What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is using other people’s words or ideas without giving them credit, so that it looks as if they’re your own words or ideas.

You’re plagiarising if you...

We really want to help you avoid plagiarising so we’ve provided some information below which we hope you’ll find useful. If you are at all unsure, please ask for assistance from your lecturers.

Some of the main reasons for plagiarising are (1) that students don’t really know what it is or how not to do it; (2) that they run out of time and panic, and just copy and paste something to get it finished; and (3) that they feel insecure and worried that their own writing isn’t good enough for an academic essay.

These are common problems and they can all be sorted out. (1) Use this guide to get familiar with plagiarism and how to avoid it. (2) Give yourself plenty of time to work on your essay or take-home exam, but, even if you are doing it right before it’s due, remember that even the worst last-minute work will get you more marks than something that’s plagiarised.

Many students are scared they’re going to accidentally plagiarise, or just aren’t sure how to avoid it. It can be hard to figure out just what is and isn’t ok in academic writing, so it’s important to read up about it and check your work carefully. (Use the links at the end for help with this.)

But how exactly do you paraphrase other people’s ideas? And how can you be really sure you don’t plagiarise?

Visit the Writing Place or checkout these two great resources to get you started:

(citing = referencing; citations = references)

All lecturers use Turnitin – a plagiarism detection software – so be aware that IF YOU PLAGIARISE, YOU WILL GET CAUGHT.