The Thin Line Between Inspiration & Plagiarism

Today, I am going to talk about a topic that had been bugging me for quite a while.


A few weeks ago, a book blogger on Twitter tweeted that another blogger had copied her review and that it was outright plagiarism. I agreed and couldn’t believe that some book blogger had reproduced someone else’s work and called it their own.

For us bloggers, blogging is a hobby and kind of a thankless job, since it is not appreciated a lot outside the blogging sphere, so to hear that some bloggers copy other bloggers’ work is clearly underwhelming. This led me to think about inspiration and plagiarism and hence resulted in this post.

Firstly, to understand the difference between inspiration and plagiarism, let us know the exact definition of the words.

Inspiration, according to Cambridge Dictionary, means “someone or something that gives you ideas for doing something”.

Plagiarism, on the other hand, means “the process or practice of using another person’s ideas or work and pretending that it is your own”.

The meaning of the words make them easily distinguishable from each other. However, I feel that the lines between inspiration and plagiarism are quite thin and that we should tread carefully to ensure that they don’t overlap.

For instance, a blogger may take an idea of a blog post from another blogger and give credit to that original blogger, which is the right thing to do since once you give credit to the original blogger, you acknowledge to your readers that the idea was not yours, but someone else’s.

However, my question is that whether you should take some other blogger’s original idea for your own blog post, and whether this too counts as plagiarism to a certain extent because even if you are not pretending that the idea was yours, and giving credit to the original blogger, it was originally someone else’s idea and you are basically copying and pasting the same idea. This can also lead to saturation in the blogging sphere. I feel that it is better to give your own spin to the original idea, thus making it quite different from the original blog post.

So, what do you guys think? Do you think taking other blogger’s blog post ideas while giving them credit is alright, or should we avoid that?

Let me know in the comments below! I would love to know your thoughts!

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9 Comments

  1. I have working on a post about Plagiarism myself, and couldn’t agree with you more!

    1. oh cool! I am looking forward for your post!

  2. If I take someone’s idea, I both give them credit AND link back to the original blogpost. That’s fine I think, as long as youré not copy-pasting the entire content.

    1. I agree with you. I should have been clearer in my post. The difference in content is what matters and linking back is always a great idea.

  3. I think it’s always respectful and good to credit someone if we are to write about something that was inspired from their idea.. sadly though, this isn’t always the case and it’s sometimes hard to tell anymore. It’s hard nowadays to claim if something is truly original or not.. but I just focus on my own writings anyway! Thank you for sharing with us your points, I hope you’re have a great weekend 🙂

    Anna Jo | http://helloannajo.blogspot.com

    1. I agree! One can just hope that the person taking inspiration gives rightful credit to the original blogger..
      thank you!😊 wish you a great weekend as well!

  4. I still can’t believe someone dared taking and copying a REVIEW 🤦🏽‍♀️ That’s one of the things that need to have the writer’s opinion.. otherwise, it’s kinda pointless. You can’t just take another person’s opinion on something!

    In a way, you’re right.. of course in the sea of things, it’s absolutely possible that two bloggers come on the same « idea » without knowing, but that scenario will definately not go in the same way; as both bloggers would have had different thoughts, thus being distinct enough.

    In the scenario that reading a post give an inspiration, it’s absolutely a must to name & link, always. Even if it’s not even *quite* the same. It had happened that reading a blogger’s MH story made me step out and wrote my own, too, for instance. Which i’d say that I got the idea while reading X’s post. In the mesure of the possible, asking the blogger if you can take the idea and use it is always best!

    1. Yes! Reviews are opinions and taking someone else’s opinion makes no sense.

      I agree with you! I am now realising I should have included a lot more in my post 😅 like u said it is completely possible for two people to come up with the same idea but their execution will be different.

      Totally! The type of the post that one is taking inspiration from definitely matters. Some posts like MH stories will be different for everyone so taking inspiration isn’t an issue.

      Your comment was very insightful. Thank you for sharing. 😊

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