Your Opinion: Contributor raises plagiarism issues

Dear Editor:

I read Jeff Fleming’s letter, “Vegan diet and the flu” in a recent letters column. As an admirer of good writing, I was very impressed by his writing skills, so I decided to Google the main words in his title “vegan diet flu.”

I was even more impressed when I discovered how prolific a writer he is.

A five-minute check determined that he had his letter printed in the Bloomington Pantagraph (Illinois, I assume) under the pen name Braden Pellmett; the Brainard Dispatch (state unknown to me) under the pen name Brad Benedict; and the Montana Standard (town unknown to me) under the pen name Stanley Metz.

If I am mistaken and these are not pen names but actually different individuals, it does raise the issue of plagiarism. I don’t necessarily mean the illegal kind, but it’s unethical to present someone else’s writing as your own even with permission.

And while I can’t imagine myself ever buying into the theories advanced by this one prolific writer or several copying writers, I would give it far more consideration if the letters were in the writer’s own words, based on his own research, not simply copied from some website’s writing points.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Please review our Policies and Procedures before registering or commenting

News Tribune - comments