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Module C Plagiarism and Referencing

Interior of the upper floor of the Graduate School
Module C
Plagiarism

Read the following information carefully and then complete the short quiz at the end to test your knowledge. You can then move on to Module D: Email & Social Media

Module C: Plagiarism and Referencing

The following topics are presented in sequence in Module C:  Plagiarism and Referencing:

  1. Plagiarism
  2. Reading Lists
  3. Referencing

By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Understand what plagiarism is
  • Avoid plagiarising by quoting, paraphrasing and referencing appropriately
  • Understand key referencing styles
  • Create a bibliography
  • Understand why reading lists play a key role in directing study

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is when you present someone else’s words, ideas, theories or data as your own. It is academic dishonesty. If you do not identify or properly reference the source from which you have taken information, you may be guilty of plagiarism. This can occur deliberately or accidentally whenever you do not acknowledge the author.

How to Avoid Plagiarism

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to properly reference your work. This means acknowledging the source or sources from which you have acquired information. Respect the ideas and work of others and acknowledge these in your writing. 

This can be done in the following ways:

  • When carrying out research, be organised, accurate and keep track of your sources as you go along
  • Keep comprehensive notes and details for each source you have read
  • In writing, explicitly acknowledge the source for quotations
  • In writing, explicitly acknowledge also the source(s) when paraphrasing words, ideas, or arguments
  • Be familiar with your referencing style

Examine the following scenarios:

Scenario Example

Is this Plagiarism?

Taking the exact wording of sentence or paragraph from a book or article or website and not acknowledging this

Yes – because you are attempting to present someone else’s words as your own

Taking a sentence or paragraph from a book or article or website and making some changes while not acknowledging the source

Yes – because you are attempting to present someone else’s thoughts and words as your own

Using images, statistics, data and not referencing this

Yes

Taking someone else’s view and not referencing this

Yes

Re-using material from one of your previous essays/assignments

Yes – because you are duplicating material

Working closely with fellow students when writing an assignment

Yes – because you may both use the exact same written content

Including content that is common knowledge e.g. WW2 occurred between September 1939 and September 1945

No – common knowledge does not need to be referenced

Plagiarism Summary Points

  • Plagiarism is when you present someone else’s words, ideas, theories or data as your own.
  • You can also be guilty of plagiarism however, even when you reuse your own work e.g. from a previous assignment.
  • The University treats plagiarism as a serious offence.
  • Plagiarism is best avoided by properly referencing the source(s) from which you have taken information.