“Students are often unsure of exactly what plagiarism is and how it affects them. Cutting and pasting from electronic resources has in recent years made it extremely easy to “lift” text and to present it as your own. Be aware that this is not acceptable academic practice under any circumstances and that there are sophisticated Web sites and techniques specifically aimed at tracking down this kind of plagiarism. Ignorance or carelessness is no excuse for plagiarism. Plagiarism essentially is the stealing of others’ words, thoughts and ideas and is treated like fraud. Accusation of plagiarism is therefore a serious charge and will be dealt with very severely.
Students who are relatively new to the rigours of academic work are often unsure of exactly what plagiarism implies. In the first place, English may not be your first language and you may find it very difficult to reproduce complex ideas, which you might not even understand very well, in your own words. And the academic discourse is itself a different language with foreign conventions that you are somehow meant to imbibe while at university, but which is very seldom spelled out clearly.
The following list has therefore been compiled to help you understand a little more of the implications of academic writing and how you can begin to safeguard yourself from any accusations of plagiarism.
Things that students don’t necessarily know automatically and are not always taught explicitly:
Good reasons for academic referencing
The discussion above has emphasized that all academic writing requires you to reference all the sources that you have read and consulted in the preparation of your work. Referencing, also now as citation, consists of quoting from other writers’ words and thoughts and the listing of their names, together with the titles and other details of their publications so that these can be tracked down independently. Citation is an important aspect of academic writing of all kinds. There are good reasons for this:
This article is taken from
Bak, N. (2003). Guide to academic writing (pp.48-49).University of the Western Cape. retrieved from link