Plagiarism is using ideas or the work of another person and presenting it as your own work. This guide provides some information to help you find out more about what it is and how to avoid it. However, definitive guidance will come from your department and the University. Always check this if you are in any doubt about what constitutes plagiarism.
To help you distinguish between your thoughts and that of another, it is important to keep clear notes that easily define your contribution versus the words of the author.
These two short presentations give an overview of what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. The second video focuses on referencing as one way to ensure that you give appropriate credit to authors that you have used to inform and develop your argument.
The University has put together a series of pages on Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct. Look at them in detail if you have any doubts about what constitutes plagiarism. They include:
Reading the information above, do you think the following statements are TRUE or FALSE. Click on the statement to reveal the answer
Using a few words from an article mixed up with your own words is not plagiarism
FALSE. Mixing a few words of an article with your own is often throught of as paraphrasing, but this is not the way to paraphrase in your work. Look at the paraphrasing section for more information on how to paraphrase well.
If my friend writes half my essay and I write the other half this is not collusion
FALSE. If you are submitting the work as your own, you should be the only person writing it. If you are submitting group with more than one contributor, make sure all the contributions are acknolwedged
Information on the Internet is free and does not need referencing
FALSE. Information and content that is not your own work needs to be referenced regardless of where it is located. Referencing acknowledges another persons' work and is good academic practice. See our section on referencing for more information.
Statistics, images and figures must be referenced
TRUE. All information, including statistics, images, diagrams and tables where the work is not your own need to be referenced. Look at the referencing section for more information.
Plagiarism is the copying of published work, so if I copy my friend's unpublished work that is not plagiarism
FALSE. Information and content that is not your own work needs to be referenced regardless of whether it is published or not. This includes your own work as well. Referencing acknowledges the original work and is good academic practice. See our section on referencing for more information.
This quiz is taken from Cambridge University Libraries LibGuide on Good Academic Practice and Plagiarism
Find out how correctly give credit to authors by reading our Referencing tab.
There are some examples of the subtleties of plagiarism on Bowdoin College's plagiarism web pages.
Northern Illinois University also provides from textual examples of the different types of plagiarism.
Unless otherwise stated, this work is licenced under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence by Wolfson College Cambridge.