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Information Essentials: How to avoid plagiarism

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is to present your work with ideas or writings of another person without appropriate acknowledgement or referencing. It is still plagiarism even if you do it accidentally. 


Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:
  • Paraphrasing text without correct acknowledgment or referencing of the source(s);
  • Copying the text of another student’s assignment; and/or
  • Copying of visual representations (e.g., cartoons, line drawings, photos, paintings and computer programs) without correct acknowledgment  or referencing of the source;
  • Copying the text of one of your own previous assignment.

Ways for you to avoid plagiarism and its consequences are:

  • Reference correctly;
  • Check journal articles in your field – see how they cite and list references;
  • Learn how to summarise and paraphrase, cite and list references correctly;
  • Use Turnitin to check how much of your work is original when you are writing your assignments;
  • Use a reference management software (i.e. EndNote) to save, list & format your references;
  • See your Learning Adviser and Librarian for help on writing and referencing.

Paraphrasing is using your own words to restate someone’s ideas and must be correctly referenced in an assignment.

  1. Select a page from a textbook or journal that you want to read.
  2. Read the page. You may like to read aloud.
  3. List the reference using the relevant referencing style (Check your unit outline or assessment instructions).
  4. Put the page away so you cannot see it.
  5. Write 3 key words from the page.
  6. Without looking back at the page, use your 3 words to write a short paragraph in your own words to summarise the page.
  7. Pair activity: Share your summary with one other student.
  8. Read the page again.
  9. Check your summary.

Visit the Academic Skills Essentials guide for more guidance on paraphrasing and other academic skills and writing advice.

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