1. The Byzantine Bandit
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    The Byzantine Bandit Member

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    Do I need a citation?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by The Byzantine Bandit, Dec 16, 2013.

    Okay, so my Bible textbook this past semester pointed out that Hebrew poetry tends pastoral (Hill and Walton, A Survey of the Old Testament, 3rd ed). Now, having read a whole lot of Hebrew poetry this past semester, I think I'm capable of making that observation on my own, though I might not have if the text hadn't pointed it out at first.

    If I wanted to make the same general observation (probably using similar words; after all, how many different ways can you say that?), would I need a citation?

    What if I was only making the observation with regard to a specific poem, eg "Psalm 104 is a very pastoral work?"

    Thanks!
     
  2. PBrady
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    PBrady Active Member

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    Depends in what context you are writing.

    If this is for academic or some other authoritative work then you must acknowledge that the opinion that you are making is one that has been articulated by others. So you might state that "As Hill and Watson (2009) observed, there can be no denying that Psalm 104 is a very pastoral poem".

    Is there a need to re-articulate their observation?
    To merely rephrase some other persons intellectual effort is still plagiarism, as you are purloining another persons ideas and expression.
     
  3. The Byzantine Bandit
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    The Byzantine Bandit Member

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    Okay, thanks!

    What about in a non-authoritative context, like, say, a blog or something of that nature?

    And how common does something have to be for something to be common enough knowledge that a citation is unnecessary?
     
  4. PBrady
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    PBrady Active Member

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    For blogs the rules are pretty much what you want them to be.

    Depends on how you wish to be regarded by your readers. The degree of citation is usually more relaxed in blogs. They are not intended to appear as academic articles.

    As to how common something has to be? This very much depends on where you would place yourself in the discussion surrounding your subject.

    Are you interpreting to inform a less specialised audience?
    Are you to be a primary interpreter and analyst of the source materials?

    In the first case they would probably not be aware of this as being common knowledge.

    Do be aware that if you do plagiarise somebody else's ideas or analysis there is a good chance that somebody will spot it and leave an unfavourable comment.
     
  5. Cerebral
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    Cerebral Active Member

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    In your case, you'll only need a citation if you want to appear authoritative to your readers.
    But other than that, you have no legal (or moral) ramifications to worry about.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you can be sued for what you write in a blog just as easily as for what you write in a book...

    and when in doubt on any copyright/plagiarism issue, you should always consult a literary attorney, not members of a writing site who are not licensed to practice that specialty of the legal profession...
     

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