Plagiarism – what is it and how to avoid it?
November 14, 2016
Plagiarism is a foreign word for most of the international students coming to the UK. Plagiarism means copying someone else’s ideas or work and representing it as your own, without mentioning the original author. Copyright issues are taken very seriously in the UK; if you are found to be plagiarising your content, you could fail the exam or assignment, or even be asked to leave your course.
Apart from the UK, Europe and the USA, especially in South-east Asian countries, plagiarism is not strictly enforced or frowned upon, which leads to complacency and lack of knowledge of plagiarism when students go to west for further education. Plagiarism can be of various types such as*:
a.Copying or paraphrasing text from websites, articles, research papers, or papers written by other pupils, without acknowledging the source.
b.Paying somebody to pen an essay or assignment for you (known as ‘ghost writing’).
c.Duplicating your work, for instance by submitting almost the same work for two different tasks.
So, how to avoid plagiarism? The answer is referencing, paraphrasing and citing the sources.
The most common citation styles are as follows:
a.Harvard Style – Used to cite information sources. There are two ways to go about it:
i.In-text references are used when directly quoting or paraphrasing a source. They are placed in the body of the work and contain a fragment of the full quotation.
ii.Reference Lists are located at the end of the work and to display full citations for sources used.
b.Oxford Style – Commonly used in document-style assignments. Similar to Harvard-style, there are two ways to go about it:
i.A superscript number is to be inserted in your text at the point where you want to cite your source of information. This superscript number then appears at the underside of the page where the footnote is read.
ii.References are to be listed in alphabetical order by author's surname. If you have cited multiple works by the same author, arrange them by date, the earliest first and alphabetically within a single year.
The usage of the citation style depends on the university’s policy and selection of the course; therefore, it is necessary that you assure that you format the document in the prevalent citation style so as to ensure the paper does not stand invalid as well as to achieve higher marks.
*Avoiding plagiarism: A guide for international students. (n.d.). Retrieved from
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