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Posts tagged ‘Copyscape’

Writer vs. Copyscape

Once again I’ve been informed by a client that Copyscape “identified plagiarized material” in an original article I wrote. Since every article I write is 100% original (and I find it difficult to imagine another writer coming up with exactly the same words I would use) I don’t worry much about Copyscape.

Unless, of course, I’m doing an assignment through Freelancer.com. I’m finding that a lot of times I end up working for a third world subcontractor who depends too much on Copyscape and not enough on common sense.

After checking the flagged text, I emailed the client and pointed out that the flagged material was: 1. a direct quote 2. from a recognized expert in the field 3. properly identified and attributed as a quote and 4. therefore NOT “plagiarism”. He emailed me back, saying, ok, he would leave it as is for his client to approve or not.

I’ve had Copyscape flag common phrases (such as “red, white and blue”) before and often it’s easier to rewrite the phrase, especially for a client who speaks English as a second language. To me, it reduces the quality of the article and makes it read awkwardly.

Copyscape and similar tools were designed to improve the quality of online content, just as search algorithms were designed to return relevant results.

. “Quality” may not always be formally “correct” in terms of following Established Rules of Grammar. (Sometimes a sentence fragment is more effective than a proper sentence, and I have been known to deliberately fragment a sentence for effect.)

We just need to remember that the ultimate audience for our content is human.

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Judy Cox is a freelance writer specializing in blog posts and articles on a wide variety of topics. Grab some freebies and read article samples at http://publisherpotpourri.worpress.com .