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Study Skills

Good academic practice and avoiding plagiarism

An online tutorial on good academic practice & avoiding plagiarism

Welcome to this guide on good academic practice and avoiding plagiarism

This guide will develop your understanding of good academic practice and help you develop skills to present your work with academic integrity. It will also explain plagiarism, one of the consequences of academic misconduct, and what this means at Cambridge.

Academic work, at all levels, builds on the ideas, data and work of others. Good academic practice helps you critically engage with your subject and demonstrate your understanding in your work. This can be when you are reading around the subject, organising your ideas into a coherent argument, or giving credit each time you include an idea or an argument from your reading.  Effective use of source materials, whether you summarise the information, quote it directly or paraphrase it, can show credibility and authority in writing you produce, as well as providing opposing views against which you can comment. Expressing ideas in your own words will strongly support your argument and show your tutor how well you understand the original material. helps you develop your writing style. Absence of good academic practice is unethical, demonstrates poor scholarship and can lead to disciplinary procedures.

To develop good academic practice, work through this guide, concentrating on the areas you are unfamiliar with.


Williams, K. & Carroll, J. (2009) Referencing and Understanding Plagiarism. (Pocket Study Skills) Palgrave Macmillan

Williams, K. (2014) Getting Critical. 2nd ed. (Pocket Study Skills) Palgrave Macmillan

Pears, R. & Shields, G. (2013) Cite them Right: the Essential Referencing Guide. 9th ed. (Pocket Study Skills) Palgrave Macmillan


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