It can be hard to determine when someone has plagiarized work. When a topic is being written about by millions of authors, the chances of the information becoming similar has a good chance of occurring. In the case with Fareed Zakaria he was being disciplined because his article bore a very close resemblance to an essay of the same subject. Even though Zakaria admits that he made a mistake it is hard to determine his guilt. This article doesn’t conform with my idea of plagiarism.
The Jonah Lehrer case holds true my definition of plagiarism; he was making things up and telling lies to the press. Lehrer was ripping off quotes from other sources without giving credit. However, the self-quoting brings about another issue that I don’t feel could be considered plagiarism. A direct duplicate of written work and putting it under the copier’s name is the truest act of plagiarism. These cases shouldn’t be treated in the same way as I feel Zakaria may have not been plagiarizing. The principles of quoting and citing sources should be firmly in place. If there is a clear direct copying of any wording it should be penalized. If a subject is heavily written about it is very difficult to determine if an author has stolen work.