Your Word

When you think your word is your word… but it’s not

According to USQ, Plagiarism involves the use of any person’s work or ideas without full and clear referencing and acknowledgement. They definitely see this as a form of Academic Misconduct for which you can be penalised.

If plagiarism is suspected, you may be asked to answer questions concerning your work and to provide evidence of your research and understanding of the topic. This question is asked by way of you receiving an opportunity to respond to an Academic Integrity Letter you are likely to receive. They are very formal, usually surprising, and more often upsetting to the receiver. However, they are actually just asking you to ‘please explain’.

Top Tip* Keep copies of each draft of your assessment as a clear example record of your research efforts step by step.

The best advice the Advocacy team can give you is – Avoid Plagiarism

The most effective way of doing this is to write in well-developed paragraphs, using your own words. Each paragraph must have a clear main point, which reflects your individual response to the question or task. Also make sure that your main points are always written in your own words and is adequately general enough to give you the opportunity to explain, elaborate and illustrate any research you are using as you edit. Remember when you explain and explore the main idea you will need to refer to the research information you have and using by either paraphrasing or by using direct quotes from it.

Specifically, USQ provides very well thought out words of wisdom from their Library page, “Paraphrasing means putting another person’s ideas into your own words and must include acknowledgement of the source of the information. Paraphrasing is more valued by lecturers than quoting directly because it requires more intellectual effort on your part and when done successfully demonstrates an understanding of the material you have read.”

If you decide to use a quote from an author word for word, then remember this is termed a direct quote. Using a direct quote doesn’t matter whether it is as a phrase, in a sentence or paragraph, you will need to reference the source of the quote. Refer to Referencing Guides for specific details on different styles of referencing direct quotations from the USQ Library. The resources are excellent.

Until next time…