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Plagiarism is using another person's ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of the information.

At South Metropolitan TAFE (or any educational institution) it is not acceptable to submit an assessment that is based on another person’s work and claim it as your own.

All of the following are considered plagiarism:

  • turning in someone else's work as your own
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  • changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  • copying so many words from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not.

As a general rule of thumb, whenever you refer to any source for ideas or information, whether you paraphrase or quote it, reference that source.

It is a good idea to always record the bibliographic details for every publication you use when preparing an assignment. A high percentage of copied material can mean that the assignment will be subject to plagiarism, unless the parts copied are correctly referenced - in quotes with a reference in brackets at the end.

To avoid plagiarism you need to reference. There are guides in the Library and you can ask your lecturer for help with this as well.

Example: “Intelligence, the ability to “adapt oneself to the vagaries of a changing and uncertain environment” (Sternberg, 1981, p.16).

Using Turnitin

Turnitin is a tool that is used to ensure the integrity of your work. It checks for material copied from the Internet and from other students. You can check your Turnitin report when it is produced. Depending on the demand this can take up to 24 hours, but usually takes much less time.

Please note that an assignment with many quotes, even when correctly referenced, may receive a low grade as it does not show that the writer has understood the material, merely that they can use a search engine and copy and paste.

Remember the 10% rule!

NOTE:When you submit your file to Turnitin DO NOT include an Assignment Cover Sheet OR the reference list.
If included, Turnitin will report this as copied material, unless your lecturer has configured the assignment to ignore bibliographies.