Plagiarism is the attempt to pass off someone else’s work as your own, whether intentionally or unintentionally. It is taken seriously in higher education because of the values of the community of scholarship.
Intentional plagiarism is deliberately:
- copying another student’s work or “collusion not collaboration”
- handing in an article downloaded from the internet etc. as your own work
- copying chunks of text without acknowledgement
Unintentional plagiarism is when a writer neglects to fully and correctly account for their sources. This is usually a result of inefficient note-taking and not paying enough attention in the writing stage. Remember that everything you write that does not originate from you should be properly referenced.
If you use the words of a source too closely when paraphrasing where quotation marks should have been used, that counts as plagiarism.
If you draw on someone’s ideas without citing their spoken or written work, it counts as plagiarism.
If you paraphrase someone else’s argument and present it as your own, it counts as plagiarism.
If you plagiarise, whether intentionally or by accident, your tutors will probably spot it, even if they do not require you to submit work through originality detecting software such as Turnitin. You will automatically be given a failing grade, so it really isn’t worth it: make sure that what you hand in is your own work.