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Using and Citing References

Plagiarism is the representation of another's work as your own and is most often found in written work where citations and references haven't been used properly. Universities consider plagiarism a very serious offence which should be avoided at all costs. Here are a few tips on how to avoid plagiarism, but speak with your supervisor or lecturer if you need more help or advice. Written material (including coursework and dissertations) is expected to be in your own words entirely, except where you are using direct quotations from primary or secondary sources, which should then be referenced correctly:

  • when reading a book or article, write notes as you go along in your own words - if you come across a particularly important passage and want to copy out the exact wording, make sure that you indicate to yourself, by a foolproof method, that these are not your own words

  • if you use material from a book or article, you must always acknowledge the source both in the body of the text as a citation, and in full in a reference section at the end of your work. If you're using a phrase, sentence or longer passage then it should appear as a quotation between inverted commas and there should be a footnote or endnote giving full bibliographic details

  • if you use material from the internet you must acknowledge it as in the case of printed materials- reference the web source in accordance with the approved system of your school

  • if you are using someone else’s ideas but not their words you should employ phrases such as ‘Jones (2002) argues’, again giving the source of your information

  • you should never take material from any source and merely change the wording a little, passing it off as your own work

  • do not submit the same work for more than one purpose or module; nor should material in an essay submitted for one module overlap substantially with that in an essay written for another.

Adapted with the permission of SOAR,
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