Plagued by Plagiarism
I was really surprised. Not that somebody would take something I’d written for Heartlight.org and repost it. Not even that they would repost it without crediting the source. But to see my article posted under someone else’s name on a church website was shocking to me. (Finding it again on another site was less of a shock; guess I’d gotten used to it).
I’ve heard the stories of preachers sitting in the audience and hearing their own sermons being preached. Or the stories of preachers using others’ stories as if they had actually happened to them. I even know of one preacher who was interviewing for a job and used a sermon by someone else… and the other sermon was on tape in the church library. Oops!
Don’t plagiarize. It’s as simple as that. Go overboard in quoting your sources. Nobody will think the less of you. Preachers, if you say, “I got a lot of these ideas from a sermon I heard,” no one will be upset (though you might not want to do it every week). If the story happened to somebody else, it still has power. Don’t lie. It didn’t happen to you. It happened to them. If you want to put somebody else’s article in your bulletin, go ahead. But credit the source. People will appreciate your bringing that information to their attention. Bloggers, people will value what you have to say even more when you point out where it came from. Teachers, writers, speakers, everyone! Don’t plagiarize.
Now somebody help me down from this soapbox.