Cut and paste job
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A cut-and-paste job or cut and paste approach is a pejorative reference to various kinds of work produced by "cut and paste", i.e., a quick combination of pieces of text collected from various sources, a compilation.
In application to book writing, cut and paste job implies little creativity, no original research and no new insights. It is often assumed that these books are produced by journalists rather than experts in the subject.
While the phrase "cut and paste" today is associated with computer user interface, the phrase predates the computers. For example, a 1969 book The Roman Years of Margaret Fuller: A Biography by Joseph Jay Deiss says: "It was a cut-and-paste job, with the scissors acting as censor's shears. Suspect material was deleted - whole sections snipped from letters"
- "Cut and paste", Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. accessed 26 Feb. 2008.
- The Alliance. - book reviews, by Richard Brookhiser, National Review, February 24, 1984
- Usage example (see "Lodge Committee" for the context): "Beveridge had the last word in the "investigation" by gleaning from the record anything that remotely supported his conclusion that the war was one of the most humane ones in history and then publishing this deceitful cut-and-paste job as a separate senate document." — From "Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903" by Stuart Creighton Miller (1982) ISBN 0-300-03081-9
- The Roman Years of Margaret Fuller: A Biography by Joseph Jay Deiss (1969) p.225