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Plagiarism

WHAT IS PLAGIARISM?

Plagiarism is the use of another author’s idea and words, either intentionally or unintentionally,

without acknowledging the source of the information. It is an academic offence and will be treated seriously, having a significant impact on your grades. 

 

Your assignments will be processed through a plagiarism detection site called Turnitin, which will be able to tell whether you have copied your work from a secondary source. This means that you can’t just copy and paste from the internet. 

 

Referencing and avoiding plagiarism go hand in hand. It is essential that you learn to reference correctly in order to include the necessary information in your work without being accused of plagiarism.

HOW DO WE AVOID IT?

This doesn’t mean that you can’t use any secondary sources, you just need to know how to use them properly. Your assignments will need you to show where you got your information from so this is how you do it. 

 

You should try to use your own words to include the information you find, either by paraphrasing or summarising. You still need to use a reference as evidence that you have used a secondary source for your information. 


If you find that you can’t reword something you can use a direct quote. This does not mean that you can just copy and paste someone else’s work as your own. You need to use quotation marks and references to make it clear where you found the information. You should try to keep quotes as short as possible, just use the piece of information that gets the point you are trying to make across.

PARAPHRASING AND SUMMARISING

Paraphrasing

When you put a short section of text from an information source into your own words, you are paraphrasing. Although the words are your own, you are still using ideas from the original text so you must give an in-text citation, including a page number to acknowledge the source.

When paraphrasing it is important to change the structure of the sentence and the order of information provided. This will ensure that the text is different enough from the original that it will not be counted as plagiarism (as long as there is a reference!).


 

Summarising

When you concisely describe in your own words the main ideas of an information source, you are providing a broad overview of that source. This is known as summarising and you must give an in-text citation, including a page number or page range to acknowledge the source.

QUOTING

Quoting is copying a short section of text, word for word, directly from an information source into your work. You indicate a quotation by using double quotation marks at the beginning and end of the text, e.g.

“the search for unattainable perfection could mean missing deadlines” (Williams and Reid, 2011, 94).

The quotation is then followed by the in-text citation.

 

Longer quotations (usually longer than two lines) should start on a new line, be indented, have

quotation marks at the beginning and end of the text and should be followed immediately with an in-text citation, e.g. 

“The important point to remember is that in your review you should present a logical argument that leads smoothly into your own research, justifying both the need for work and the methodology that is going to be used.” (Ridley, 2012, 100)

 

Ellipses (...) can be used to show that some part of the quotation has been left out e.g. 

“The important point to remember is that in your review you should present a logical argument...justifying both the need for work and the methodology that is going to be used.” (Ridley, 2012, 100)

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