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What plagiarism is

The University applies the following definition of plagiarism:

'Using or copying the work of others (whether written, printed or in any other form) without proper acknowledgement'

In brief, if you use the work of others, you must either quote it or paraphrase it, but whichever method you choose, you must include a citation and reference. Note the phrase 'proper acknowledgement' in the University's definition. A piece of work that is partially referenced (for example, work in which a quote is put in quotation marks but not attributed to anyone) is still classed as plagiarism: merely acknowledging that an idea or phrase is not your own is insufficient. Failing to specify the exact source will be considered plagiarism.

The meaning of some of these terms ('quote', 'paraphrase', 'citation' and 'reference') may not be completely clear to you. They will be explained in due course, but if you feel that lack of meaning is hindering your understanding, go to the section called 'key terms' now, before you proceed any further.

There are several different ways of committing plagiarism. The next section will take you through them.