What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is when you take another person’s work/creation and present it as your own. By doing this you are cheating, breaching copyright and not respecting the moral rights of the creator. This is unethical and dishonest behaviour.

What is the difference between intended and unintended plagiarism?

Unintentional plagiarism occurs when a student is unaware/misunderstands what plagiarism is. It can happen when: 
  • Not recording reference information when note taking 
  • Not putting a reference within the body of your work 
  • Not referencing correctly 
  • Believing the work is original 
Deliberate plagiarism occurs when you know that you are plagiarising and take no steps to correct the situation before presenting the work as your own. It does not matter if the plagiarism is unintentional or deliberate; action will still be taken. Some examples of plagiarism are: 
  • Using quotes, paraphrasing, tables or graphs without referencing where the ideas came from 
  • Copying/using another student’s work as your own 
  • Submitting work as your own that someone else has created for you 
  • Downloading an assignment from the internet. 

What strategies can be employed to avoid plagiarism?

You should: 
  • Be honest 
  • Use your time management skills 
  • Know how to use referencing and citations properly 
  • Know the differences between quoting, summarising and paraphrasing 
  • Use a process to carry out your research 
  • Paraphrase properly 

How is plagiarism detected?

Plagiarism is easier to detect than you think. Teachers have a wealth of experience and knowledge that they use to detect plagiarism. A lot of the time plagiarism is obvious as there is a: 
  • Lack of citations 
  • Minimal entries in your bibliography and information about sources is missing 
  • The tone of your writing varies 
  • Noticeable difference between the quality of your class work and assessment tasks 
  • If your teachers suspect plagiarism they can: 
  • Refer to the sources you list in your bibliography/reference list 
  • Search online 
  • Ask you about the topic to see if your level of knowledge reflects the work you submitted 
  • Use plagiarism detection software

What are the implications for plagiarism of accessing information from the internet?

The wealth of information available from the internet can seem overwhelming. The information you find does need to be checked to make sure it is valid, just like you do for print sources. You also need to use the information you find from the internet in an ethical manner to avoid plagiarism. To avoid plagiarism from the internet: 

  • Use websites ethically and honestly 
  • Reference any websites that you use to complete your work