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Tips for Writing Dialogue

Skillfully written dialogue will grab readers and pull them right into a story. The trick is to make it sound realistic. There are many tips for writing dialogue but everyone will find that they have their own special spin to put on this. After all, everyone has his or her own style of voice when speaking, likewise when in writing. However, there are some basic tips for writing dialogue to keep in mind next time you’re writing a story.

One of the best tips for writing dialogue is to use it as a way of defining your characters. This builds a much more realistic image of your characters in the reader’s minds when they can actually “hear” how they speak. Some people are short and succinct in their speaking while others love to use eloquent and flowery words. Still others may speak with a heavy foreign accent or a very southern drawl. If you can convey this in your dialogue, naturally, then you’ll have the readers hooked. Some of the tips for writing dialogue are to make sure the dialogue is believable. The reader has to actually feel as if these characters could really be speaking. This has to be one of the most important tips for writing dialogue that you’ll need to remember. It needs to imitate what one would normally hear in the speech patterns that are all around us every day.

Think about how much quicker a book will pull you along when you are reading a dialogue between the characters. It creates action and speeds up the storyline. Some of the best tips for writing dialogue include thinking of how best to hook the reader. Use action words in their speech towards each other. Make it exciting so that the reader wants to keep reading. Readers don’t really want to hear the characters saying “Ok, I’m going to the grocery store now.” Dialogue needs to be exciting, action packed or perhaps even funny.

Show the reader what’s happening through dialogue rather than using boring narration. Have the characters talk about where they are going, what they are feeling, seeing or thinking through dialogue. This is one of the best tips for writing dialogue that you can keep in mind. By doing this you’re letting the reader form the pictures in their minds while being entertained. The readers enjoy figuring things out. By reading good dialogue, they can. This is much more entertaining for the reader than having everything described to them in narrative style.

Use dialogue to describe previous events instead of relying on flashbacks or other cliche writing tools. This shows the readers what happened in the past that led the character to this point in the story without getting into boring narrative detail. By doing so, this accomplishes two things; first is that the readers can hear about the past event the way the character sees it and second, one gets a feel of how the character feels about what’s happened in the past.

More good tips for writing dialogue would be being able to use dialogue in such a way to build tension in the plot. By using certain words and inflections, the tempo of the story line can be increased in a dramatic way.

Use these tips for writing dialogue to create a great story that flows and ebbs with emotion and action. The reader needs to be able to completely lose themselves in the dialogue between characters. If one can accomplish this then you’ve grasped the important tips for writing dialogue in such a way that you have what it takes to be a successful writer.

How to Write Compelling Dialogue

Skillfully used, dialogue can pull a reader into a book and mesmerize that person. It also provides easy reading and quickly moves the reader along as opposed to pages upon pages of descriptive wordings and phrases. Nobody has to learn about speech, it’s an integral part of our society. We engage in dialogue everyday whether it’s with another individual, over the phone, to our pets or even to ourselves. Dialogue is the most natural way society has of conveying information to one another. There is a trick however, to creating natural sounding dialogue in a book. When you listen to people talk, their sentences are fragmented, disjointed and typically peppered with slang, cuss words and fillers such as “uh, well, like, um…” Their facial and body expressions fill in the rest. It wouldn’t make much sense if you were to write dialogue exactly as you hear it. When writing dialogue, one must be able to convey conversation between characters in a natural, skillful way that doesn’t seem contrived.

An adroit writer will use dialogue to convey the history, personality or description of a character, to create a mood or setting. Instead of droning on and on in a paragraph describing the setting, how a person looks or the mood and risk putting your reader to sleep, use dialogue to convey that information.

Show the personality of your character by the way you have them speak. If you’re portraying a gangster then pepper their dialogue with slang and name calling. Convey the fact that they’re in a gang by making references to it in conversation. Portray a professional, perhaps a lawyer, by having him speak in a very eloquent manner using intellectual words. There would be no need to describe that he was a highly intelligent man who spoke well or even dressed well. Those can be shown through dialogue. You can even adopt a masculine or feminine way of speech to fit the gender of your character. What you want to do is create a picture of that character in the reader’s mind. Show the reader with your words and allow the reader to develop the picture in their minds.

Make references to the past in conversations. This gives the readers an insight into what drives the character in the story. Create pictures for them using dialogue. Make it so that the reader can read and say “Aha, so that’s where he got his murderous tendencies”, after reading a dialogue showing how his father beat him senseless as a boy.

Set the mood by using dialogue. Show the reader what a romantic night your characters are experiencing by having them reference the setting in their conversation. Instead of saying she got the matches out and lit the candles on the table. Use dialogue, such as “Hey babe, would you light the candles for me?” Using dialogue to show candles on a table is much more interesting than describing the action of getting the matches and lighting them.

Describe someone by having two characters talk about them rather than going into an actual play by play of a physical description. For instance, if a woman had spiky red hair, you could show two other people commenting on how she must have spent a fortune getting her hair cut and dyed. Plus the fact that now she’s going to have to spend extra time every morning gelling and shaping her hair into spikes. Properly used in dialogue the reader can get a sense of resentment from the two who are having the conversation about the woman.

Remember to read the dialogue out loud to yourself so you can get a sense of how it sounds to your ears. If it doesn’t flow or sound natural, then the reader isn’t going to identify with it. This is an extremely important part in creating compelling dialogue; getting the conversation to sound as if it could actually be taking place. If you find yourself hitting an awkward spot in the dialogue, then your readers most likely will too. Don’t get too carried away with dialects and slang. If it gets too complicated to read and follow, the reader most likely will put your book down. Another important thing to remember is not to get too carried away with the length of their responses. Most people speak in shorter spurts back and forth. The only time you’ll find someone going on and on would most likely be someone giving a speech or telling a story. Use dialogue to convey emotion. A simple one word response such as a curt “No” can indicate someone’s impatience with another.

Don’t insult a reader’s intelligence by telling him exactly how everything looked, felt or was. Readers have vivid imaginations and a big part of the lure of reading is to be able to figure out and visualize the spoken words into the bigger picture of the story.

How to Write an Expository Essay

Expository Essay WritingTo write an expository essay means to convey information in such a way that your reader can understand it. It’s an essay comprised of facts and nothing but the facts. Biographies and non-fiction can fall into expository writing. Journalism is another example of expository writing. In this kind of writing, you will most often find facts, statistics and examples to support the information that the author is writing about. Emotions and personal opinion is strictly left out. An expository essay is typically written in third person, meaning that you do not use “I” or “You”.

Before beginning your writing, extensive research and reading must be performed of your essay topic. You must have a clear understanding of the subject before you can attempt to explain it to your audience. Once you have reached a point where you feel that you completely understand the topic, then you may begin your writing.

Decide which method you plan on using to back up your essay. There are various ways. You can use process analysis, cause and effect, compare and contrast or you could decide to use definition, classification or example. This will require some thought on your part before you begin your writing as you will want to find the most effective way of showing the reader about your topic.

Be organized, know how you will present the essay by choosing the most effective way to divide and present the information.

Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to come up with a thesis statement. This should be a clear concise statement that leaves no question as to what the essay is about. After you decide on your thesis, now it’s time to write your paper. Be sure that every paragraph is tightly written with a distinct topic. Begin with a paragraph that performs as an introduction. Within this first section, you should be able to state the thesis along with the various supporting topics in such a way to gain the reader’s interest. Then within the following paragraphs, there should be a topic sentence to begin each one. Then every sentence within those paragraphs needs to reinforce that particular topic. Keep everything you say factual. An expository essay is basically reinforcing and supporting a topic with known analysis and statistics. It helps to make references to another’s work or paper that relates to the topic you are writing about to assist the reader in their understanding. Finally, the thesis statement needs to be tied to the topics stated in each paragraph. This is going to sum up the entire paper for the reader therefore no new material should ever be introduced in the concluding paragraph.

Revise your paper upon completion. The first draft will be basically a sum of your thoughts, analysis and reporting. A revision will enable you to determine if you are using the most effective words to convey the message to the reader. Since expository writing requires that every paragraph be tight and well-defined, performing revisions on this paper is a must to ensure that your thoughts have not wandered during the course of writing.

Expository writing is a practice used in all career fields
. You’ll most likely find yourself at some point having to put together a paper showing why something is, what makes it that way? You’ll find yourself in a position where you’ll need to show a complete report on a subject whether it be to a superior at work or to clients. Writing an expository essay means writing with confidence about something and being accurate with your facts. Knowing how to put together a professional looking report for someone will go a long way in gaining their trust in your abilities.

How to Write a Scholarship Essay

Scholarship Street SignOne of the most anxious moments of going through the application process for a college would be the scholarship essay part. Many people aren’t sure of how to write a scholarship essay. The whole idea of entering college is quite intimidating to the recent high school graduate. When determining how to write a scholarship essay, one needs to keep in mind that everyone else writing this essay is also just out of high school, and therefore, everyone else is intimidated by the process as well. College may be intimidating but you’re going into this along with everyone else that’s at the same level as you are. Once you have this firmly entrenched in your mind, you’ll have a much easier time determining how to write a scholarship essay.

Remember when you are sitting down and thinking of how to write a scholarship essay that many people have failed at this simply because they didn’t take it seriously enough. It’s that simple. These are individuals that may have been on the top of their schools with great grades and achievements but if they didn’t put their minds on the task at hand then they most likely aren’t even in the running against you. So, sit down and put your mind to the task and determine how to write a scholarship essay.

The first thing one needs to do before deciding how to write a scholarship essay is to analyze the essay question and understand the motivating factor behind the ones asking the question. Thoroughly understand the question and what they are asking for in the essay. Figure out if the question requires one to do research on a topic or if this is strictly based upon your own personal analysis on a feeling or subject. Then find out everything you can about the organization that is giving out the scholarships. Who are they and what are they all about, why are they giving out scholarships? Once you have this completely analyzed, you’re already halfway there in figuring out how to write a scholarship essay.

Now the next process to go through in determining how to write a scholarship essay is to set your goals for writing the essay. Use your knowledge of the organization that is awarding scholarships to set your goals. You want to present your essay in such a way that it portrays you in a positive light and make them realize that you are such an individual who would highly benefit from a scholarship.

Now it’s time to develop the basic theme of your essay. As soon as you begin thinking of how to write a scholarship essay, you may already have the theme in mind. For others, it may not be so clear. This is where the goals you’ve set and all the information you’ve been able to glean from the motivation behind the essay question comes into play. By taking all those factors and studying them, your theme for the essay should become clear.

The next step in how to write a scholarship essay would be to create an outline. Some may feel that this is a waste of time, as they prefer to write in a free flowing way. This may be true for some but in most cases an outline will help to tie the whole manuscript in a tightly controlled manner. You’ll be able to present your ideas in the proper order and cover all the important areas. By referring to this outline in the process of writing, you’ll find that you will stay much more organized and focused on the immediate point at that time.

Now, the last but most important step in understanding how to write a scholarship essay is to edit and rewrite. This is probably the step that will make or break your scholarship essay. For those who take the time to thoroughly read the essay from front to back and not be afraid to slash, edit and rewrite again and again, their work will be the ones that grab someone’s notice. The key, when you are wondering how to write a scholarship essay, is to spend as much time researching the organization behind the scholarship and the essay question itself as writing it.

College Essay Tips

Writing an essay is simple with these college essay tips. If you take your time and utilize the college essay tips, the possibilities are endless for creating that excellent essay that grabs everyone’s attention.

College essay tip #1- Come up with a focal point or a thesis. If you don’t do this then you run the risk of having a paper that strays from idea to idea without any direction. If this happens you will lose readers.

College Essay Tip #2 - Coming up with facts and examples to prove your thesis is another of those important college essay tips. Just like in writing a story, try to prove this thesis in form of a story. Don’t just state bold facts and examples; show the reader by telling a story that leads up to your focal point.

College Essay Tip #3 – Making your introduction the most important part of your essay. If the beginning of your essay moves slowly and hesitantly the possibility of losing your reader is strong. You need to spend time on the beginning and use every college essay tips you can think of to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to keep reading.

College Essay Tip #4 - Be as original as possible in your writing. The college professors have seen so many of the same topics over the years. You can make yours stand out simply by utilizing creative writing. Make it interesting so that the reader doesn’t want to put it down.

College Essay Tip #5 – Create pictures in your reader’s minds through your words. Try to write by appealing to the reader’s senses. By using imagery in words, you can capture anyone’s attention because you’ll be creating a movie in their heads. Remember, college professors have dedicated their lives to their subjects, and they are tremendously exited when their students display interest.

College Essay Tip #6 – Use concise words to prove your point as opposed to making huge long sentences with words that the readers have to look up for their meanings. Readers tend to remain with what they are reading all the way to the end when the words flow together easily. If they have to stop and re-read a sentence or try to figure out the meaning of a word too often, they’ll likely put your manuscript down at some point out of boredom.

College Essay Tip #7 – Proofread your essay before submission. Do not rely on your computer to proof your document for you because if you’ve misspelled a word in such a way that it reads like another word, the computer will recognize it as a word and not correct it. One example of this would be form and from. Both are legitimate words in the English dictionary but they have entirely different uses. Read your manuscript out loud to yourself or preferably someone else. This way, if you feel yourself getting to an awkward spot where it doesn’t flow, you’ll know that a change is needed.

By utilizing some of the basic college essay tips, you’ll be able to write a successful piece that will have readers reading for more. This is especially true when you can get a professor to read with interest considering they read essays all throughout their careers. College essay tips can be extremely useful knowledge that can carry a student through their college years and onto their business lives.

How to Create Setting in Fiction

At the mention of setting, the novice writer may think that it’s just a minor detail. Just mention where the story is taking place and the time and be done with it. Wrong. The setting can make or break a story. If you don’t keep the reader grounded as to where the characters are, the time of day and their surroundings, you’ll lose that reader before they’re finished with the first chapter. It’s not enough to have compelling characters acting out some fascinating story. The reader needs to know where, when and how in order to truly get involved in the story line.

The first thing in creating a story is to establish where it’s taking place. By that I don’t mean a statement that the characters are in Miami, Florida. That’s not going to hold a reader. You have to know Miami. Know its streets, the way it smells, sounds and how hot, cold or humid it is. Describe the buildings and the streets. Show how the foliage is there. Place the reader there and make them feel as if they know the place intimately. Show them how it feels to breathe in the heat and humidity. How it feels to dress for work in the morning and have your silk blouse immediately wilt and stick to your body from the humidity. How they deal with the traffic down there. Is it set in a seedy neighborhood or an affluent subdivision? Description of the location lends itself to the impression of the story. As soon as you mention a ghetto-like area, the reader automatically assumes something bad is going to happen. The more details you include, the more the reader is going to identify with your setting.

A timeline is important so that the reader understands when this is all taking place. You can’t just start the action and expect the reader to know what time of day or year it is unless you let them know. If it’s historical then you’ll need to show details of that period of time, which means research. It’s just as important to show current time. Don’t assume the reader knows, show them. Show the time of day also, nighttime suggests caution while daylight implies freedom. By using time as well as location, you can create a sense of where the story is going.

Remember not to allow your description of the setting to read like a brochure. You’re going to lose your reader when they’re forced to read where and when the story is taking place in a narrative paragraph. A skillful writer shows the setting by including it in the natural pace of the storytelling. He’ll describe location through his character’s thoughts. Include it in a dialogue between characters. Show it during action. Details about the setting should never be obvious. It should be interwoven into the story in such an inconspicuous way that the reader knows details of where, when and how without ever being conscious of being told so.

This may seem minor but when creating effective setting, you must know what you are talking about. As soon as the reader detects something incorrect or out of place, they’re going to put that book down. For example, showing Miami with a snowstorm in the winter will definitely jolt a reader to reality and force him to reconsider reading any more by a writer who obviously doesn’t know where Miami is located and the fact that snow just doesn’t happen there. Write about something you are familiar with or else be prepared to do research to get accurate facts into the story.

The setting is just as important as the creation of characters and dialogue. A good writer will devote just as much care and attention to setting as to the rest of the story.

How to Create Believable Characters in Short Stories

In the creation of a short story, one only has a very short window in which to convey the full range of a character. A short story is typically about five thousand words or less which is roughly about ten pages. Within those ten pages you need to be able show, not just the character but also the setting, plot, and the different scenarios leading up to the climax. How do you create a character in depth when you only have such a limited amount of words to do so with? By utilizing every single sentence you write to show things about the character.

Don’t spend valuable words describing a character when you can show the character through dialogue and actions. Let’s say your heroine has long black hair. Saying that she has long black hair would describe her, but in a wasteful way since that statement does nothing but tell the reader that she has long black hair. Instead, why not show her impatiently pulling on her hair as the strands stubbornly coiled around her glistening arms like sinuous black snakes. With this second description, you’re not only telling the reader that she has long black hair but you’re also telling them that she’s in a hurry and is impatient with how her hair is sticking to her arms. Her arms are wet, could be raining or perhaps it’s sweat. The fact that strands of her hair are able to coil around her arms tells the reader that it’s pretty long. Long enough to tangle around her arms. Using black snakes as a symbolism not only tells the reader that she has black hair but also sets the stage for something suspenseful to happen. In a short story there’s only so many words to set the stage for climax so they need to be carefully chosen in order to convey multiple meanings.

Make dialogue and attitude count for your character. Everything that’s said needs to show who and what the character is all about. Using a dialect can tell the reader where the character comes from. Create attitude for the character through how they talk. Use slang. If one is trying to show a nervous man, there’s no need to come straight out and say that he’s nervous and stammers a lot. Show it in his actions and the way he talks. Describe him looking down at his feet with hunched shoulders, trying to get a sentence out. Show him breaking up the words such as, “Sh…she, umm, she went over th…there, that way.” Have him push his glasses up on his nose with trembling fingers and tilt his head slightly to peer at the other person through his lens. These kinds of statements keep the story moving along while imparting a tremendous amount of information about this particular character. Immediately one starts to sympathize with this guy. The writer shows him either as a painfully nervous character or someone who is scared to death of something that’s happening or going to happen. It makes the reader want to keep going so they can find out exactly where the cause of his discomfort is coming from.

Your goal as a short story writer is to create characters that are believable to the reader without them ever knowing that you’re telling them. Make it so that they feel as if they’re figuring it all out and picturing them in their minds. By doing so, you’ll carry the reader right along to the end of the tale.

How to Create Believable Characters in Novels

Before you start writing your novel, develop the characters. Some of the more experienced writers may develop them as they go along but for the novice writer, it would be a good idea to thoroughly know your character before you start writing.

Set up a checklist showing all the possible questions you could answer about your character, beginning with the most obvious, which would be the physical description. Don’t give them a bland, cookie-cutter image. All of us have imperfections, oddities, and quirks that give each of us our own uniqueness. Do the same for your characters. Give them something to make them memorable in the reader’s mind. Someone could walk with a limp, has brown crooked teeth, a jagged scar running down the side of the face and the possibilities are endless. Another good way of building a physical description of your characters would be to actually observe people around you. Note any features that stand out. Take a few characteristics from different people and put them together to create your own unique person. Remember also, that the readers are living out a fantasy by reading stories, they want believable but yet larger than life type of individuals that they can identify with or hate with a passion.

The next thing could be their personality traits. How they react to people, situations and problems. You need to think carefully of how you want a particular character to be and make sure you apply all of the traditional behavior patterns towards everything they do and say. Keep it consistent throughout the story. The reader will notice if you have a character acting like a country hick at one point then speak as a professional at another. It won’t play well and you’ll lose the reader. Decide before you begin your novel how a particular character is going to be and stay with that throughout the book. The only time you may want to show a change in their behavior is if something happens in the book to change that person’s life.

Other things you’ll want in your checklist would be background, family, work, hobbies, mannerisms and the way they dress. These things wouldn’t necessarily have to be included in the book but they’ll give you a clear picture of whom you’re writing about and by that, you’ll be able to convey that image to the readers.

Make sure that the dialogue you use for a particular character fits. Sound it out and speak the dialogue. See if it sounds natural to the ear. If it doesn’t, then it needs to be revised to sound as if that person could actually be saying these things.

A skilled writer will find ways to weave all this information throughout the story in a natural way. He’ll show the character gradually through the plot of the story using action, dialogue and other characters to develop him. Some writers have a series of books based on the same hero and in each book, divulges an additional piece of information that makes one say, “Now I understand why he is the way he is.” The reader doesn’t want to be told in a narrative paragraph what the character looks like, sounds like and where they came from. This leaves no room for the reader’s imagination to come alive. Show the reader and make these characters come alive in their minds. Remember to always keep them exciting. Most of us live out ordinary lives of working, taking care of family, paying bills, etc. We don’t want to read about more of the same. Make the characters interesting and their lives full of adventure so that the reader can get lost in the story and you’ll be sure to keep him coming back for more.

Fiction Writing Tips

Writing fiction is an art that is learned over time. One learns to write stories by writing and reading all the fiction writing tips that they can find. A good writer tends to be very observant of their surroundings and reads everything they can get their hands on. And most of all, they carve out a designated time every single day to write.

Here is some fiction writing tips that any writer needs to know in order to produce a believable fiction that readers will enjoy reading.

Fiction Writing Tip #1: Plot and character development. A good story will have a series of events that connect and unfold in a chronological order. Keep it tightly controlled without allowing it to stray off course in order to keep the readers interested. They’ll keep reading to see how all the different points in the story connect at the end.

Fiction Writing Tip #2: Create memorable characters. The reader has to actually feel that the character could possibly be an actual person before they can identify with your story. Using dialogue, actions and thoughts to define the character for the readers. The reader should be able to create the image and idea of who your character is through their speech, mannerisms and thoughts rather than have every single detail spelled out for them.

Fiction Writing Tip #3: Without proper setting the reader is likely to get lost in the story. The writer needs to be able to weave the setting by using atmosphere, location and mood into the story line. This way the reader stays grounded by knowing where the story is taking place and what the general atmosphere is like.

Fiction Writing Tip #4: Make dialogue realistic and close to real life. However, this is one of the trickier fiction writing tip. If dialogue is made to mirror true life too much, it will make for a boring and tedious read. Use dialogue to describe characters, show personality and even to project events. Fiction writing tips show that interesting dialogue will grab a reader and carry them through the story. Don’t try to get too creative with dialect or slang especially with the main characters for this can slow down the story too much. It is good fiction writing tips to show the character by using varying forms of dialogue to show the character but too much of it can slow things down dramatically.

Fiction Writing Tip #5: Establish point of view. Decide how the story is going to be told; if it’s going to be in third person or first person, you need to make that decision before you ever set pen to paper. Certain stories have to stay on a certain track depending on how the point of view is determined. First person has to be told strictly from the first person point of view, which means it’s basically all about the main character. Third person allows for the actions of all the characters but limits the narrator from describing the inner thoughts or feelings about them.

Fiction Writing Tip #6: Craft your own writing style. It’s basically how the writer decides to tell the story. Short concise sentences that make strong statements are desirable. Avoid getting too wordy and fanatical about the English language. The smoother the story flows, the easier it will be for the reader to read along with it.

These fiction writing tips are good for any writer to know and utilize in their craft. By following these simple fiction writing tips, one can create a successful story that everyone will enjoy reading.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a growing problem in today’s world, thanks, no doubt, to the growing number of sources available to be plagiarized from. Now, we not only have books and magazines, television and movies, we also have the wide world of the internet. There is an unbelievable amount of stuff to be plagiarized, and many people are building entire websites, books and college theses entirely out of others thoughts. With that in mind, I thought I would answer some common questions about this:

  • How close is too close for plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the use of style or ideas that belong to others. Thus, if you take information from another source, even if it’s common knowledge, it is a very good idea to cite it. If you cannot remember or find the original source of information, then you should not use it in your work. The introduction of the term “language” into the definition makes for an even more complex idea. Quoting is acceptable as long as you include quotes, and paraphrasing is also acceptable, but taking any single section of two words together from a single source is probably not a good idea.

  • Is it still considered plagiarism if I purchase the work from someone else (such as hiring an article writer for your blog, or purchasing a college thesis from a writer)?

If the article comes with rights to you, then it is not plagiarism to use it. If it does not include rights, you absolutely cannot use it. More often than not, it will come with rights, but it is always best to ask exactly what you can and cannot do with it, since it may come back to haunt you. Also note that almost every college and high school will consider the same punishment for plagiarism as if they find you had your papers written for you, so make sure you know it back to front. Finally, it should stand to reason that you should always check the final document for plagiarism by looking through some of the sources that were chosen for the work.

  • What are the punishments for being caught as a plagiarizer?

If you’re plagiarizing in a college level course and caught, you will almost certainly fail the course, and you could be kicked out of the university all together. Degrees have also been revoked in cases of extreme plagiarism. If you are caught plagiarizing online, the punishment can include a lawsuit, but unfortunately, until now, only a small portion of the plagiarism is actually punished. Some cases are more complicated than others, particularly thanks to the development of RSS feeds, which by their nature, help to encourage people to reuse other content. Sometimes this is allowed by the authors, but most of the time it is not. To report online plagiarism, contact the ISP or Hosting company of the offender, and be prepared to offer significant amounts of proof that you are the original author.

  • Is plagiarism the same thing as copyright infringement?

No.  While they’re both bad, copyright infringement only overlaps plagiarism in rare circumstances where you plagiarize a copyrighted phrase.  The major difference between these two crimes (yes, crimes) is that plagiarism is where you take other’s content and claim that it’s your own.  Copyright infringement recognizes that it’s the work of others that you are attempting to use or profit from.

  • Is it still plagiarism if I don’t intend it to be?

Yes. Even if you don’t mean to, it’s still plagiarism. If someone finds your work to be too similar to their own, or a collection of others’ works, it can be considered plagiarism, and you can get in trouble for it. My best advice is to cite everything you possibly can, and to check your work with a sentence matching tool that compares your document to everything available online. While Copyscape is probably the #1 name on the internet, it’s a paid service, and I’ve always found Article Checker to be just as good, and perhaps a bit more flexible.