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Understanding plagiarism

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is using the words or work of others without acknowledging the source.


There are two types of plagiarism:


  • intentional plagiarism, where there is deliberate copying or use of another’s work without giving credit; and
  • unintentional plagiarism, which results from not citing correctly, poor research, or careless cutting and pasting from electronic sources.

Why is knowing about plagiarism important?

The CIT Student Information on the CIT website, states in the rights and responsibilities of students that, "students are to complete all assessment tasks honestly without any form of cheating or plagiarism or copyright violations”.


Plagiarism is important to every student because:

  • It is wrong to take or use another’s property without giving the owner credit. It may also be copyright infringement.
  • CIT’s reputation affects the value of your qualification; student’s dishonesty can make your qualification worthless.
  • If you fail to meet your student responsibilities disciplinary action can occur.


Watch this video to find out more about understanding plagiarism: Understanding Plagiarism and its Consequences


How is plagiarism detected?

Plagiarism may be detected by your teacher if there are inconsistencies in the following:


  • your writing style
  • the standard of your work
  • your knowledge about a subject


There are also a number of plagiarism detectors that teachers can use to check if a phrase or paragraph has been plagiarised.

Avoiding plagiarism

Some strategies to avoid plagiarism in your assignments are:


  • Plan ahead – give yourself plenty of time to complete your assignments.


  • Use quotation marks when you copy word for word from textual information (print or electronic) even when you are just taking notes, and cite/reference the source.

  • Paraphrase: write out the idea in your own words ensuring the information is still accurate.  You still need to cite/reference the source of the paraphrased information.


  • Avoid using someone else’s work with only minor changes. For example, changing a few words, reversing the sentence order, or by changing layouts or colours in images, if the work is still essentially the same you must cite/reference the source.


  • Talk to your teacher if you are having difficulty completing your assignment due to circumstances outside of your control, such as an illness.


Watch the YouTube clip about Avoiding Plagiarism below from the Critical Thinker Academy -

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