About Academic Standards and Plagiarism

Doing Research and Writing

Defining Plagiarism and How Students Can Avoid It

There are many definitions of academic standards for citation and plagiarism. If English happens to be your second language, paraphrasing a written material can be a challenging task. It is significant to be aware with what is acceptable practice in all academic institutions in preventing plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Being caught out for copyright infringement isn't the most ideal approach to research the vitality of 'scholarly respectability'. Keeping away from 'scholarly untrustworthiness' because it is the "right" thing to do may be sufficient, yet is a less smart thing too. It's vital to comprehend why being fair in the college connection is key to your prosperity as an individual, and to your future commitment to society.

Definition of Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty

Plagiarism is the use of someone else word or ideas without properly acknowledging the author or the source. It includes the use of quotes and/or ideas from other authors without citing the source, and turning in a written piece for class. There are several common mistakes that lead to plagiarism such a:


- Time constraints to complete the assignment

- Lack of understanding of the assignment

- Pressure to maintain or get a high grade (GPA)

- The availability and ease of internet source

- Tempted to take a short cut

- Social acceptance of other students to engage in a certain degree of academic dishonesty

There are several examples of plagiarism and academic dishonesty such as:

- Handing in an assignment written by a friend

- Using another writer’s idea without citing the source

- Buying assignment on the Internet

- Copying exact information and data from another source or the internet without properly citing the writer or author

- Failing to paraphrase a source so that the information is too close to the original piece

What are the Penalties for Plagiarism?

While lecturers and tutors may handle suspected plagiarized work differently, with their respective student code of conduct policy that every institution has strictly laid out in the student handbook, the handbook provides procedures that can be taken by tutors to handle plagiarism cases. Students found to participate in any kind of academic dishonesty or plagiarism may be subjected to disciplinary actions such as:

- Suspension

- Expulsion

- Reprimand

- Probation

- Fined

Strategies for Avoiding Plagiarism

There are several common practices that assist researchers and students in avoiding plagiarism. It is true that a plagiarism happens due to lack of education or planning on the part of the researcher or students. Each and every student must make sure he/she submits a paper that is free from plagiarism. Once a student comprehends and practices quoting, paraphrasing and citing other writers’ work, this, therefore, becomes a natural part of the drafting process. Students are advised to ask for assistance from their instructor if there is a need in citing sources in a document. This will help to avoid academic dishonesty and prevent plagiarism.

How do I develop good practices?

Preventing academic dishonesty and plagiarism takes understanding and efforts on the part of the examiner. There are numerous tips that I have provided below that will help to prevent plagiarism and academic dishonesty:

- Students are advised to organize reference materials

- Ask help immediately when you have any question regarding an assignment

- Students are advised if they paraphrase a paper they must make sure they sufficiently change vocabulary and sentence structure

- Students are advised to purchase the style recommended in their field. They must obtain other reference guidebooks to help them to comprehend what they are supposed to write


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