The Slippery Slope of Article Rewriting

William writes:

When is an article rewritten enough to make it your own?

Never! Next question.

But he goes on further to say:

When I write original copy, the information comes from several sources. But on some occasions I run across an article that is exactly what I had in mind for my own article. Even better! This is when I will rewrite the original copy by removing contractions, adding or changing power words, edit out passive voice, switch the order of paragraphs, break information down to a list of points, etc. But is that enough when it only changes every other sentence or so? Or maybe I am just to close to the original and the rewritten copy to be objective.

First, you’re asking the wrong question William.

It’s a slippery slope to begin an article with an objective to take someone elses works and rewrite it. It’s lazy. You can do better than this.

The solution is to write your article first by yourself WITHOUT any help from outside sources. After you’ve got 85-95% of the article written, ONLY THEN is it ok to do research to make sure your message and article is comprehensive enough.

Let’s look at the last rhetorical question you posed… Imagine if Pablo Picasso said to himself, let me take someone elses artwork and I’ll put it behind my canvas and trace it and then change the colors and brush stroke to make it my own. He would never have achieved the creative force that he’s been recognized for long after his death.

With your current article writing orientation you are shutting down your mind’s creative centers. It’s ok to model others, but never ok to take their article and rewrite it.

The solution?

Don’t even consider article rewriting. Demand more of yourself and produce the majority of your article content from your own expertise before you even consider researching what others have written so you won’t be tempted. You can do it and it is possible.

Another strategy is to use the visual template or format of someone else’s along with your content for the guts. Example: You’ve seen the 7 tip template before where you have an intro paragraph, 7 tips, and a single conclusion paragraph…and you’re done.

Bottom line = Article rewriting is the fastest way to ruin trust and destroy your own credibility so don’t even consider it. Take the option off the table and start writing articles from your own personal creative genius inside. You are creative and you can write your own articles without having to use other peoples works as the basis for your content.


greg cryns writes:

Great post, Chris.

It’s about time the PLR business was exposed for what it really is. High priced garbage.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 12:09 PM


Bryan Knight writes:

I agree entirely with your rebuttal, Chris, except for the Picasso analogy. When you look at his paintings what else could they be but re-workings of better painters? :-)

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 12:11 PM


Trish Lambert writes:

Right on, Christopher! I generate a lot of my revenues on online project boards like Elance. I see many writing projects where the buyer is asking for article rewrites–and I don’t walk, I RUN away from those projects! Rewriting someone else’s work is plagiarism plain and simple, no matter how many contractions get eliminated and words get substituted.

Interesting you use Picasso as an example. Last week’s CBS Sunday Morning had a segment about an art exhibition that is showing Picasso’s works side by side with other artists’ works who modeled themselves after him. A good example of your metaphor–these were not art forgers, but well-known and recognized artists. The full story is at


Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 12:13 PM


Jenni Prokopy writes:

I don’t typically offer comments on this forum, but I’m compelled to speak up on this issue. The question asked is alluding to a clear issue: plagiarism. Taking someone’s work and “rewriting” it is simply that – plagiarism – and it is immoral, if not in many cases, illegal (when it represents a violation of copyright). Anyone who doesn’t see that immediately has no business calling themselves a “writer.” For more on these issues, I urge all writers to visit attorney Mark Partridge’s valuable site:

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 12:15 PM


Bob writes:

Your article is bang on, well done.

The feeling of satisfaction that you get from writing your articles is just fantastic. When you bring a little extra to the party it makes all worth while. The other thing is that when it is your work you fully understand it and can enter into a debate on the subject feeling full of confidence.

So why not Do It Yourself?


Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 12:18 PM


Gary Kurz writes:

I couldnot agree more with this writer’s thoughts. Indeed, I might go a bit beyond what he has said by saying rewrite is not right write but wrong write.

I will be the first to admit that Solomon said “there is no new thing under the sun”. You can be sure that if you have a thought, someone else has already had it. Still, if one will take the author’s advice and articulate their thoughts first, then check for cooberation, it will be acceptable as “new”.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 12:25 PM


Gobala Krishnan writes:

How about re-writing PLR (Private Label Rights) articles that are sold for the purpose of being re-written? Are re-written articles of those sort accepted at EzineArticles?

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 12:25 PM


Mike writes:

Lazy? Unethical? Dishonest? ….for sure (and many other adjetives as well).

However, there is no better illustration of the Heisenberg Uncertainity Principle in action (the very act of measuring something changes the object being measured).

Google and the other SEs measure keywords, densities, and other on page SEO factors. This measurement, as well as its rewards, warps the very thing they are trying to measure.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 12:32 PM




Re-written articles are not wanted or knowingly accepted here at

Reason: The credibility of most (not all) PLR producers is in the garbage and many of them have created their PLR articles with stolen works.

How do you really know you are not rewriting stolen articles?

This is as slippery as it gets…

See Mike Valentines thoughts on this:

See this blog entry also, “Instant Article Rewriter Scams To Avoid

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 12:35 PM


Classic Camaro writes:

It is nice to see someone stand up for basic decency.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 12:39 PM


William writes:

Excellent answer! Intuitively, I felt something wasn’t right. I just couldn’t put my finger on it. Now I know why Mr. Do Right was pointing his finger at me. Trust and credibility is high on my list of how I want to run my business. Thanks for your help on this one Chris. Now as I continue to build content for my future websites, I will have a clear conscience. ‚¬“Credible and original content earns trust from visitors and delivers sales‚¬, is my new mantra.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 12:42 PM



Thank you, Chris!

I’m in the creative services business and I’m all too familiar with the attitude that copying is fine as long as you change a little something. It’s unethical, but it also indicates that the copier places zero value on the capabilities and efforts of the creator.

Your attitude and EzineArticles’ policy against PLR are part of what makes this a great article site, for writers and for publishers who want good, original work.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 12:51 PM


Andy Beard writes:

Hi Chris

Do you have a version of this available for syndication?

That being said it is a hard line but certainly your prerogative.

Based upon this line of thought, all of Wikipedia is completely irrelevant plagiarised work.

They have a specific criteria of no original research. Documents are compiled from various research sources, which in theory are cited (though with nofollow these days).

With article distribution, it is hard to have 10 citations at the end though you can normally have quotations.

I certainly don’t condone rewriting PLR articles for article distribution.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 12:52 PM


Marilyn writes:

I’m so glad you addressed this. Now I’m wondering… Was this question really asked of you? And is William his real name?

Why do I ask? Because a group of writers was discussing a William who has stolen articles from them. He’s not smart enough to realize that when a writing has some really creative word crafting, he couldn’t possibly have written them too.

If you have some really creative word phrases in your writing, you might try Googling them. And you might be surprised…

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 12:59 PM




Funny you should ask that question…

Another author slammed me privately for writing an article (today’s blog entry) by including someone elses content (the question William asked) and answering it as if that was rewriting the article.

That author and I will agree to disagree as I didn’t make this into an article for syndication on purpose.

The reason I won’t make this blog entry into a syndicatable article is because of the negative spin that the article starts out with…

Zen saying: Whatever you are FOR, strengthens you; whatever you are AGAINST, weakens you.

That said, because I’m speaking out AGAINST something, I don’t want to put that into article syndication.

When I write an article for syndication, I’d rather be advocating FOR something in a positive manner…such ask the value of writing AUTHENTIC content. In fact, that’ll be one of my next new articles I will put into syndication.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 1:06 PM




William is the real authors name, but his last name and email address have been withheld to protect his privacy.

I did notify him of this blog entry and I leave it up to him to comment. I see he has commented already, but whether he further uncloaks himself is up to him.

As a general FYI, I don’t make up questions to answer as it drives me nuts when I see that baiting trick in forums.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 1:10 PM


kate writes:

This is a great topic and one that should be covered more often. However, I would like to offer another problem along the same lines – rewriting my own articles.

Over the years I have written many articles, some went to press, some didn’t and they all reside merrily on my hard drive. Sometimes I come across these and think ‘darn that was a good topic’. I read it, put it away and churn out another one that is similar in content, hopefully more complete because over the years, I have become better and learnt, but essentially the same article. Which then begs the question – does my own work, reworked count as lazy? yes, but I don’t think it is legally wrong, unless I have signed a contract for more than ‘as published’. And there are only so many ways one can say ‘how to plant a tree’!!

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 1:18 PM


Ed Howes writes:

Clues for the clueless. If you want to write something of value, read much of value and some not. Then you know the difference. Then read high value content by another and write a review of it for your eyes only. What useful thing did the author exclude or miss, you could add in your own article on the subject. Read two more good articles on the same subject.

Review them both as the first. You can now write a better article in your own words than any one you read. If one has no time for reading, the well for writing will run dry. So tell me all you know in 500 words or less.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 1:21 PM


Andy Beard writes:


Not so funny ;)

Then again I had a discussion/argument not so long ago with an A list tech blogger, who thought and still does that he can legally reblog (with Google Reader) 10% of the contents of a blogs RSS feed, with full content.
I even registered the domain in that exchange just to prove a point.

That isn’t something I would consider especially here where you have a very clear copyright on the blog (but not in the feed)

In many ways EzineArticles is a better source of knowledge that Wikipedia, especially because of this stance.

Expert authors have the chance to edit their own content.

I know someone else is doing an “Expert Wiki” to rival Wikipedia, but it would be interesting to explore some kind of CMS where experts would be able to contribute their own material, but it couldn’t be edited by other authors, only moderators if it was inappropriate.

The difference to this site is that it would allow cross referencing to the work of others in a wiki manner.

I am not quite sure how the interface would work, but it might be fun trying to figure it out.

An alternative would be to introduce some tag cloud navigation here, based upon the keywords entered when submitting articles.
It would probably give your content a lot more relevance, and give your older content a little boost in the SERPs (did you read that recent article submission post I made?)

It would then be possible to pull in tag based excerpts to a blog for related articles, or provide automatic links similar to Technorati tags.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 1:35 PM




As I review the past 9 years of newsletters I’ve written for my Ezine-Tips audience, I can see many times when I’ve said the same thing, but never using the same complex sentence.

The challenges comes when you use the exact same sentences or exact same paragraphs. Simply changing the paragraphs around is not going to fool anyone…especially our software designed to identify this (now with 2 years of tuning under our belts).

It’s ok to give the same advice twice, but find a unique way to say it each time.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 1:37 PM


William Wells writes:

Sorry if I appear cloaked!? This is the first time I have ever asked a question at a site like this. Being a newbie, are there blogging edicts I should be following?

And no, I am not any other William online because I am not online yet. My future site plans include something on Self-sufficient Living, Elder Care, Internet Marketing and I own the domain

As for I am not sure how I will use the site. Some thoughts are: tips for Home/House churches, devotionals and Bible study, maybe biblical-historical theology since that is where my training lays. Now that would be a micro-audience nitch!

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 1:41 PM


William Wells writes:

P.S. I love that I hit upon a nerve here. this is some exciting blogging going on. Learning a lot too!

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 1:43 PM


Ray Randall writes:

Recently, I viewed a tutorial on article writing that suggests rewriting a sentence here, changing a paragraph there. This is not writing.

Original content is the ultimate goal of every writer. Taking someone else’s content or playing around with your own using software or any other method is lazy.

Writing reveals your personality and knowledge, and no one else is like you.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 1:52 PM


Joseph Ratliff writes:


You are spot on. Never rewrite other’s work.

It just is not worth it, as it destroy’s credibility. In this business day and age, any business owner or writer needs all the credibility we have.

Joseph Ratliff
Professional Copywriter
Author of The Profitable Business Edge

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 2:00 PM




Thank you for such a frank answer to this important issue! I am a write-for-hire article writer, and you have no idea how many times I’m asked if I can re-write an article to avoid copyright infringement.

I answer the same way every single time: I can gladly write you a NEW article based on the information you are wanting written about, but I can’t rewrite articles for you. Here’s my price for an article, let me know what you think…

Sometimes I also provide info about copyright laws, and tell them they’d look better if they used unique, original content anyway… sometimes I just don’t. Sometimes they take me up on it, other times, they don’t. But it is a huge pet peeve of mine that folks are doing this regurgitated article writing stuff.

I also really liked your response about advocating FOR something and not stating things AGAINST something…. GREAT attitude!

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 2:12 PM


Calvin Jones writes:

In general I agree with Chris — sitting down with somebody else’s article as a starting point and just reworking it to present as your own is bad news.

However, there’s nothing at all wrong with taking your inspiration from somebody else’s work, then exploring a different angle of the same topic yourself — or even writing a new article from scratch covering the same ground from your own perspective.

I struggle with this sentence though: “After you’ve got 85-95% of the article written, ONLY THEN is it ok to do research to make sure your message and article is comprehensive enough.”

I’ve been earning my living as a full time freelance writer since 2001 — and it’s rare that I sit down and write a comprehensive article that only draws on my own knowledge and experience (with the exception of my weekly column).

Generally you need input from outside sources if your article is going to be in any way authoritative. You need to be able to back up what you’re saying, and perhaps provide a balanced perspective. You often need to interview people and include facts and quotes from those interviews.

Most, if not all, of this research is best done before you start writing your article, so that when you come to craft the piece you have all the information you need at your fingertips. I can’t see how you can write 85%-95% of your article without referring to external sources unless it’s an opinion piece, a review or a very cursory overview of a topic you happen to know a lot about.

Any thoughts?



Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 2:13 PM


Trish Lambert writes:

You’re right Calvin…I had the same reaction when I read Christopher’s advice on this, but thought, well, to each his own. 4R Marketing has a thriving content practice, and I as well as my team members spend a good chunk of our time writing for our clients…I can’t think of one time that we’ve written before research.

Of course, for my blog, I write 100% from own head and NEVER check what anybody else says…heehee!!!!!

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 2:19 PM


Marilyn writes:

Researching is normal. Fact-finding is normal, and having works in front of you that you can quote – for statistics or years – is not bad. What is bad is having articles in front of you that you can read and re-read where the writers did their own research to discover those facts and figures. Or where you’re trying to take an existing article and making it your own, rather than writing original words.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 2:28 PM




This is a subject very close to my heart as I know it will be to any author/contributor, who places a value on their work.

Sadly, it is rare for a week to pass when a colleague/acquaintance/employee/ex-student doesn’t alert me to the fact that my work has been plagiarised. It is rife on the web and although I have taken all reasonable steps to protect all of my IP – which is extensive – there is only so much one can do.

The reality is that when it comes to article creation, originality is at a premium. Whilst I can audibly groan when I read that some people actually take a piece of work and try to re-work it in their own hand – the fact is, I suspect, particularly in my field, it has all been said before. What I try to deliver, is a new slant, my interpretation based on my own experiences and using my own vocabulary.

It has to be a matter of conscience – I don’t believe that is naive but realistic. I did not create the first sales team development programme but I believe I developed one of the very best – equally, you did not create the first article directory/community but you have created the most successful. Where does originality begin and where does it end?


Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 3:45 PM


Steve Hill writes:

Forget PLR articles. Your own articles, knowledge and expertise is what people want to read.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 4:07 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Wow reading all that was quite fun and indeed, let me tell you how the author being ripped off feels. My articles have been re-written and such over and over again. It is not right and then the authors go and post them and cut into traffic that was earned the hard way.

The only saving grace for me in my case is that I am writing articles to make people think and the more people who talk about the subjects and topics I write about the better. But in reality, it still makes me somewhat upset that folks do this.

Additionally, I can tell you that when I re-write what I personally have written prior, lets say from an email conversation that in fact it takes longer than to compose it buy scratch and it never seems to come out right or perfect. It is difficult to re-write even your own works, much less anyone else’s I suppose.

Some say that these re-writers are saving time and lazy. I think they waste time and deserve it for their laziness. I can write 2-3 very good articles from scratch in an hour or 3-4 short interesting okay articles in an hour. Re-writing old stuff, conversations in an email or even old research into articles is so much harder. So these folks who re-write articles, mixing them up, are unethical, unenlightened, untalented, cheating and although lazy, often they are wasting their time.

Now with that said, there is no reason some one who is well-versed in a subject cannot, read several articles, research pieces and use observation, experience and knowledge in compilation and perhaps pick out a few points from within certain articles and reiterate them as part of a much larger piece, but if you do, you certainly ought to mention where they came from. For instance a discussion, friend, associate, article, author, researcher, etc.

As far as plagiarism is concerned it is alive and well, due to unethical students, researchers, government workers and pretenders, so it should not be too surprising when you discover someone doing this. I have seen articles here occasionally, which are “I am sure of it” encyclopedia re-writes and when I read them it really irks me. I have a suspicion that the questionable authors are dictating into voice-activated software from some old encyclopedia text or book that is out of print that they bought at a garage sale. And yes maybe they do change a few words, tenses or such, still we need to call it what it is.

Now my big question, how can we catch these folks and make a note of it?

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 4:28 PM


Gary Simpson writes:

Howdy folks,

What is REALLY being discussed here is morals and ethics. So let me say this:

Cloning other people’s work is morally and ethically WRONG. It is disgusting.

Any idiot can take a bunch of paragraphs, re-jig them and make them appear different. They do this without ever injecting even ONE original thought or idea. Why?

Is it to appear more erudite than what they KNOW they really are? Who are they trying to fool? Obviously first in line is themselves.

Why do some people go to these dopey certificate sites and purchase a Phd or a BA? Does THAT make them any more intelligent? Or is it to fool others into believing such a thing?

The internet is a pool reflection of everyday life. In real life we have cheats, liars, abusers, thieves and sex fiends. It is no different on the internet. They are all there too.

Those who will cheat by plagiarising the work of others are going to do it no matter what. And now we have people who have created software to do just that. Tip the words in one end and…

… hey presto! Out pops a completely new article at the other end. Like I said – it’s disgusting.

Thank you William for your original question and to Chris for throwing it into the lions’ den to be pulled apart.



Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 5:23 PM


Gary Simpson writes:

I just had another thought.

If, by some method of technology, all plagiarism and unauthorised (disabled resource box) original posts could be stripped off the net, what percentage would remain?

How widespread is this? Any ideas?


Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 5:33 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Gary, I am with you. I too believe it is a reflection of society. I also believe that it is even more so a reflection on people’s personal ethics and how they think. On the Internet we have folks who use false names, then copy others works, sometimes word for word, other times mixing it up, still it is cheating all the way.

It is a sorry state of affairs. But I am here today to tell you that you can beat the cheaters thru hard work, perseverance and strong character. Thanks Gary for that point. It is completely a reflection on human societies.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 5:39 PM


Jennifer Thieme writes:

I honestly think it would be more work for me to rewrite somebody else’s article, than to simply write my own! I can’t imagine the effort it takes to rewrite something – the thought of it gives me shivers. Not because of the immorality of it, but just the effort involved!

To try to take what somebody else has said, and make it say something else… jeez, why not just write from scratch? It honestly sounds much easier to do so.

I can see, for learning’s sake and as a writing exercise, rewriting somebody else’s article. I can see how rewriting somebody else’s work would help a potential writer learn the craft, learn how thoughts are organized, how sentences and paragraphs come together to express ideas. But it should only go that far and no further, and certainly should never be published as an original work.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 6:49 PM


Tom Shaw writes:

Initially I thought that the the original question from William regarding re-writing other people’s work was driven by blatant dishonesty.

I was happy to see some later entries from him that suggest his query was driven more by naivety so I offer these comments for his further consideration.

In my view, re-writing an article is simply cheating. The reader is being conned, but perhaps more importantly, the re-writer is cheating himself.

I find reading other peoples work can be great inspiration. I may read it and compare it to my own set of values and processing system. I may agree, disagree or remain unmoved by it. If I feel so inclined, I can comment on it.

Others may have similar reactions to the article but only SIMILAR: never IDENTICAL.

But here’s the cruncher:- whatever I say or write will be UNIQUELY mine. There is only ONE me, and because I trust my own processing system, I know I cannot be guilty of plagiarism.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 6:49 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

One of the issues I have considered in all this is the way we teach kids to think? In school how many times did you copy sentences onto 3 X 5 index cards to study and memorize? So that you could answer the test question right? We train human minds to be formatted into a copying motif.

Then we tell kids not to cheat and plagiarize because it is dishonest. So, maybe this is the reason we have so many cheaters, rewriters and copiers here. Because we train them inadvertantly, so maybe the way we teach kids and our education system is a little off too.

Although kids no better and know that when doing reports they are not to download stuff word for word from the Internet. But they rewrite the stuff and cheat, copy each other, even buy reports online? We are training fraudulent acts for the future.

This does not make it right or justify it at all, it is still stealing, but it is perhaps one of the root causes. We train kids to memorize not to think, then in the real world the cheat like the Dickens. Should we be surprised that humans do not think anymore? I mean look at the way some of them vote? Most people just agree with whatever is in the mass media TV, newspapers these days.

This problem is so pervasive that Gary’s questions are almost horrific to consider the answer too? If only plagiarized material were left on the internet, how much would disappear completely? Well all the stuff with my name on it, would be gone in an instant, but the information, much of it would still be there, because others had stolen it? So how bad is the problem; It is a pandemic.

Consider all this

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 7:18 PM


Ed Howes writes:


I have no clue as to the extent of internet plagarism but Iam confident the is more of it in cyber space than ever was in print and ever there was in the entire history of the printed word. On the other side, we can see there is also likely far more original content considering audio, video and text. The self educating individual has seldom had it so good as those who can afford the computer and attendant costs. And it is so free form. What do we want to learn today?

This ethical curruption comes with the fall of empires, both as cause and effect. A double whammy. I personally believe the trend will last just another twenty years and we will have very fresh paradigms and soul deep spirits of compassion and cooperation. I’ll put up with all this now in hopes I’ll be here in twenty years to check my calculations.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 7:19 PM


Lou Hampton writes:

I heartily agree with the “don’t rewrite” comments. I would, however, like to compliment William for seeking expert advice before starting down the slippery slope.

There are rare times when we see something so well written, we feel the reader will be cheated if we don’t include it. In those cases the process is simple. Email the author, explain what you want to use and how you want to use it, ask what contact info he or she wants you to include, and get permission. If the author agrees, you, the author and the reader all win.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 7:46 PM


Gary Simpson writes:

Unfortunately, the way that we are ALL being encouraged to think now is in the INSTANCY of everything.

If you cannot have it NOW then you don’t want it.

And so it is with success. A person wants instant credibility and success. What is the easiest way to get it? To copy and cheat, of course.

Just look at what is happening on the internet with instantly downloaded songs. The young people see nothing wrong with downloading 1000’s of songs.

The fact that they are stealing copyright does not even enter their minds. They think that everybody else is doing it so why shouldn’t they?

The natural extension to this is to copy anything. Heck, why not just copy it and put your own name to it. Who’s gonna know? What is the copyright owner going to do – search 18 billion pages?

I think Lance may have hit on a sub-conscious level the reason behind some of this – the fact that we all learn by rote. Copy and chant. When the chant becomes strong enough it becomes our own.

This, of course, does not excuse in any way the theft of copyright. But until the blowtorch of copyright theft is applied and won in a landmark case then, I’m afraid, it is only going to get worse.

This is an interesting thread.



Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 8:01 PM


Ed Howes writes:

Lance certainly just scratched the surface concerning education. Considering a physical generation is about 20 years, an educational generation is about 12. The older we are, the more we see how education has regressed from the days of the one room schoolhouse. In fact, the further we have moved from the home style environment, the more school years required for an elementary education. The costs of scale in education have far outweighed the advantages of scale in education.

Add to that the competition for a student’s time for study from corporate media and we have four undereducated generations. I recently heard the internet is making a dramatic difference for the most recent graduates. Which is not to say we can expect an improvement in ethics or achievement.

Comment provided January 25, 2007 at 8:40 PM


Don Hammond writes:

Okay, let’s be realistic here. There IS a legal AND moral point where an article that is rewritten is no longer recognizable as the original author’s. It is not cheating to use an article or articles to write your own that is called RESEARCH. Now if you are just removing contractions etc in an obvious attempt to keep plagiarism checkers from spotting the crime, that is totally wrong.

But no matter what you write (unless it is pure fiction) you will be rewriting other peoples’ work unless you redo all the research etc yourself and that is normally impossible.

So you take a paragraph here and a paragraph there and mix and match and rephrase and so on and so forth. There really is a point where the work becomes yours.

If you go to the freelance sites you see the request for many articles on a subject in a short period of time and for like 10 cents an article. We know how those people get those articles, they do what is mentioned in the original post, change sentences around, remove contractions etc. This is wrong. BUT if they do that AND add in their own content and slant, at what point does it become theirs?

There IS legal precedence for that.

Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 1:07 AM


Marty Smith writes:

Some marketing gurus like Jonathon Leger actually have software facilitating this practice. I have seen my articles twisted, shortened and basically stupified several times. I find it aggravating. I wonder how brainless someone could be to not be able to come up with a few though out paragraphs… and really, is it any easier to rephrase someone’s original work? Thanks for posting this Chris.

Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 3:57 AM


David Phillips writes:

“Original content is the ultimate goal of every writer. Taking someone else’s content or playing around with your own using software or any other method is lazy.

Writing reveals your personality and knowledge, and no one else is like you.”, said Ray Randall.

I agree.

Your VOICE is unique. Remember though, nothing is really original. If you watch a news clip on TV or video, listen to the radio or read an article online – they are all the same. Original material.

If you extract the key points, assemble them in themes and write yourself, well, that’s OK and is in fact original because it has YOUR voice.

David Phillips
Editor, Anglesey Today

Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 6:50 AM


Bill Platt writes:

I was also surprised at Chris’ 85-90% comment. We do a lot of freelance writing, and when we tackle topics we are not familar with, research must be done on the front end of the transaction.

I advise all of my writing staff that if I catch them copying someone’s work, I will fire them. Then I advise that when we must do research on a topic, our goal is to read enough information to become our own sudo-expert on a subject, then write every word from our own brains.

Granted, I might be paying out another 2-4 hours in wages to get a single article researched and then written, but we are able to create a better product in the end, based on our own learned knowledge.

If it comes down to the point where they feel that they must absolutely quote someone else’s work, then they had better put that sentence in quotes and attribute their source for the material.

One poster asked about a percentage of people who cheat us on the resource box. From my own research, I would put that number at under 10%.

There was someone at a time who was rewriting my own articles and putting his own name on them. I was ticked, especially since he was trying to compete directly with me. I was gathering my dossier of stolen articles for the purpose of pursuing legal action. Then, an unprecedented opportunity fell into my lap. I figured out that his biggest client was a friend of mine, so I sent her a copy of my dossier. She immediately terminated her relationship with him, and he went out of business within just a couple months. ;-)

With the original subject in mind, you can learn facts and derive an understanding of a topic from other people’s work. You might also be reading someone else’s work and get an idea of your own, worthy of pursuit. But, at the end of the day, you should be doing your own writing from your own knowledge and gut instinct. Copying is never a good idea.

Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 7:44 AM




An article ghostwriter would be surprised at my 85-90% comment, yes.

An expert writer should not be surprised because they have so much bottled expertise inside them that it should just ooooooooze out with ease and then research to make sure it’s comprehensive.


Per our new blog comment policy (at the bottom of this page), we don’t allow URL’s in the SIG line because you get 1 link per blog comment and that 1 link is linked up to your name.

I tried to just let it go and not enforce the rule, but then I started to see many more do it. Thanks for understanding.

Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 8:15 AM


David Phillips writes:

Let’s distinguish between hard facts on the one hand and delivery of the message on the other.

Facts are facts, they are immutable. Opinion, spin, angle, style and delivery is what distinguishes one author from another.

So, if we focus on our unique voice we cannot be hauled up for rewriting.

Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 9:25 AM


James A. Holish writes:


Would it be helpful to privately send an example of a creative expression vs. a NONE creative expression for those of us who try hard to produce aricles on similar subject matter with a different twist?

I also under stand that one cannot copyright an expression of an idea just the idea itself.

If that were the case, we would not have HP computers, Dell computers, just computers!

Microsoft faced many law suits for potentially monopolizing computer operating systems because of one of the most creative ideas since Ford invented the automobile and named it FORD.

Then guess who came up with with another expression of the automobile . . . that’s
right Cheverolet.

Is my analogy appropriate to article writing?

If someone writes on the same subject, but with a different creative expression of the content, and appearence of presentation, (I DO NOT MEAN using a copy/paste technique), is that copying an article, or expressing it diferently?

This is a very difficult therory to understand. I suppose that is why copyright attorneys get paid so well.

Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 9:57 AM


Janet Beatrice writes:

If someone finds an article that says exactly what he/she wanted to say, there is no longer a need to write the article.

Don’t bother unless you can add something that will benefit someone.

The only wise thing to do when you find such an article is to recommend it to the same people whom you believed would have benefited from the article you had originally intended to write.



Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 10:15 AM


Phillip Davis writes:

Chris- What I love about your blog topics is your hornet’s nest ability to stir interest… and this is definitely one hot beehive.

The difference between original article writing and rewriting comes down to one simple thing… intention. What author out there has a subject so compelling, so interesting and noteworthy to share, that they think “where can I find an article already written on this issue so I can rewrite it?” That wouldn’t happen because their intention would be to share something from their own perspective!

If someone is looking to rewrite an exising article, then a closer examination of the motive would most likely reveal one of personal profit/gain vs. benefiting their readership. And as far as stopping this practice, it tends to take care of iteself. Short term schemes tend to fall apart and lose credibility on their own. Readers can sense genuine intent and they will gravitate towads it. A pattern emerges in the writing that tends to build trust or erode it. So to that point, I agree with the zen attitude of focusing on the positive aspect of generating more great content than to battle the forces of evil. Their own cleveness usually leads to their own undoing. (And if there’s a technical way to thwart this practice, I’m sure Chris has it in the works.)

Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 11:11 AM




Bzzzzzzzz Bzzzzzzzz Bzzzzzz you are RIGHT!

At the end of the day on this issue, either the author INTENDS to rewrite someone elses article or they INTEND to write one that is purely original from their own neurons.

Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 11:22 AM


Ed Howes writes:

A little more than 20 years ago, some folks in a nearby city bought an entertainment and cultural newspaper and converted it to a political paper. They widened the distribution so I found a copy in my small town and wrote and submitted articles, they were happy to publish.

I visited the new owners and partied with them and supplied fresh content for each monthly issue. One owner, acting as editor, began editing my articles for space requirements, often changing the meaning and thrust of my writing. I told him in person to feel free to chop up my article, then put his own name on it, never mine. That stopped his arbitrary edits.

Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 11:31 AM


David Phillips writes:

I think this arguement about rewriting and originality is too linear.

Firstly, if we intend to write an article we brainstorm the idea and do our research. This will involve getting information from more than
one source and in different forms, such as TV clip, radio interview, google news item, online article, daily newspaper and so on.

When the writer has extracted the key hard facts, they then “move to another table” – the creative one – and compose. The use of our neurons
for analysis will inevitably involve looking at articles among other sources. But we also use the grey matter for the creative phase – the so-called
“original” content stage.

Just think of it as sitting at two tables, one placed in two seperate rooms. In one room you do the analysis and fact-gathering and then you walk into
the other room with your key facts and create your own work. So in this way, your work is original and ethical.


Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 11:58 AM


Kamau Jackson writes:

I think that a situation we are responding to would only occur along 2 divergent lines.

1. Our inability to add value without plagiarizing is because we have reached the limit of our knowledge on the subject in question.

If we have intellectual integrity, this becomes a knowledge issue and the fix is easy. Just begin with the Ed Howes comments in post 18. Learn your field/subject matter. Learn the craft– refine your techniques!

2. If after finding an article that “says what we wanted to say”, the temptation to rewrite it would only emerge because it was written better than what we could’ve done (having not read it). Really– it’s the article we wish we had written!

This is where some people are making the wrong decision. This, in my opinion, is not a “literary” issue. It’s easy to return an empty wallet!

The Microsoft, Ford, Chevy comments were interesting. Especially since the Model A Ford went into production 2 years after the release of the first Mercedes, 8 years after the first Benz bus, and 13 years after Daimler invented the 4 cylinder engine!

Maybe some subjects add additional challenges to be conscious of.

The issue at hand, though, is basic. I agree with all who are pointing to “intention” as the watchword.

Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 12:58 PM


Gary Simpson writes:

OK. There seems to be some confusion about what is allowable and what “borders” on plagiarism and theft. So allow me to list the actual process that I personally go through. (I hope this does not bore the senior authors here).

When I write an article, here is what I DO, roughly:

1 – I see, hear or read something that inspires me. Often an idea will just come from that incredible place called “nowhere.”

2 – I take my clipboard, pad and pencil (yes, I write in pencil because sometimes I will lay down and write upside down and you can’t do that with a pen – LOL) and I start to write.

3 – I write around a page and a half from my own “brain” – nowhere else. I just let it all flow out. I know that this will measure around 350 to 450 words.

4 – I then research any quotes that I may use to get them EXACTLY word for word and I place them between apostrophes and assign an ownership (ie author’s name). I also italicise them so that they stand out during the typing task.

5 – I type the entire article in Microsoft Word. I never personally use the spell check (bad “advice” here) because I personally do not trust it. I edit each article two to three times.

6 – I then copy and paste into my own websites and EzineArticles or wherever else I want the article to appear.

7 – I check the “look” of the article in the preview panels to see that it looks OK (eg no missing html closing tags). This allows a “visual” of how others will see it. At this point I will separate into a few more paragraphs if there are too many big blocks of print as I believe strongly that big blocks are reading barriers.

8 – A final proof read to make sure it all makes sense and I hit “publish” or send.

Here is what I do NOT do:

– hunt around for another person’s well written article.
– copy anything to my hard-drive that is not my own intellectual property.
– mish-mash another person’s work and then call it my own (ugh – even the thought of doing that reviles me).

I read a LOT of books. I also read and/or scan many articles. If I believe that another person’s article is SO good I will:

(a) compliment them
(b) give them a star rating.

I would do this, on average, maybe 1 in 30 articles.
THAT is what you should do if you are impressed – NOT steal it, re-hash it or do ANYTHING else with it.

There is absolutely no honor in thieving anything. You don’t own it. Leave it alone. Let others enjoy it by allowing it to stay as it is.

Anyway, these are my thoughts. I may even use them as the framework to pump out a new article. Now that I have the skeleton, adding the flesh will take less than five minutes.

I hope these comments help others to see the DIFFERENCE between fresh, original work and “re-badging” somebody else’s hard work.

Gary Simpson

Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 5:32 PM




You don’t appear to have allowed for “comfort breaks” but you have certainly covered every other eventuality.

Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 5:42 PM


Gary Simpson writes:


I don’t have time for that.


Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 5:56 PM




I may be wrong, but I believe you and I are trending toward the same point.

I disagree with Janet, (sorry), there are many reasons to write on the same subject, especially on very special subject as highly specialized as copyrights and patents.

As I mentioned before, I have “paid the piper”. though I did pay for a service, I gained some knowledge as well.

All of us are professionals. Most of us try very hard to represent our selves in that manor. Some get caught.

Wasn’t there a reporter, for a major NEW YORK publication, chastized for the very reason we are having a rather interesting discussion, with even more veried opinions.? (I believe it was N.Y.).

Comment provided January 26, 2007 at 6:35 PM


Gary Simpson writes:

Because of what Jim wrote I went back and read what Janet said:

“The only wise thing to do when you find such an article is to recommend it to the same people whom you believed would have benefited from the article you had originally intended to write.”

This is the bit that stuck me as interesting:

“… when you find such an article …”

Why would you look? Where would you look?

I know that somebody will come up with the superficial answer of “research.” Personally, I NEVER look for other people’s articles before I write my own. I simply don’t care what is already out there.

The other reason that I do NOT want to read anybody else’s article on my intended subject before I write it is that I don’t want to be influenced by what they have written. I want my own slant, not theirs.

Maybe that is just my way of doing things.

I’m interested in how other people go about this task. Who searches? Who doesn’t?


Comment provided January 27, 2007 at 5:24 PM


Ed Howes writes:

The question which pops up foor me is how Janet would know which readers would want to read the article even if she had written it. I had a related moment today. I read some analogies a political writer used. Mike Ruppert of From The Wilderness wrote in reference to the U.S. – “Like the drunk on a barstool who doesn’t know he’s drunk or when to stop drinking.” And “Changing political parties is like changing the pins on a dirty diaper.”

Both struck me in such a way, I wanted to write one or two articles around those quotes. From time to time I do come across some article that rocks my world and feel duty bound to share it with someone who would also appreciate it. The fellow who sent me the Mike Ruppert article, Emailed it to me and I was delighted by the thoughtfulness. And I could have written an article or two simply based upon the information Mike had researched. I would have written something very different about the facts, introducing my own viewpoint, which is the thing uniquely our own, most of all.

Comment provided January 27, 2007 at 9:02 PM


Veronique writes:

Personally, I love writing. Not that I have a lot of time to do it but I find it a very therapeutic activity. Off course those who write for a living would look for short cuts. Always the path of least resistance hey!! I live in the magnificient Blue Mountains of Australia, away for the hussle and bustle. The atmosphere is very conducive to creativity in all its aspects. Energetically, our works carry our signature, be they articles or otherwise. In the long run, pilfering others’ work leads to dissatisfaction. And when I need more material for my website than I can produce myself, I get them from… EzineArticles!

Comment provided January 28, 2007 at 3:24 PM


CJ writes:

I’ve read through the comments here without seeing any that relate to my situation.

Most of you seem to be talking about what is essentially “creative” writing, where how you approach a subject is individual, and I agree, that must be your own writing.

But what about factual articles that must be accurate?

To describe my own situation… if I write about how much I enjoy RVing (my subject), that is creative writing and must be my own writing.

But if I want to tell my readers how to take care of their tires, I can’t go out test a lot of tires and figure out what works and what doesn’t.

I research on the Internet and quote the sources I find! usually industry sources (not from another writer).

I usually write a paragraph or so to introduce the subject, then quote (with attribution) a paragraph or so! enough to convince my reader that this is a good source of information! then end with a link to the source.

Although these articles are usually copyrighted, they are written by industry sources or by the manufacturer, for the purpose of getting the word out on their product.

I thought by quoting lightly and giving proper credit, that I was observing proper copyright protocol.

Am I wrong?

Comment provided January 28, 2007 at 5:04 PM


W Peter Boyd writes:


As my first name is William, I found myself wondering, ‘Whenever did I ask such a question?’ :-) But I carried on reading as obviously there must be thousands of people who have the forename William. Actually my parents could not agree what to call me so ended up by giving me three Christian names – a real pain when you have to fill up a form in triplicate! :-) Consequently I gave my daughter just one Christian name! :-)

If I find an article I admire I usually ask the author if I can post it on my blog with full attribution. I was offered access to a list of articles but I found myself so much out of sympathy with most of the articles there that I would never dream of re-writing them as they seemed to be saying nothing important at all, for the most part.

I quite take your point about the necessity for research, as I was reading an article about a famous person, and found that though printed, the article had given the wrong date of birth – it was 5 years out.


Peter [the name most people call me by ]

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 5:08 AM


Ed Howes writes:


I don’t think you are doing anything wrong when you are attributing the source of your information and including the link for a reader to check the original, I believe is a good and honest practice. If a great majority of your articles were done this way, you would still be providing a service to your readers but you would be in danger of losing their interest. One can always present facts in a creative way and not just a list.

For example: Inflate all tires to recommended pressures. A simple fact. You could add, over inflation causes center treadware and a harder ride. Under inflation causes excessive sidewall flex, shortening tire life, wasting fuel and possibly contributing to vehicle control problems on the road.. So many times industry tells us what and not necessarily why. This presents an opportunity for the writer to make the facts more memorable, causing the reader to be more careful in following recommendations than otherwise.

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 9:02 AM




The difference here is that article SYNDICATION is not citation friendly by nature if you want to live in a risk-mitigated world… which we do want.

Said another way: Citing references is great for your blog, your website, any offline content produced; but when you put an article into syndication where you lose control to correct or remove content from distribution… this is when it’s better to not rely on content that others wrote that require attribution.

You are RIGHT for content that you have on your own website, but we’d prefer to not see articles submitted here that quote others.

The only exception to that request is that sometimes an author will create an article purely of short quotes from others and in most cases, because the quotation source is very diverse, it’s ok. Example:

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 9:38 AM



Ed H,

In regards to your “Mike Ruppert” mention…

How do you know with absolute 100% certainty that Mike said the quotes which you said he said?

This is a problem we’ve seen before where an author quotes another person from heresay or “believed to be true” quotes; which turned out to be false.

To be clear, I’m not second guessing you or your belief that Mike Ruppert really said those things… only using it as an example for my point in this comment.

This makes your content especially risky not to mention that it’s a ‘negative spin’ quote which means someone will hate you for writing your opinion of it… even if your intentions are sincere.

I reminded our editors this morning that “WE DON’T TAKE RISKS ON CONTENT” … meaning, we can generate enough traffic without controversial articles that draw anger and violent attitudes towards our authors, ourselves, and our advertisers.

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 9:47 AM


Ed Howes writes:

Thanks Chris,

Absolute Certainty? This would only apply to one who recorded a conversation in which the statement was made. I took Mike’s statements from an article which had his name on it. The statements were not attributed to any other in his interview. Had Mike heard these things at some point in his past? Probably. I have seen corrections of attributions from time to time, meaning the publisher had been notified the statement had been made by some other on a previous occasion. I do not believe a living soul can properly claim – I said that first. What arrogance that would be!

It is a fine line you walk in pre determining whether a controversial article is likely to generate anger and violent attitudes in politics or social criticism or religion and I am curious how much of such you reject on a regular basis. I do self censor from time to time for the very same reasons. Based on my rejection rate here at EzineArticles, I have to believe I have been walking that same fine line. :-)

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 10:53 AM


CJ writes:

I breathe a sigh of relief that my use of quotes is within acceptable limits for my own website.

Thanks, Chris, I do understand why an article with heavy quotes is not appropriate for syndication.

And! your point is well taken, Ed, that readers are more likely to be interested in personal observation than technical quotes! I’ll be careful about that.

Thanks to both,


Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 11:48 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

One thing I have found myself doing is finding an obscure article somewhere about an important subject that I completely disagreed with and feel compelled to write a rebuttal and in this case I find myself re-stating their premise of their article in mine so that my commentary makes sense, as I debate their arguments.

Thus in a way you are re-writing their arguments as you crush the ever-living crap out of them into oblivian. Of course it is all in how you do it that makes sense and it is appropriate to make mention of it. Such as “Some Say”, “Many Believe” or “Socialists Believe that…” or if you use large parts of their arguments; you might simply say state the person, article, organization, publication of where you read what and basically what “IT” said.

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 5:30 PM


Gary Simpson writes:

Hey Lance,

“Thus in a way you are re-writing their arguments as you crush the ever-living crap out of them into oblivian.”

Great expressiveness! I am still snickering at your comment.

Please email me in advance of you intend to do that to any of my articles. I’ll take it down beforehand – LOL.


PS: I am still hopeful that one day I will get the R2D2 code or C3PO to put into the security code box.

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 5:41 PM


Ed Howes writes:


It has been twenty five years since I have written a rebuttal exactly in the way you describe. It was like a book review in the end. I so thoroughly enjoyed doing it I sent it to a scholar who greatly appreciated the work. Articles should be easier than books and less time consuming.

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 5:56 PM


Ed Howes writes:


You are too late. Lance has all your stuff on two hard drives. :-)

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 6:04 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

We must stand for Truth, I hope everyone is with me on that.

We must protect the masses from misinformation and utter BS.

We must foster strong work ethic and perseverance in our next Generation.

We must, We can and We will fulfill that responsibilty.

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 6:04 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

We will take this war to the re-writers wherever they are.

We will go to battle with what we have.

We will confront these scoundrels at a time and place of OUR choosing.

We have nothing to fear and must not fear the plagiarists

We must fight on and forget the incoming accusations

We must go full speed and press on

We must stop the PLA from ruining Online Article Marketing

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 6:52 PM



How do you put out a fire?

You smother the fire until there is no oxygen left to fuel the flames.

In this case, the oxygen that fuels the PLR industry include the Guru’s who sell it (I can think of a handful of names of Guru’s who should know better) and the PLR buyers who then feel compelled to use what they purchased but not understood.

Unfortunately, the PLR buyers are similar to the SPAM buyers (those who buy products advertised via spam) and thus, you really can’t stop them.

I’m not sure we can stop the PLR sellers much either.

For now, we’re opting to go the technology & human labor path to limit their ability to steal and limit our acceptance of their article submissions.

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 7:06 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

It is great to see that is Taking a Stand and confronting these issues. It is also great to see that the Community stands tall with integrity to make it known.

Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 7:22 PM


Gary Simpson writes:

Jeez Lance,

Re posts 73 & 74…

Have you been reading the speeches of Winston Churchill or something?

“We will fight them on the beaches, we will fight them…”

I’ve already pulled on my flak-jacket and kevlar helmet. I’m with you buddy. I’m fixing my bayonet…


Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 8:59 PM


Gary Simpson writes:


Personally I detest the tag “Guru.” Most of them are just pretenders. Most of them peddle outdated rubbish that they themselves do not even use.

Some of the stuff that I have purchased in the past is truly lamentable – lacking in even the most basic information.

I’m waiting for some goose to call himself a “super-guru” because we have so many so-called self professed, self appointed “gurus” out there.

The guys who sell the PLR stuff are just prostituting themselves in their desperate quests for the almighty dollar. They would sell the gold fillings from their grandmothers’ teeth.

You can always tell when things are getting tight in Guruland – all the wolves start circling town looking for stragglers. All the usual suspects start pumping out all the usual junk. I could go on but most of us know what I am driving at here.

Maybe we should have a “Hall of Shame” list.

PLR cheats get the TWO THUMBS DOWN from me.


Comment provided January 29, 2007 at 9:45 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

We must find the re-writers for every ship must sail and somewhere on that ocean I know she’s got to be, we got to find and mark the rewriters to the bottom of the sea!

Comment provided January 30, 2007 at 2:58 AM


Karleen Morris writes:

Hi Chris,
I’m new to this business, but couldn’t agree more.
Being in the process of trying to do one myself ( and finding very difficult) since I don’t have a very creative mind. Still would not consider using someone else’s work.

Comment provided January 30, 2007 at 5:51 AM


Ed Howes writes:


In all liklihood, you have a very creative mind, such as you had in your earliest years. If you received a typical Western education, your creative mind has been bound into a straight jacket. You can set it free whenever you choose and since you wish to write, you could start by reading up about creative writing. By so doing you will find delightfully simple exercises for unlocking creative power and energy. With a little effort on your part, you will see rapid and dramatic improvement. You will find yourself both creative and inspired. As a creative, inspired writer, you will inspire readers. You and your work will rise in global popularity. Your opportunity lies directly before you.

Comment provided January 30, 2007 at 8:47 AM



I’ve never found PLR to be appealing, in any way. I took a look at a few of the offerings, just to see what’s up?, and to me, it is like stealing from a prostitute.

IMHO, people who actually write PLRs must not have a whole lot of respect for their work. Why take something that you’ve created and sell it so that others can change it around and call it their own?

Those who use them, well, they should get serious and hire a ghostwriter to write original content if they can’t or won’t do it themselves.

Think about this… You can only rearrange someone elses work in so many ways, and if you’re working with the same content as 100 other people, others are bound to notice after awhile. It becomes tired information.

That’s my two cents.

Comment provided February 1, 2007 at 10:21 AM



Gary Simpson:

I just read your synopsis of “the guru.” Oh my god, this is CLASSIC, quoteworthy stuff.

Has anyone ever lifted what someone’s buried in the COMMENTS section of another’s blog, and blasted it out as a feature?

If not, let me be the first. I want to feature your quote on my blog, and tip my hat to your brilliance.

May I?

Comment provided February 1, 2007 at 1:31 PM


Gary Simpson writes:

Hi Dina,

How refreshing it was to see your comments.

Usually, when I rail about these guys I get a series of disgusting hate emails calling me all sorts of names and threatening ridiculous things that these email squirrels would never say to me face to face.

Not trying to blow my own trumpet here (brrr… brrr…) BUT I have observed something rather interesting about all this …

I have six articles here on this site that slap these guys around and expose the methods that they use. These particular articles have the LOWEST star ratings of all my articles.

I believe that they have been given these low ratings by the types that I write about. That is their retaliation – to try to drive the ratings down and make the articles appear as though they contain poor information or are poorly written thereby influencing others to do the same.

In particular, I have one that talks about the guy whose alter-ego has the initials RJ. I don’t want to mention the full name (you’ll probably know who I am talking about) because every time I do that it comes up in a new Google watch and I get a string of abusive, hate filled insults and threats that I can do without. The last one was from “Thomas” hoo coodernt evin speel – exsept awl the rood wurds.

Insofar as turning blog comments into articles in their own right I have done this recently myself but only with my own blog info.

Dina, you have my permission to quote whatever you like from that “guru” comment.

If it amused you that much then you might like to search here for these:

“A Simple Guide to Analyzing All Those Web Traffic Ideas – Parts 1 to 4.”

In these I expose methods of deception like:

“How I, Homer Zantuck, a Dumb High School Drop-out Fooled the Search Engines.”

I actually thought this series was pretty funny but it would seem that many others were not too happy about it all.

Anyway, thanks Dina for your nice comments.


Comment provided February 1, 2007 at 5:07 PM


Karleen Morris writes:

Hi Chris,
Since I last read your article, i have published 2 articles of my very own. And well proud of them as a newbie.

If I can do it so can anyone else. It just takes time and not laziness on anyone’s part to turn out an article, write and rewrite, submit and resubmit. That’s the key.
Not taking someone else’s work.

This topic should be wide spread for cheaters, they could do it, if they just put their mind to it.


Comment provided June 13, 2007 at 5:36 AM


Dan Hatcher writes:

I am new to the article writing arena and I could not believe all the websites out there selling “articles” to be posted. My first reaction to finding this out was that articles must be worthless to read.
I am glad to see so many others feel the way I do about this topic. The few articles I’ve written, I’ve worked very hard on. A labor of love so to speak.
I agree that if you practice creativity you can’t help but be more creative in the future!

Comment provided December 29, 2007 at 11:42 AM


Gary Simpson writes:

Hi Dan,

The notification to your comments popped into my email and because the subject is so interesting to me I had to come back and see all the good comments by other bloggers here.

All that the cheats will achieve is to delude themselves.

My articles are all over the net and a great percentage of them are devoid of my name and resource box. Thanks to all the CHEATS who have done this.

Dan, there is only one way to become a good writer and that is to… write. Keep practicing and improve yourself at every opportunity.

I have been busy just about all of 2007 writing a novel. Article writing has therefore taken a backseat to that.

I enjoy writing ORIGINAL articles. But I don’t enjoy being ripped off by the hordes of plagiarists out there. On the internet it is just too easy to copy and paste.


Gary Simpson

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYBODY! (except the cheats – LOL!)

Comment provided December 29, 2007 at 7:56 PM



I am a freelance writer/ghostwriter, and I am amazed by people who freak out at the cost of my service. Sure, private label articles are cheap, but you are only getting what you pay for. Worn out, rearranged gobbledy gook.

I research and write original articles for a fee. I spend a great deal of time on them, and my time is valuable, just as theirs [clients] is. So, why is it that people seem to think that I should write for them for next to nothing? Because PLR gurus have cheapened the craft, that’s why.

You pay a plumber to fix your plumbing, a mechanic to fix your car, and an accountant to do your taxes, and you pay handsomely for their services; so why do people expect to pay bargain basement prices for professional writing services?

Comment provided January 1, 2008 at 10:32 AM


Bill Platt writes:

PLR content, article rewriting, and software generated articles are the three things that make today’s internet content, less respectable and more dirty to the audiences that discover it.

Software article creation is most despicable because it generally steals sentences from other articles to fill its output, and the users of the software are seldom wise to how the software actually “creates” articles.

With trust being such an important element in internet marketing, why are so many people willing to trust a software program to develop their reputation for them? It boggles my mind.

What boggles my mind even more is the article directories, who sell PLR content and Content Spinner software, when they also profess that they are only interested in quality content. In my mind, the first two cancel out the third.

Trina L.C. Sonnenberg was right when she referred to the wages other people earn, against what people expect writers to work for. I wrote about the same topic in April of 2006:

Chris said, “After you’ve got 85-95% of the article written, ONLY THEN is it ok to do research to make sure your message and article is comprehensive enough.”

That is the best policy for people who are starting out as writers, or simply lack the integrity to create articles without copying other people’s stuff.

Personally, I read what other people write, in order to find inspiration. I read forums, blogs, articles, news stories, Wiki posts, advertisements, reviews, testimonials, etc. While I am reading, a spark will go off in my mind telling me what I should write about. I will stop and sketch out an article idea. Then I will return to reading.

If one were to compare my article idea to the content I was reading when the spark went off, one would have no idea how one was derived from the other. I cannot really explain the reason for the inspiration other than to suggest that two ideas collided in my mind, creating the catalyst for inspiration.

I know the inspiration is something I should do, because I cannot stay focused on my reading until I have written down my story idea.

When I have finished my daily reading, I sit down and read my story idea and contemplate that idea for an hour or so. Only then do I begin writing my article. Sometimes, I will contemplate on the idea for days or weeks, before I sit down to the keyboard.

p.s. Chris. I have a question for you about your duplicate content software. If I were to quote an individual in an article, would the software trigger the content as duplicate content? For example, if I used the following in an article, would it trigger your software to red flag:

Chris Knight of said, “After you’ve got 85-95% of the article written, ONLY THEN is it ok to do research to make sure your message and article is comprehensive enough.”

And, once a red flag is generated on an article, do your staff put eyes to page to make the determination of legitimate use of quotes from other people??

Comment provided January 1, 2008 at 1:08 PM




I wrestle with that myself… In fact, I purposely don’t always follow or read what competitors are writing for fear I’ll be moved to copy them (NOT!) but at the same time, I’d be incompetent if I wasn’t at least informed of multiple viewpoints on every important issue.

To answer your question:

“Chris Knight” and many variations of my name are phrases that trip a management review of any article and in most cases, we reject them by asking the author to rewrite it without my name being mentioned. It’s just my preference.

As for other names being quoted, we’re conscious to not allow an article to be approved that attempts to defame someone or mentions someone’s name where we have a good feeling of certainty that the person would not want their name mentioned.

We also don’t accept articles that are nothing but quotes by others as we feel that we’re not going to become a ‘quote compilation’ site if we didn’t make that ruling.

This extra review process has nothing to do with our anti-duplicative content proprietary software.

Happy New Year to you and everyone in this thread.

Comment provided January 1, 2008 at 5:37 PM


Gary Simpson writes:

Interesting huh?

This thread opened up on 27 January 2007. Here we are, almost a year down the track, and people are still concerned with plagiarism of their articles.

It just goes to show that Google and Yahoo and other SE’s aren’t particularly interested in stopping it.

There are so many sites going up that remove authors’ names, strip out resource boxes and mangle articles. The quest for money (via adsense) takes precedence over everything else.

Some people will do ANYTHING for money.

It reminds me of some graffiti that amused me on the outside wall of a toilet in London a few years back.

Some wag wrote: “I will do almost anything for 5 Pounds.”

Under that somebody else wrote: “I WILL do anything for 10 Pounds.”



Comment provided January 1, 2008 at 5:59 PM




You missed a comment I made in a previous thread:

Google did something very significant in 2007 to stop the scrapers and content thieves: They terminated a huge giagantanormous number of MFA’s (Made For Adsense) sites. I was told the approx. number of publishers in confidence who were terminated and my jaw dropped. They really cleaned house and it’s better for their advertisers now! They have also made it clear that they will terminate untrusted publishers who use ripped content. I’ve noticed the drop in MFA sites in the last 5 months that are coming up in search results, so they definitely made an impact.

My belief: No content thief ever rises to traffic power over the long term.

Comment provided January 1, 2008 at 6:08 PM


Gary Simpson writes:

Hi Chris,

Yes. I did miss that.

I’ve been very focussed on writing a novel for the past 7 months and have therefore taken my eye of what is happening on the net.

I agree with your last comment about content thieves. It’s just the damage that they do trying to get there. They are a waste of space and the sooner they are penalised and dropped from search engines the better off everybody will be. They just have no relevance to anybody but themselves.

I liken them to thieves who smash a vehicle window and cause $500 worth of damage just to steal a couple of CDs.

Thanks for the heads up and Happy New Year!



Comment provided January 1, 2008 at 7:00 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Well, you know EzineArticles doesn’t really have any real competition, sure there are other websites with “articles on them” but no one can really compare them to this site. To do so only elevates them, and brings them to a stature that they have not earned and is clearly not deserved.

Yah, I get a couple of emails every week telling me to post my articles on their sites, some even offer me money, I guess to give them credibility by using my name there, but you know, if you stop to wonder why they are doing that or making such an offer, its obvious. EzineArticles is the champion and oh how they wish they could even be in the same race. – Lance

Comment provided January 1, 2008 at 7:15 PM


Bill Platt writes:

I just realized the age of this post, when I was checking for my name to begin reading today’s activity. I discovered that I posted on this same thread once before, a long time ago.

I assumed it was a new thread since I received an email from the EzineArticles system telling me about the thread.

I don’t quote people often in articles, but I do on occasion and was wondering the policy on it. Thanks Chris.

Lance, I am afraid it is a bit unrealistic to say EzineArticles has no competition, and I am not saying that because I have an article directory. I consider that there are about ten article directories that are worth recognition, although EzineArticles is definitely in the top two. I won’t rank the top two in a particular order, because they both have their benefits.

I will grant you that I participate in the forum for this one more often than any but one. And I will grant you that Chris has the best of the article marketing blogs.

Comment provided January 2, 2008 at 11:34 AM



You have a very creative mind, such as you had in your earliest years. If you received a typical Western education, your creative mind has been bound into a straight jacket. You can set it free whenever you choose and since you wish to write, you could start by reading up about creative writing.

Comment provided October 13, 2010 at 8:09 AM



What a nice pretty post, very useful for New Bloggers.

Comment provided May 23, 2013 at 6:44 AM


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