I enjoy reading Denny Hatch’s Blog, a regular feature of Target Marketing Magazine, a respected trade magazine in the direct marketing industry. Denny is pointed, direct, insightful, and sometimes irreverent but most of the time he is “spot on.” Granted, he is somewhat of a curmudgeon, but curmudgeonly advice is sometimes the most profitable.
In his January 2015 article he decries the lack of persnickety fact checking found in all kinds of written work. He singles out Wikipedia as a frequent source of misguided information but is harder on the lazy writer who quotes Wikipedia and other sources without checking the facts.
Frequently, I remind my students of the importance of not plagiarizing. In a day when information can be sourced so easily on the Internet it is tempting to copy and paste an assignment.
However, there is a world of difference between sourcing information and creating content. Creating content involves sifting through information, discerning what is good, better, best, or not worthwhile at all, and then bringing it together in a coherent, convincing piece of prose. Copy and paste is a commodity (and moral hazard), but creativity is a specialized good. More value will always be found with intelligence and creativity.
If you would like to read Denny’s original article, you can find it HERE. He gives some great advice but is also a gifted wordsmith. Just remember, when reading a work with quotes or other source attribution, it pays to check it out. With the reader, like the consumer, caveat emptor is an apt warning.
It’s like Abraham Lincoln once said, “you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet.”
Greg L. Lowhorn