Plagiarism and Referencing
What is plagiarism?
- One definition:
‘Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s work, whether intentionally or unintentionally, as your own for your own benefit’ (Carroll, 2002, p.9).
Examples of plagiarism
- Using a direct quote without referencing
- Using someone else’s ideas or words without referencing
- Paraphrasing work by only changing a few words
- Using lecture/tutorial notes without referencing
- Copying another person’s work and submitting it as your own
- Submitting another person’s work in whole or in part
- Submitting work that has been written by someone else on your behalf
- Colluding when two or more students submit identical work (Bretag, Crossman & Bordia, 2006)
Copyright is “a form of protection provided by a government to the authors of ‘original works of authorship,’ including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.”
Terminology: Fair Use
Fair Use is a statute under copyright law that allows for the use of limited portions of a work that has copyright without having to have permission from the original author. It was created for the purposes of education and research. It’s a little harder to pin down than plagiarism or copyright. I mean, what qualifies as a “limited portion”?
More on Fair Use
The Copyright Office isn’t very helpful on defining what a “limited portion” is. It only states that “there is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission.” When using someone else’s work, it’s best to always give credit where credit’s due, even if using only a small part. If you’re unsure, then ask for permission.
- Is it against the law?
- How is it applied at the college level?
–Most schools and universities have policies on cheating and plagiarism.
- Majority of universities have following policy:
–First offense: failing grade on assignment
–Second offense: failing grade for the course
–Third offense: suspension
What are the purposes of referencing?
- To avoid plagiarism
- To add strength and credibility as evidence to support your position
- To indicate scope and depth of your research
- To allow others to follow up content presented independently
What should be referenced?
- Everything that is not your own original idea
- Statistical information