1. LuRoo
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    LuRoo New Member

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    To not plagiarize instructional material

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by LuRoo, May 19, 2012.

    Im writing a book for home schooling parents and students. Ive created my own lesson plans. Ive included many of my own words of advise on parenting and how to accomplish school assignments and daily tasks in a loving way. The information in the book, has been accumulated from my many years of working with children, and as a parent who raised healthy daughters.

    My Problem Is: Even though I am including activities and information that has come from my own thinking and surplus of information I have accumulated over the years. Sometimes I am not sure were, I myself came across the information rolling around in my head. Or were did I get the information for a particular activity before using it on my own kids.

    I know, back when I first started having my own children and decided to home school them, I studied every book on parenting, homeschooling, and education I could get my hands on. I even lost many hours of sleep reading the hoards of information available on the Web. Along the way, I pulled pieces and tossed allot of the information. I also would rework the activities in order to accommodate the particular child I was working with. BUT, Still, I am sure that you could find some version of the activities I have accumulated, in other home schooling activity books already spread threw the market...And to note. It is because of the scattered pieces of information that parents have to search for in random places. The reason behind why I decided to construct a book on this very subject.

    The Problem is all this information is mixed together in my head. So; the Question is .... How do I know when Im committing plagiarism?
    Or
    ....Example... If I included in the science lesson. How to use a potato for an battery, and light up a small light bulb. Would that be considered plagiarism. Because this is a common science experiment in the 1st grade.
    Or
    ...would I list every book that I have ever read on the subject. because that would be extrem.
     
  2. thecoopertempleclause
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    thecoopertempleclause Contributing Member

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    I think you can rely on a common knowledge defence for a lot of things. You can say "It's generally a good idea not to go swimming in brick shoes," without needing to cite the first recording of density and flotation effects. Plagiarism is more apparent when you lift entire phrases, or structures from the work of other authors. Or basically rewrite an article in your own words, or present someone else's concept as your own.

    So in your example, if you're referring to psychological studies, cite them. If you're quoting other sources verbatim, cite them. If you're just using bits of knowledge you've gathered over the years, you most likely don't need to cite them.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ideas are not copyrightable. Unless you lift illustrations from some other written/filmed source, or paraphrase that source paragraph by paragraph, you should not be guilty of plagiarism.

    However, your best course of action is to consult with a literary attorney.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto cog's info/advice...
     

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