When you’re building a website, or doing basically anything which involves a bit of research, you will run into situations where you will want to use someone else’s information. This is usually alright if you follow the proper guidelines and avoid plagiarism.
There are 2 ways to cite information, and the 2 are quite similar in initial approach, but the end result is quite different. What I’m talking about is, paraphrasing and summarizing.
Paraphrasing and summarizing are extremely similar actions and involve many of the same steps. The key difference between the two is what their objectives are.
The main purpose of a summary is to take your source information and condense it into a much shorter form, focusing only on the main idea.
Paraphrasing, however, is not necessarily concerned with length. Rather, paraphrasing is focused primarily on restating the source material in detail, and in completely different wording.
Neither summary nor paraphrase allows a writer to copy material from another creator without attribution. That is when paraphrasing and summarizing turns into plagiarism.
Plagiarism and copyright issues are a couple of the most common ones online. With how easily accessible information and even pictures are, it’s quite easy to right click and copy whatever you want. But this is where a lot of people get into legal trouble, and its not necessarily their fault. The majority of internet users don’t properly understand copyright laws and will poach copy-written material and not even know they’re doing anything wrong.
When either paraphrasing or summarizing, it’s also essential to properly cite your source material. Citing can be done in numerous ways.
The most basic internet related way to cite would be by provided a link to the source article and the authors name(if possible).
There are numerous other ways one could have to cite source material. Some of them are;
- Paragraph/Line Number
- Page Number
- Direct Link
- Time stamp (if audio or video)
Not only do you have to be cautious when taking bits of text from other’s, you also have to be wary when selecting pictures to use. Just because a picture comes up on Google Images, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is alright for one to use. In fact, most pictures you will come across will be protected by copyright laws.
The easiest way to bypass this is by buying your pictures from one of the many stock photo companies like ShutterStock. Even there, make sure to read everything, because sometimes there may be usage restrictions which are not clearly stated, almost waiting for an unsuspecting victim.