May 31, 2013 • Cee • Events


Today’s topic is about ethics! Juicy one! I’m gonna try to keep it relatively short.

Plagiarism + Credit!

Plagiarism sucks. I haven’t experienced plagiarism, but it is a big no-no, especially for me – a former English major who was taught that plagiarism will earn them an F on the paper and possible academic probation. It’s something I was always afraid of happening. Copying somebody’s written work is obviously not okay. If you’re copying somebody’s work word by word, there is something deeply wrong with you. Why would you even do that? What purpose does that serve? Just STOP. You should let your words speak for yourself. It’s your words we, as readers, are interested in. That type of plagiarism is obvious to spot. 

What about plagiarizing ideas? Now that is a bit difficult to identify. I think we all fear that we may have unintentional plagiarize an idea (maybe for a meme or a discussion post that uses the same arguments as another person). The important thing is being self-aware. If you find out that your idea sounds like a similar one (but you didn’t intentional plagiarize them), you can address it. Whenever I wrote essays, I constantly worried that I was writing about something somebody had already written a paper  on. Let’s be honest, you can’t have a truly original idea. You can put your own spin to it, but give credit when necessary. If you are inspired by an idea from a fellow blogger/writer/artist, credit them.

Always credit when you take ideas/pictures/gifs/quotes. It’s not difficult. I understand that you may sometimes forget to credit the person who made the gif or picture. (I know it slips my mind when I take gifs.) BUT it’s one of those situations where you learn from the mistake. I always make sure I credit every image I take. Just credit people. It’ll give you a peace of mind.

Be specific! 

When I read reviews, I like knowing where bloggers get your books from – bought, won, borrowed, whatever it is. I feel like knowing where they get it brings a level of honesty. I’ll know that they aren’t stealing the books for their own entertainment. If the book is an ARC, say so. As well as specifics, be honest. 

Be respectful!

Respect people’s opinions. In reviews, not everybody will enjoy or like a book you did. They have good reasons why they didn’t like it, and hopefully, they provided the reasons why. People having differing opinions can lead to a healthy discussion. When I read a review I disagree with, I do feel defensive about the book that I liked, but I don’t jump down the writer’s throat. You want to treat them the way you want to be treated. You wouldn’t want a person to suddenly attack your opinions just because they didn’t agree with them, right?

A blogger having a bad review isn’t horrible. To me, having a balance of good and bad reviews show that the person is trustworthy. They aren’t rating these books because they’re getting paid by said author or are trying to boost the author’s ratings. I can really rely on their opinions (even if I don’t agree with them).

Well, I did not keep my word that this was going to be short. Whoops?

What are your codes of ethics when it comes to blogging or writing reviews?

Check out my previous post in Armchair BEA:


4 Responses to “Armchair BEA | Day 4 – Ethics”

  1. Kimmy says:

    I agree with pretty much everything you said! When I participate in memes, I give credit and link back to its creator. If a book I review was given to me by an author or publisher, I say so. And I too like to see a blogger’s positive AND negative reviews, because it shows me that they’re not just giving out good reviews to every book that comes along. Like you say, it makes me feel that I can trust his/her reviews.

  2. Unintentional plagiarism is something I talk about today too. It’s something I’m scared of. I always try to think hard before I post something, because it’s so important to give credits if you got the inspiration somewhere else.


  3. Well crap. I just told Kathrin @ Stack’n’Painted (the post linked before yours) that I hadn’t really seen anyone else spell out the whole “be respectful” idea. Oh well. It was true when I said it. I personally don’t see how getting a book for free would influence my opinion of the book–if anything I’d feel worse for paying for a book I didn’t like than one I got for free–BUT I still have a “source” section on my reviews so that readers can know where I got the book–and thus whether I paid for it or not. Good post.

  4. Leanne Yang says:

    It’s definitely important to give credit to authors/publishers when writing up a review. I think with everything on the Internet now, it’s quite difficult to not plagiarize. Sometimes we may have the same ideas, or maybe we saw the idea somewhere and it just stuck in our heads. Needless to say, it’s just really treacherous ground to walk upon.

    Leanne @ Escaping With Books

Leave a Reply to Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know