When I was eight years old, I wrote a report on Saturn for school. I cited everything properly, but I also lifted one of the phrases from the encyclopedia. Four or five words, max.
My dad caught it when he was reading it over. He explained to me, very calmly, that you can't do that.
"But I cited the source."
"Yes, but you can't use their words. You have to use your own."
"But I don't know else to explain it." Which was true. I hadn't borrowed their expression out of laziness - I did it because I didn't know of anything else that meant the same thing.
So he sat down with me and we looked up synonyms and expressions in a thesaurus and we talked about what the phrase was really
saying until I came up with something that worked.
The point he got across to me was that it didn't matter
if someone else's words were better - what mattered was that my words were mine. It's stayed with me a long time, especially as I'm hoping to be a writer someday.
I guess all I want to say is, I feel sorry for Cassie
, if nobody ever told either of them that.