Dissertation Plagiarism


plagiarism important!

Avoid plagiarism

It is vitally important to understand that a good dissertation involves the evaluation, synthesis and analysis of the work of others and that this is presented in a way that a reader can refer to the original sources. There is no doubt that you would have used existing academic matter in your dissertation to aid you literature review, analysis and findings sections. With the dissertation you will have to adopt the correct referencing or citation in order to avoid plagiarism. “Many people think of plagiarism as copying another's work, or borrowing someone else's original ideas. But terms like "copying" and "borrowing" can disguise the seriousness of the offense” (http://www.plagiarism.org)

Who cares if I plagiarise?... You should!
If you use an author's specific word or words, you must place those words within quotation marks and you must credit the source. Also, if you use your own words, if you obtained the information or ideas you are presenting from a source, you must document the source.
There are two fundamental reasons why you should not plagiarise:

Plagiarism is simply stealing: stealing other people's work, words and ideas. It is morally no better than stealing a car, or anything else. If someone stole your words and ideas, think how you'd feel.

Plagiarism represents information illiteracy. What does that mean? It means if you have to plagiarise, clearly, you are incapable of researching and assimilating your own thoughts and ideas. You are effectively illiterate when it comes to handling information. What you should be aiming for instead is information literacy.

Information Literacy is:
"is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner". (Source: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals)

Most common forms of plagiarism
1. Copy directly from another source without presenting it as a quote or providing a reference
2. Use ideas from another source without providing a reference
3. Use too many words from another source when paraphrasing
4. Submit someone else's work or ideas as your own
5. Include a diagram, image or data table from another source without providing a reference

How can you avoid plagiarism?
In many cases, students who find themselves accused of plagiarising often have done so unintentionally. Poor organisation and time management, as well as a failure to understand good academic practice, are often to blame. You might therefore find it helpful to note the following points:

• Manage your time and plan your work – ensure that you have enough time to prepare, read and write
• When paraphrasing an author's text, ensure that you use your own words and a sentence structure sufficiently different from the original text
• In your notes, highlight in colour/bold any direct quotations you want to use in your assignment - this will help to ensure you use quotation marks with an appropriate reference when you are writing up your work
• Allow enough time to check your final draft for possible referencing errors or omissions: for example, check that all your in-text citations have a corresponding entry in your reference list, and vice versa
• Save all your notes, files, printouts and so on until you receive your final mark or grade. (Source: http://www.palgrave.com)

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