3.1 What is plagiarism?
'Plagiarism is when you pretend that you have written or created a piece of work that someone else originated. It is cheating, it is dishonest, and it could jeopardise your HSC exam results.'
(Board of Studies, HSC Assessments and Submitted Works, Advice to Students, 2006)
Consider this situation
Your best friend rang you last night. She is really upset because she hasn't done her assessment task for PDHPE. She doesn't know what the question means. She can't do it in time. She asks you to email your finished assessment task.
If you give your friend your assessment task, she could be accused of plagiarism if she uses it. It's the night before it's due, chances are that she will.
The big issue is your academic honesty and her academic honesty.
You should tell her, 'Just do it.' Otherwise it is cheating and you are part of it.
- Why does plagiarism matter?
- What are the most common forms of plagiarism?
- Why does plagiarism happen?
Why does plagiarism matter?
Because it is cheating. It is unethical and dishonest.
Because you are not developing the skills and knowledge that are important for your learning development and life ahead.
- Authors own their words and ideas. They are not yours to take.
- When you research the writings of others, you must acknowledge the fact that you have used them.
- If you do not acknowledge which authors' words and ideas you have used, then you are taking them as your own.
Plagiarism is a serious and punishable academic offence.
Board of Studies' penalties
If you plagiarise in submitted works, you may receive zero marks for the task, and you may lose that course from your HSC award. (Board of Studies, HSC Assessments and Submitted Works, Advice to Students, 2006)
- If plagiarism is detected your school may refuse to certify your project as 'authentic work'.
- Your teachers must be satisfied that the work you are presenting is your own, particularly in tasks that require work to be done at home.
- Any help you have received must be acknowledged.
- Schools may use procedures similar to the Board's rules.
Assessment gives students opportunities:
- to research deeply
- to connect with different points of view
- to learn how to develop a personal point of view and to express it clearly.
If you are plagiarising, you are not gaining any deep knowledge.
- copying, buying, stealing or borrowing someone else's work in part or in whole and presenting it as your own
- using material directly from books, journals, CDs or the internet without acknowledging the source
- submitting work that contains a large contribution from another person-such as a parent, tutor or another student-who is not acknowledged
- paying someone to write or prepare material that is associated with a task, such as process diaries, logs and journals. (Board of Studies, HSC Assessments and Submitted Works, Advice to Students, 2006)
Sometimes plagiarism is outright and intentional cheating.
Sometimes it is a result of ignorance
Sometimes it is because of poor academic skills, for example:
- Lack of planning - leaving it too late to finish your work
- Poor note-taking
- Poor record-keeping of the resources used.
Which is the best explanation in each of the following?
Copying and pasting information from the internet.Partly right. This is a limited idea of plagiarism. It doesn't explain the connection with using other people's ideas, nor the ways of legally copying and pasting from the internet.
Using the ideas of others as if they were your own.Right. This is a definition that describes plagiarism in any context.
Copying and pasting information from the internet, then changing the words.Partly right. This could be paraphrasing. Citation is required.
Why does plagiarism matter?
Because it is dishonest - it is stealing other people's ideas.Right. That's why plagiarism matters!
Because it carries a penalty.Partly right. This is only part of why people should not plagiarise.
Because it wastes time and prevents you from learning anything.Partly right. While this is true, the essential nature of plagiarism is the theft of other people's ideas.
A reference list, which shows where you have found your information, is necessary because:
Teachers like to give you some references to start your research.Wrong. The reference list is the list of sources you consulted in your work, not anyone else's list.
It lists the sources cited and shows your intention not to plagiarise other people's ideas.Right. This is exactly why you have to write a reference list.
It is a requirement of the school and the Board of Studies.Partly right. This is true, but it's not the main reason for writing a reference list. You write a reference list to provide the sources you cited and to show your intention not to plagiarise.
Work through each step in the module: