Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Monday, 1 August 2016

Understanding What Plagiarism Means

Ethical Writing

Students in higher education sometimes ask what exactly plagiarism is.  It's using someone else's words as your own, without saying where you got them from.

In the recent USA presidential elections, much has been made of a speech apparently plagiarised from one made years ago by Michelle Obama.  Look at the above definition of plagiarism. Play the YouTube clips.  Look at the definition again.

This is how it was reported in the Guardian.

Ask in the library if you'd like help with referencing in your written work.  There is nothing wrong with quoting an authority - you just need to cite their words properly.  (Preferably most of your writing is about what you think, so don't fill up your word allowance with too many quotes - only use quotes from other people to reinforce your arguments.)

Plagiarism is copying without citing.  It's not cool!

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