Plagiarism is when you use someone else's ideas or words in your assignment and present them as your own. All types of information can be plagiarised - books, journal articles, websites, course notes, other students' work, even your own earlier assignments.
Some examples of plagiarism would be:
- Copying from a source without referencing it correctly.
- Using a quote from another person's work without quotations marks and a reference.
- Changing a few words from someone else's work and using it in your assignment without referencing it correctly.
- Completely copying someone else's work and presenting it as your own assignment.
How to avoid plagiarism:
- Paraphrasing - use your own words to explain or summarise what someone else has said and provide an in-text citation and a full reference for the original source. This is more than just changing a few words - you must understand what they are saying, explain it in your own words and sentence structure before referencing it correctly.
- Quoting - you can quote directly from your source however you must ensure you indicate this by using quotation marks and insert an in-text citation so readers know the source of your quote. Remember - use quotes sparingly - the work must be yours and not simply a string of quotes from other people!
- Referencing - always provide a reference when you express ideas or information from another source. This includes diagrams, images and figures. Use in-text citations correctly and provide a full reference list at the end of your assignment. Ensure you know which referencing style your faculty uses. At AUT most faculties use APA 6th referencing style.
- Express your own opinions and ideas - part of your assignment is critical thinking so it is important to express your own ideas which have been formulated during your research.