Monday, October 31, 2011

Something Borrowed-Gladwell

In his article "Something Borrowed" Gladwell addresses the topic of plagiarism by talking about the how and why aspects of plagiarism. Gladwell's examples of plagiarism and how it is used consist of a variety of songs and artist and a play-writer,  Bryony Lavery. Lavery wrote a play mainly about the life of Dorothy Lewis, a researcher of serial killers using exact moments of her life as well as copying quotes from Gladwell himself when he interviewed Lewis. Gladwell talks to Lavery and finds out that she truly thought it was not plagiarism because she thought it came from the news. Gladwell also explains how musical artist draw inspiration from other artists but tweak it just a bit, so it sounds similar but is now their own original music. He asks the question is this still plagiarism? Gladwell brings to light how people can interpret plagiarism in many different ways, and how it is hard, and almost impossible to draw the line of what is and isn't plagiarism. Every case of plagiarism is unique and different.

The article itself was slightly confusing but I'm pretty sure I understood the main point. The only thing is then, how are WE supposed to interpret plagiarism, and how do we know when to draw the line. Is paraphrasing a form of plagiarism? In high school I was taught to paraphrase in order to avoid plagiarism, but now I am not so sure if that is correct.

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