Book Writing: Swiping Content

Swiping content article - Crash site of Northeast Airlines Flight 792 on Mount Success in the New Hampshire White Mountains.
Mount Success – 1954 Douglas DC-3 Plane Crash

Book Writing: Swiping Content – In 2010, I did a write-up about the plane crash on Mount Success in New Hampshire. It has become one of my more popular write-ups. Outdoor enthusiasts are very interested in this plane crash site. Here is a paragraph from that write-up:

"This crash site is a very special place where lives were lost. If you decide to visit it, please honor and respect it and do your part to keep the site preserved. Take only pictures, and keep in mind, this wreckage is on federal land, and it is illegal to remove any artifact from federal land" (Donovan, 2010).

The wording in the above paragraph is unique to my writing, and if person copies it word for word into their own work (example: a book), they have to put the statement in quotes and give credit to Erin Paul Donovan or ScenicNH Photography LLC as being the original author. Reference to, where the statement originated from, also has to be made in the footnotes or reference section of the publication. If they don’t do this, it's considered plagiarism.

Also called content theft, plagiarism is when a person takes someone else’s writing / idea and tries to pass it off as their own without crediting the original source. In some cases, plagiarism is accidentally not citing a source, while other times, it's deliberate copying and pasting.

Now, if a person takes the above paragraph and writes it into their own words while giving credit to Erin Paul Donovan (original author / source), it's called paraphrasing; this is common in the writing world. However, paraphrasing is plagiarism when credit is not given to the original author. And if the paraphrase is too similar to the original, even if the original author is credited, it is still plagiarism. Adding and removing a few words from the above paragraph does not make it original content.

Swiping content from a website or from any publication and trying to pass it off as your own work is unethical. Using this approach to write a book can damage one's credibility. And because content on a website can be registered with the United States Copyright Office, there also could be legal ramifications.

With so many self-publishers wrongly assuming that the internet is public domain, content theft has become a huge issue. If writing a book, article, etc., do real research, write for yourself, and give credit when credit is due. Avid readers of any given topic will recognize content that is not original.

Happy image making..


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Donovan, Erin Paul. “Mount Success, Douglas DC-3 Plane Crash.” ScenicNH Photography LLC, 17 Aug 2010,

4 Responses to “Book Writing: Swiping Content”

  1. Steve Hill

    I agree, swiping of content does no one any favor, especially the perpetrator. Further, it's now looking like AI, for example, ChatGPT; et, al, could become an existential fast lane to social laziness, while enabling both fact and fiction in a snappy wrapper and no way to tell them apart. 

    • Erin Paul Donovan

      Hi Steve,

      I was just reading about the problems some colleges are having with students using ChatGPT to write papers, etc.. Wow times are changing! I would never use or rely on a machine to write an article. The fact that the information it generates may not be accurate makes me question why anyone would want to use it.

    • Erin Paul Donovan

      Hi Steve,

      You have a great write-up! It’s amazing how many people are visiting the site now. Thank you for linking to my work (and your kind words). Its very much appreciated.

      Keep exploring.. 🙂


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