2. Plagiarism

What is plagiarism?

The University of Queensland takes plagiarism very seriously and it is a disciplinary offence. Plagiarism is defined by the University as:

the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work the ideas, interpretations, words or creative works of another either intentionally or unintentionally. These include published and unpublished documents, designs, music, sounds, images, photographs, computer codes and ideas gained through working in a group. These ideas, interpretations, words or works may be found in print and/or electronic media.

3.60.04. Student Integrity and Misconduct

There are penalties for anyone who is found guilty of plagiarism.

 Find out about UQ’s Academic Integrity Modules (AIM)Decorative. The modules:

    • Are compulsory for all new to UQ students and new to a program students (if not previously completed).
    • Will help you learn what academic integrity is, why it is so important, and how you can act with integrity in your studies.
    • Are in two parts and it will take about an hour to complete each of them.

Decorative Check your knowledge

Plagiarism occurs when you present the work of others as your own. “Work” can refer to published and unpublished documents, ideas, images, video, audio and data.

What do I need to acknowledge?

In any assessment where you use the ideas or works of someone else, you will have to acknowledge, or reference, that other person’s work both in the body of your assignment and at the end of the assignment.

You need to acknowledge your use of other sources in your assignment with references for:

  • direct quotes
  • information from several sources expressed in your own words
  • someone else’s ideas, even if you paraphrase them
  • part or all of someone else’s design
  • an image, figure, diagram or table from someone else’s work
  • information from the Internet, or any electronic media
  • information from oral communication with others.

You do NOT need to acknowledge anything that is:

  • common knowledge (either general, or specific to a certain field of study)
  • your own original ideas, results of experiments and illustrations you have created
  • your linking text that organises your writing and supports your ‘story’.

The Library has referencing style guides for the most commonly used referencing styles at UQ. You should check these guides before you begin your assignment so you are aware of how your references should look both in the body of your assignment and at the end of your assignment.

Direct quotes and paraphrasing

direct quote is when you are using the exact words of an author. These words should be placed in inverted commas and the author acknowledged such as:

“Citrus trees thrive on sunlight and require exposure to sun to grow and thrive. Also provide trees with liquid seaweed or chicken compost regularly to aid growth” (Forster, 2016, p.2).

Paraphrasing is taking the ideas of an author and then putting those ideas in your own words. You will still need to reference the author in your work as the ideas are theirs and not your ideas. Paraphrasing the direct quote from Forster you could write;

If you are planning to grow lemon trees make sure you plant them in a sunny spot in your garden and fertilise them monthly to help produce the best fruit (Forster, 2016, p.2).

Check the referencing style guide for your particular style for how to format the in-text reference for direct quotations and paraphrasing. Most styles require the authoryear, and page number for direct quotations. For material without page numbers, you can provide the paragraph number or a time stamp. The APA style states that it is not required to provide a page or paragraph number for a paraphrase but you may include one to help readers find the section you are paraphrasing.

Images and Creative Commons

You must always reference images or videos that have been made by others in your assignment, as these are the intellectual property of the creator. A public copyright licence, popularised by Creative Commons, allows you to use the work of others in your assignments as long as you credit the creator of the work. For more information on Creative Commons and public copyright licensing see the Find and use media module.

Video icon  Introduction to plagiarism (YouTube, 3m58s)

Correct referencing of sources that you use in your assignments is essential to avoid plagiarism.

DecorativeTake careful notes of all sources of information

Record the source of any information you find. Depending on the referencing style you use, you may need to record information such as the:

  • author
  • publication date
  • title
  • publisher
  • volume
  • issue
  • pages
  • edition
  • URL etc.

Decorative Academic integrity and student conduct has more information about academic integrity, academic misconduct and student conduct.

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