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In your own words How to avoid plagiarism For more information see: For information on academic integrity.

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Presentation on theme: "In your own words How to avoid plagiarism For more information see: For information on academic integrity."— Presentation transcript:

1 In your own words How to avoid plagiarism For more information see: For information on academic integrity at Massey:

2 Learning outcomes By the end of this workshop, you should understand what plagiarism is and know how to avoid it. In particular, by: Referencing properly Developing good ways to paraphrase Taking good notes

3 What is plagiarism? Presenting the work of someone else, and saying it’s yours. Plagiarism can apply to: The entire assignment Certain paragraphs Individual sentences

4 Plagiarism and academic integrity Plagiarism is part of academic integrity, that means: Being honest about your work It means you shouldn’t plagiarise and you shouldn’t cheat in exams.

5 The plagiarism spectrum The plagiarism spectrum identifies the different types of plagiarism There are different ways you can plagiarise – Handing in an entire assignment that someone else has written – Paragraphs and sentences copied and pasted from somewhere else – Using your own work from a different essay There are also different levels of intent Plagiarism spectrum from: Turnitin. (n.d). White paper: The plagiarism spectrum. Instructor insights into the 10 types of plagiarism. Retrieved from

6 Turnitin Turnitin is an online database used by some lecturers to match your assignment against journal articles, books and other assignments. Turnitin produces an “originality report” indicating: – Where text in an assignment matches other text already in Turnitin – What the source is

7 Three scenarios What is and isn’t plagiarism?

8 Is this plagiarism? #1 Sarah was new to Massey. One of her friends, Emily, was a second year student who had completed the same paper the year before. As she was new and nervous about studying, Sarah asked Emily for help. Emily gave Sarah a copy of her essay for the same paper, and unbeknown to Emily, Sarah modelled her answer on it by copying large chunks of information. Did Sarah plagiarise? Did Emily plagiarise?

9 The verdict Sarah definitely plagiarised. Emily may also be penalised for collusion (students working together to deceive). What is the penalty? – The penalty will range from a warning, to receiving a zero mark, to being put on the University Academic Misconduct Register (AMR). – Emily could also be put on the AMR BUT: Helping is not plagiarising. It is ok for Emily to discuss the assignment with Sarah, help clarify what is required, and help her formulate ideas.

10 Is this plagiarism? #2 Thomas found a lot of information for his assignment online. He felt he was pushed for time, and wanted to do well, so he cut and pasted a lot of the description and detail from various websites into his essay. He did say where he got his information (by using in-text citations), but he used exact sentences and paragraphs without putting them in his own words. Is this plagiarism?

11 The verdict Definitely plagiarism. Thomas needs to put information that is word for word from somewhere else, in quotation marks or (preferably) paraphrase the information. When you have three words in a row from somewhere else, STOP AND THINK, paraphrase the information, or put it in quotation marks Even when you paraphrase, you still need to say where the information came from.

12 Is this plagiarism? #3 Taylor wrote her essay based on the notes she had taken from different books and journal articles. She referenced some of the information, but she couldn’t remember where she had got it all from. When she was taking notes, she also mostly wrote down, word-for- word, what she had read, interspersed with a few comments of her own. When she submitted her essay to Turnitin, it came back with a high percentage of matches. Taylor was distraught. Was this plagiarism?

13 The verdict Yes. Inadvertent plagiarism is still plagiarism. Taylor needs to take better notes so she knows what is in her own words, and what is from other sources.

14 Three ways to avoid plagiarism 1.Reference information correctly When in doubt, cite sources Make it clear who said what 2.Paraphrase (use your own words to explain ideas) 3.Take good notes

15 What is referencing? In academic writing, you need to refer to the work of others When you refer to other work you need to have: – in-text citations; and – a reference list

16 Who said what? Use in-text citations in the body of your essay or report: According to Smith (2011), the best source of was the case (Smith, 2011). According to Smith (2011), “the ultimate source is...” (p. 11).

17 Who said what, and where did you find it? Example reference list (APA) Ang, P. L. D., & Liamputtong, P. (2008). ‘Out of the circle’: International students and the use of university counselling services. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 48, Barratt, M. F., & Huba, M. E. (1994). Factors related to international graduate student adjustment in an American community. College Student Journal, 39, Lee, J. S., Koeske, G. F., & Sales, E. (2004). Social support buffering of acculturative stress: A study of mental health symptoms among Korean international students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 28, doi: /j.ijintrel Zimbardo, P. G., & Leippe, M. R. (1991). The psychology of attitude change and social influence. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

18 When do you need to provide a reference? Whenever an assignment uses words, facts, ideas, theories, or interpretations from other sources: – You have copied words from a book, article, or other source exactly (quotation). – You have used an idea or fact from an outside source, even if you haven’t used their exact wording (paraphrasing and summarising). The only exception to this is when the information is common knowledge. – A good tip is to ask yourself if the information is widely known, and if the fact is disputed by anyone. If you are uncertain whether to reference something or not, it is better to reference it.

19 What is paraphrasing? “Paraphrasing means to restate information using different words” (OWLL, 2012). Paraphrasing is when you use your own words to explain what someone else said.

20 Two ways to paraphrase Way number one: When you’ve got the selection from a book or journal article that you want to re-write: 1.Read the passage and write down three words. 2.Close the book or journal article. 3.Using those three words, re-write the information. 4.Go back to the book or journal and compare what you’ve written to the original. (Curtin University of Technology, 2011)

21 Give it a go Last of the big cats By Edward de la Billiere Valmik Thapar is credited with almost single- handedly saving the tiger from being wiped out by poachers. But his fight to preserve this extraordinary predator is far from over. And the real threats now… are poverty, greed, and a lack of imagination. Write down three words/concepts from the first sentence Source: De la Billiere, E. (2012, October 17). The last of the big cats. The Guardian. Retrieved from

22 Using those three words, try and re-write the information. Three words: Saving tigers, poachers, Valmik Thapar Preventing tigers from becoming extinct from the actions of poachers has been a focus of Thapar’s work (de la Billiere, 2012). Original: Valmik Thapar is credited with almost single-handedly saving the tiger from being wiped out by poachers.

23 Two ways to paraphrase Way number two: When you’ve got the selection from a book or journal article that you want to re-write: 1.Use the author’s name in connection with the idea/s. 2.Flip the selection on its head: Change the order of the ideas in the sentence. 3.Choose alternative phrases or synonyms for key ideas. REMEMBER: RE-STATE THE WHOLE SENTENCE; DON’T JUST REPLACE INDIVIDUAL WORDS.

24 Give it a go Valmik Thapar is credited with almost single- handedly saving the tiger from being wiped out by poachers. But his fight to preserve this extraordinary predator is far from over. And the real threats now… are poverty, greed, and a lack of imagination (De la Billiere, 2012). Use the author’s name Flip the sentence on it’s head Choose some different words

25 As stated by De la Billiere (2012) greed, poverty, and an unwillingness to seek new solutions are the three threats to the survival of the tiger. Original: And the real threats now… are poverty, greed, and a lack of imagination (Billiere, 2012).

26 When paraphrasing you also need to: Read enough of the text (a lot, usually): to ensure you do not take something out of context AND it’s easier to paraphrase – very tedious swapping out words, often you don’t change enough, and the words you “swap in” alter the meaning. also check whether you can change the words or not. -If you decide you have to keep “greed, poverty and lack of imagination” because they were core concepts, then use them as a direct quote.

27 Take better notes! Keep track of the information you’ve read Have a clear purpose – Why are you reading the article? – What sort of information should you note down? All the essential points and arguments? Only information on a specific theme?

28 TOP TIPS Top tip#1: When taking notes, include full reference details of the article/book you’re reading – prevents the stress of wanting to use information in an assignment and not remembering where it came from! Top tip#2: Write the page number down every time you’re taking notes from a different page (means you can locate the original information if you need to double check anything). Top tip#3: When copying direct quotes consider making them stand out in your notes – use a different colour, a highlighter, or obvious quotation marks.

29 TOP TIPS Top tip#4: You might like to use a system to manage your reading material. A system can be: -A file or folder (can use dividers) -Endnote software -Other online management (e.g., different folders for saving pdfs and notes) -Could try digital note-taking software (see OWLL)


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