You may have heard that five words in a row is considered plagiarism. Reproducing a long string of generic words would not be considered plagiarism, while copying a single word—if used for the first time, or in a novel way by a source—could be. Copying several words could be regarded as plagiarism if they are being used here for the first time.
In other words, if you copy only a few words there's no problem with it. But if you copy an entire paragraph or more, we can say that you are plagiarizing. Plagiarism is when you use ideas, words, or pieces of code from other people's work without acknowledging them. It is illegal to do this in most countries including the United States. Many students think that copying several words means they have not stolen anything important and therefore have not committed plagiarism. This is not true. Copying several words might seem like a trivial act, but it can lead to your academic career coming to an end if you are not careful.
It is best to avoid copying any words because this could be interpreted as stealing, but especially words written by famous authors since these are often taken for granted and not given enough credit. Words that appear in books or on the web with no reference to its originator are called common knowledge words. It is an open invitation to copy them because they have been deemed necessary by others before you.
According to my knowledge, the most stringent plagiarism criterion is the "five (consecutive) word" rule, which states that if you have five consecutive words that are similar to someone else's writing, you are guilty of plagiarism.
However, many people think that if you use different words or change some details of the story, you have not committed plagiarism. If you take another person's idea, expression, or sentence and use it without attribution, you have committed plagiarism.
For example, if I write a paper on the topic "How children learn language," and at the end of my paper I use one of these sentences as mine, this would be considered plagiarism: "Children learn language through observation and repetition." Or, "Language learning is a process that involves observing and repeating examples." Or, "Children learn languages through observation and repetition."
Now, let's say that I write my paper on the topic "How children learn language" and at the end I say something like this: "Children learn language through imitation. The more a child practices using the language they are learning, the faster they will be able to speak new words and phrases." Here I have changed some details of the story but still used part of my colleague's idea. This would also be considered plagiarism.
It's also worth noting that altering a few words here and there, or changing the arrangement of a few words in a phrase or paragraph, is still considered plagiarism. It may not be as obvious as taking word-for-word text, but it can be just as damaging to your reputation.
It is possible. Even if you provide the reference, plagiarism occurs when you replicate precise material from a source (typically more than three words) and neglect to utilize quote marks. It is plagiarism if you borrow someone else's ideas throughout your work and then merely mention that person as a source at the conclusion.
Borrowing and then adapting other people's ideas or writing is an important part of creative thinking. You should be aware of copyright laws and avoid plagiarizing others' work. However, you can make original contributions by combining different elements from various sources. For example, you could have an idea for a story while reading a book. Rather than copying the entire work into your own manuscript, you could simply make notes about the good parts of the story and how it might be improved. Then, you could search for other works on fiction writing and use those as inspiration for your own story.
So, yes, it is plagiarism to copy a list even if you cite the source. You should also acknowledge people who have contributed ideas to your work whether they are famous authors or not. Finally, you should develop your own ideas and not rely on others'. Good luck with your writing!