Avoid Plagiarism & Copying
It may not always be clear where
honest work ends and cheating begins. You can probably tell the
difference between studying with your classmates and copying someone
else's work to turn in for an assignment. But working on assignments
that will be assessed for marks may sometimes cross the line between
what is proper and what is not.
When students collaborate on a
project, all members of the team play a role in achieving the result,
and their individual contribution can be documented. This is different
from colluding with others to submit work that you pretend is your
own to get marks you did not earn.
If you have any questions about
whether group work is allowed, or how to submit it so that it is
not considered cheating, ask your instructor.
Plagiarism is presenting
work which is not your own and originates from other sources
as if it is your own, without appropriate attribution to the sources.
For example, if you make a copy
of an assignment done by a classmate and submit it as your own,
you are guilty of plagiarism. If you pay someone else to write a
paper for you, or get a friend to do it for free, you are guilty
of plagiarism. These cases are obviously a form of cheating, since
the intent is clearly to pass off someone else's work as your own.
As long as you identify where
the information came from, you are not trying to pass off the work
as your own. To make use of information you gather without being
guilty of plagiarism, you must make sure that the sources are properly
There are many ways to reference
sources properly. Your instructors may provide guidelines. Some
useful advice can be found at Writing Guides and Manuals.
The easy access provided by the
Internet to vast amounts of information has made plagiarism easier.
Remember that plagiarism is a kind of theft of someone else's work,
and a kind of fraud when you pretend that the work is your own.