As promised in the blog about referencing and citation, this week, we bring you information and facts about academic integrity and how to avoid plagiarism.
As a master’s student, expect yourself to be surrounded by deadlines to submit assignments, academic papers, and dissertations for most of your academic life (follow our #DILO – A Day in the life of an RKC student series to know more). Academic integrity is a crucial aspect of academic studies, and strict protocols must be followed to abide by the rules of academic writing.
So, what is plagiarism?
When one submits another person’s ideas, writings, words, images, or data as their own, it is termed plagiarism.
Plagiarism is among the four most common forms of academic dishonesty, the other three being cheating, academic misconduct, and fabrication. While looking for ideas and information is good research, not giving proper credit for the work cited becomes plagiarism. It is easy not to recognise potential plagiarism in one’s writing. Here are some examples:
- Using information from the internet is commonly considered public information. However, it is still required to be cited.
- When one paraphrases (i.e. puts someone else’s ideas in their own words) and does not provide credit to the original idea.
- When one sources information from reading material provided by the professor, it still needs to be cited. This is considered poor academic practice though, as you need to demonstrate independent research, and go directly to the sources mentioned by the professors in their lectures, rather than cite the lectures themselves.
- When one copies their own ideas, used in previously marked work, and submits the same material for a new paper. This is commonly known as self-plagiarism.
How to avoid plagiarism?
As complex as it may seem, plagiarism can be avoided by simply citing and referencing your work wherever necessary and giving due credit to the original ideas, theories, words, quotations, images, or graphs.
It is essential to make sure an appropriate style of citing and referencing must also be applied. Commonly used styles include Harvard, APA, MLA, and Chicago. You can check out detailed information on the blog: Attribution, to avoid retribution: referencing and citations for academic writing.
Don’t panic. We’ve got help!
Studying for a masters, working full-time, juggling work-life-study balance itself seems daunting. Do not get lost in trying to find the correct way to present assignments and avoid plagiarism. There are various sources that you can use to ensure effective writing every time.
- Access the electronic library through your University account – there is always a guide to academic writing, referencing, and tutorial support directly from librarians
- Ask for help from the tutors and student support services, who can help you get unstuck and direct you towards the resources that can help
I hope this prepares you well for authoring your academic papers and assignments. If you are stuck or have any questions, our highly qualified, world-class faculty will guide you through using the correct methods and techniques to follow academic integrity.
What is the remedy when Turnitin flags your reference list, which is not even part of your word count? The doi link and web address link is copied and pasted for accuracy, and so are long titles, however Turnitin flags these. Frustrating to say the least.
Hi Nicola, why frustrating? 🙂 That is not a problem (merely proof that your list of references abides by the standards!). Turnitin reports are never taken at face value – they are read and interpreted by the tutors, so matches in the list of references will typically be ignored. I say “typically” because there are also occasions when matches in the list of references may not be “fair play”: for example, a match on 5 or 6 consequent references as a block – which would not normally happen “naturally”. I hope this helps!