Avoid plagiarism

Plagiarism occurs when a person uses another person’s ideas, writing or work and does not acknowledge the original source. Students are expected to acknowledge the work of others whenever it is used in their assessment tasks.

Plagiarism is cheating – you will fail!

You will get caught – don’t do it!

Reference (acknowledge) your work to guard you against plagiarism!

If you aren’t sure if you are referencing correctly in your work, the staff at your TAFE Illawarra Library can help you.

Keyboard with two buttons, copy and paste.

Things to do

Avoid plagiarism

There are three main ways to avoid plagiarism. You can use any or all of these methods in your work.

You can paraphrase. Paraphrasing:

  • does not match the source information word for word
  • involves putting a passage from a source into your own words
  • changes the words or phrasing of a passage, but retains and fully communicates the original meaning.

Whenever you paraphrase you must acknowledge the original source of the information.

You can summarise. Summarising:

  • does not match the source information word for word
  • involves putting the main idea(s) into your own words, but including only the main point(s)
  • presents a broad overview, so is usually much shorter than the original text.

Whenever you summarise you must acknowledge the original source of the information.

You can use quotations. Quotations: 

  • allow you to use the source word for word
  • are usually used to include a brief segment of the original text
  • appear between quotation marks.

Whenever you quote you must acknowledge the original source of the information.

Learn about copyright

Copyright gives authors and creators legal protection over their works, including the right to grant or deny permission to others to reproduce it. An idea cannot be protected by copyright, only the way that idea is expressed in a work.

A ‘work’ can range from a novel to a painting, a photograph, a webpage, computer software, and much more.

The Australian Copyright Council states that:

“there is no registration system for copyright under Australian law. Certain forms of expression, such as text, images and music, are automatically covered by copyright under the Copyright Act”.

For research or study, you can copy a reasonable portion of a work, for example:

  • up to one chapter or 10% of the pages from a book
  • a single article from a journal or magazine
  • an image from a website.

Whenever you use someone else’s work you must acknowledge the original source.

If you aren’t sure how copyright applies to your work, the staff at your TAFE Illawarra Library can help you.