The term plagiarism simply means using another person's (or organisation's) words or ideas without properly acknowledging the source of that information. This includes:
- Presenting another student's work as your own.
- Paraphrasing material in your own words without properly acknowledging the source.
- Reusing (without properly referencing) a piece of your own work that you have previously submitted for another assignment.
- Citing and referencing material that you have not actually used.
Work that has been plagiarised is unacceptable, and submitting plagiarised work is considered a serious academic offense. Most universities and colleges use special software to detect plagiarised work. Wigan and Leigh College use the popular 'Turnitin' online application.
How to avoid Plagiarism?
Quite often, plagiarism take place unintentionally and could have been avoided if the students had taken a little more care. Please note the following guidelines:
- Make sure that you allow yourself enough time to properly carry out your research, take notes, and to write your assignment.
- As you research and gather your information, make sure that you keep proper records of the sources of the information. Remember that it may prove difficult (or even impossible) to re-locate the sources later.
- Carefully organise all of your notes and references, and keep them in a safe place until your assignment has been submitted and marked.
- When you paraphrase another author's words make sure that you use your own words, and that your sentence structure is sufficiently different to the original source.
- In your notes, colour highlight any sentences that you intend to include as direct quotations. This should help you to remember to properly refernce as direct quotations and (for example) use quotation marks.
- Make sure that you allow enough time to thoroughly check your referencing before you submit your asignment for marking.