM
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK

 Margaret Goss, like I said in the blog, we have to look out for each other...and hold one another accountable!

Jul 28, 2015 09:02 AM
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Whenever I see plagiarized content, one of my first thoughts is 'what else does this author do that's illegal or unethical'? And if they can't see that it's wrong, that's another huge red flag. Good to see AR is on top of this.

Jul 28, 2015 09:04 AM
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK

 John Novak I agree completely.  Trust is huge in our industry.  We have to be so careful these days to watch everything we say and everything we write!

Jul 28, 2015 09:06 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Bob, you're right. If a would-be plagiarizer would just write, his/her writing would get better. 

Jul 28, 2015 10:20 AM
Thomas F. Scanlon
Borgida & Company P. C., CPA's - Manchester, CT

Bob Haywood - Well done. No 'borrowing' here. Well, yes, for ideas, not content. All content is home brewed.



Jul 28, 2015 10:40 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

People rationalize all sorts of stupid actions, from the "it was on the internet and therefore free" idiocy to "but I put her byline on it," which is also wrong to the "I thought I wrote it myself and forgot that I didn't" stupidity. I'd like to string 'em all up. And that goes double for swiping photos too.

Jul 28, 2015 11:46 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I think the most interesting blogs are the ones where people write themselves into the story.  Not only can you gain a little knowledge, but you obtain a little insight into who they are.

Jul 28, 2015 01:46 PM
Ernest Villafranca
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate - Oakland, CA
3923 Grand Ave. Oakland CA, 510-418-9443

Have you noticed that all cars are looking alike?

The news is all the same. All the talking heads look the same.

What's it called? The "me too" approach? 

Why does China have so many copycats?


Jul 28, 2015 02:28 PM
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

Okay so now I am curious what article was on Inman that everyone is so interested in.  Of course no copy paste to share and begin a conversation on that article. The way to start that conversation would have been to state your opinion on it and then link to the article. Discussion follows. No way is copy paste a good thing.

Jul 28, 2015 08:50 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Bob Haywood , Besides the legal and ethical stuff, I like points 1 & 4 the best.  Everyone DOES have a lot to say... and writing our own words will make us better at writing our own words.  

Jul 29, 2015 01:19 AM
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK

 Carol Williams points 1 and 4 are what the Active Rain community is all about!

Jul 29, 2015 01:33 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Bob Haywood Good points and reminder to be original when blogging.

Jul 29, 2015 02:01 AM
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK

 Michael Setunsky thank you for stopping by the blog.  And original content is what makes blogs so great!


Jul 29, 2015 02:03 AM
Kate McQueen
Realty Associates Texas - Cypress, TX
Tailored service for your real estate needs!

I agree with your points.  Plagiarism is self-defeating and can cost you in more ways than one.  I've never understood why someone would want to do that.  

However, I don't think that "using someone's thought" is plagiarism.  You can Google any topic and find multiple sources, it's not as if it's even POSSIBLE to have a topic that no one has ever thought of before.   It could be considered plagiarism if the "thoughts" expressed in the original post are unique and those unique perceptions are passed off as one's own (especially if done without permission, that is "stealing" someone's intellectual property).

I'm especially confused as to how being "too informative" is a flag to plagiarism.  Isn't that we are supposed to do in a post that's meant to inform? (Referring to your comment #12, not the post.)  If some of the material that's intended to inform is researched and used in the post, it should be cited either within the content or at the very least at the end of the post.




Jul 29, 2015 02:49 AM
Bob Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Owasso, OK

 Kate McQueen, REALTOR® try to go read this as if it were a blog and tell me it wouldn't wear you out.  It is too informative to be a blog.



Jul 29, 2015 02:59 AM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Just don't understand why anyone would intentionally plagiarize someones else material. Too easy to write you own.

Aug 06, 2015 07:09 AM