What does a blogger need to do when he quotes articles from other sources?

Posted by David Khoirul

I've recently received a lot of Facebook messages from Ahmad Muntaha, an English teacher, who started his Blogspot-based blog early this month.

In an inbox message I received this morning, he asked me a question as to what a blogger needs to do when he quotes information or news from other sources, from portals or websites, from printed newspapers or magazines. This is also a question asked by some fellow bloggers, perhaps by you.

Muntaha teaches English in Muhammadiyah junior high school in Ngimboh, a small village in Ujungpangkah, Gresik, East Java. He also runs an English course for kids and high school students called Top English Course.

Basically, when you quote articles from other websites, you need to follow the basic ethic code of journalism, i.e, mentioning the source, because when you are a blogger, you are actually a journalist; a journalist has a responsibilty for what he's doing. I myself often reblog articles from tech websites like Mashable. And as a credit, I put links to the articles I refer to, or if I have to quote some paragraphs from the article, then I highlight the text under quotation.

To make a quotation background, I use HTML code <blockquote>text</blockquote>. Notice the text in red. Whatever replaces that text will be highlated in quotation.

Here's an example of quotation, a different background or text style that highlights paragraphs.

Another thing that you, bloggers, need to do when you quote is: adding a link to an article you quote. Unless you do it, you'll be accused of plagiarism or stealing copyrights. While here in Indonesia copyrights is not a big thing, in the US, a country that campaigns freedom and human rights, it's something that people really protect and that may put you into jail.

The next thing you need to consider is the length of the text you quote. I always try not to quote text more than three paragraphs -- mostly only one or two, which I pick from the part that I think is important or intriguing.

So will you guys quote this blog post? Please do add a link to this post and put the paragraphs you grab under quotation.

Happy Blogging!

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