In your academic journey, you will discover that you are often required to do two simple but related things: study the work already done by others, and at the same time show that you are capable of building upon this work in an autonomous way. As the great educator Confucius said, “Anyone who learns but does not think is lost. Anyone who thinks but does not learn is in great danger” (Lunyu 2.15 ). You have to show respect both to the original work of those who have come before you (the “learning” to which Confucius refers) and to your own original contribution (the “thinking” of which Confucius speaks).
This means that you have to clearly distinguish between your own contribution and the work, words and ideas of others. If you give the impression that what is actually the work of others is your own work, then you are plagiarising — even if you do this unintentionally. So you need to be very careful about proper referencing in the relevant assessment tasks, because plagiarism will be penalised.1
Check your understanding of plagiarism
Select your responses to the following examples:
Intellectual theft and collusion
If so, then that is great, but If you weren’t then you might need to re-read the information and take the activity again.
Take your time to clarify your understanding. Plagiarism is avoidable!
- Copying any material from books, journals, study notes or recordings, the web, electronic storage media, the work of other students, or any other source without indicating this in a manner appropriate to the discipline;
- Directly quoting or rephrasing ideas from books, journals, study notes or recordings, the web, electronic storage media, the work of other students, or any other source without acknowledging the source of those ideas by footnotes or citations; or
- Conspiring with others to produce work that is presented misleadingly as your own independent work.