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A moderator alone closed

https://history.stackexchange.com/q/59166

https://history.stackexchange.com/q/59171.

https://history.stackexchange.com/q/59172

https://history.stackexchange.com/q/59175

Apologies for being lazy and not citing r/askhistorians. TED wrote

We generally require text that has been copied verbatim from another source to not only reference that source, but include said text in quote or blockquotes (the button on the editing interface that looks like a quotation mark). The former appears to have been done now (I think?) but not the latter.

I just want to clarify I didn't copy VERBATIM from Reddit. I added my own research, and rewrote much of Reddit, thus there's nothing that can be turned into blockquotes?

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    I want to clarify that paraphrasing is still plagiarism unless properly attributed. In your case, large tracts were copied verbatim, and adding some materials in between doesn't change this, but even if you rephrased everything, it would still be plagiarism if you don't attribute your sources. It is much better to verbatim quote and credit than to try paraphrasing to skirt the plagiarism rules. – Semaphore May 13 '20 at 6:59
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Since you have raised this here, I will try to explain the problem.

The page on Referencing in our Help Centre (which I have linked in comments on several of the questions in your list) makes the expectations for properly citing your sources clear:

Plagiarism - posting the work of others with no indication that it is not your own - is frowned on by our community, and may result in your answer being down-voted or deleted.

When you find a useful resource that can help answer a question (from another site or in an answer on History Stack Exchange) make sure you do all of the following:

  • Provide a link to the original page or answer
  • Quote only the relevant portion
  • Provide the name of the original author

Although the section refers to answers, the same rules apply to research included in questions.


I don't propose to go through every example from your list of linked questions, but this is a representative example, from the first question in your list.


In the section that you have titled "My research on Poe's military history", you say:

Those with military inclinations, like Poe himself, could find their place within local militia regiments. Poe, then 15, joined up with a local honor guard that formed and marched in the parade that welcomed Lafeyette to his home town in 1824. Local militias were meant to be reflections of the local reputation network, and tended to have "elites" - either men with money and means, or men with experience - elected as leaders, with the rest working to gain military (as well as social) skills for the betterment of their community, as opposed to the army, which was so easy to be misused for the benefit of a few alienated politicians. These were, at least, the ideals, but the model of the interested local militia and the aloof, mercenary regular army was breaking down even by the early 1820s...

This passage is from the answer posted by the user PartyMoses to the question At age 18, Edgar Allan Poe joined the US Army in 1827 as a Private, and left in 1829 as a Sergeant Major of Artillery. How did he attain the highest enlisted rank in just two years? on Reddit AskHistorians (posted 9 months ago):

Those with military inclinations, like Poe himself, could find their place within local militia regiments. Poe, then 15, joined up with a local honor guard that formed and marched in the parade that welcomed Lafeyette to his home town in 1824. Local militias were meant to be reflections of the local reputation network, and tended to have "elites" - either men with money and means, or men with experience - elected as leaders, with the rest working to gain military (as well as social) skills for the betterment of their community, as opposed to the army, which was so easy to be misused for the benefit of a few alienated politicians. These were, at least, the ideals, but the model of the interested local militia and the aloof, mercenary regular army was breaking down even by the early 1820s...

The paragraphs are identical. So "your research" here was copied verbatim from user PartyMoses' answer on r/AskHistorians.

To be absolutely clear, as noted on the page in our Help Centre linked above, claiming someone else's work as your own without proper attribution is plagiarism, and is unacceptable on any Stack Exchange site.


Further, as I'm sure you are aware, under the SE Public Network Terms of Service you grant SE Inc a perpetual and irrevocable license to all content that you contribute on any SE site, under Creative Commons licensing terms (CC BY-SA). However, you cannot grant a license to content which is not yours.

As a general rule, people own the copyright to original content they post online. In this case, the material that you have copied, and claimed to be your own research, is the intellectual property of someone else.

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  • thanks very much. i think i fixed all four questions now. can you pls check and let me know? – Swansea May 12 '20 at 23:17
  • @Swansea Please re-read the Help Page linked above. What you have to do is set out in the 3 bullets there (and quoted here in my answer). You need to do all 3 for every instance where you have copied someone else's work. – sempaiscuba May 12 '20 at 23:23
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    Just to add a bit on this, a large identical passage such as this was clearly pasted in, rather that typed. Embedding pasted content in a quotation block requires only 3 mouse actions more (click start, shift-click end, click quote block button). This is so little work, there's no real reason to not do that every time you paste content. Considering the work it takes to instead make the pasted content fit into the context of the rest of the post, its likely more work to not quote it than it is to quote it. – T.E.D. May 13 '20 at 0:00

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