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How to avoid plagiarism

What is plagiarism?

"The practice of using someone else's idea or work and pretending that you thought of it or created it." (Collins English Dictionary)”

Plagiarism is the most common academic offence committed by university students. Often students plagiarise work by accident because they don't understand how to reference properly. Unfortunately, you will be penalised for plagiarism, regardless of whether or not you did it deliberately.

The university uses software to help to detect plagiarism and other academic offences. When you are compiling your coursework you must ensure that all statements, opinions and conclusions taken from another writer's work are appropriately cited, whether the work is directly quoted, paraphrased or summarised and whether the information comes from books or online resources including websites.

The university follows a version of the widely used Harvard System of referencing where cited publications are referred to in the text by giving the author's surname and the year of publication, and are also listed at the end of the text. You may receive information about plagiarism and appropriate referencing as part of your induction or during your studies.

Plagiarism also includes self-plagiarism. This means that you are not allowed to submit the same work for more than one assessment, even if it is your own.

Where can I find support for avoiding plagiarism?

See the citing references pages which cover how to acknowledge other people's work properly. The study skills area in Brightspace (Referencing and Plagiarism section) contains further advice and related activities for students.

Further definitions of what constitutes plagiarism and self-plagiarism can be found within the academic offences procedure for taught awards information and the copyright compliance web page helps you to ensure that you are also working within the copyright regulations.

The JISC plagiarism advisory service offers general advice and guidance on plagiarism to both staff and students.

For information on student workshops please contact Library and Learning Support on +44 (0) 1202 965959.

How to use Turnitin

Turnitin is the plagiarism detection/deterrent software in use at Bournemouth University. See the Turnitin draft checker on Brightspace to see how you can use this tool for your draft assignments prior to official submission.

If you would like further advice on using Turnitin or avoiding plagiarism, please contact your faculty library team.