Avoiding Plagiarism In Your Dissertation

Plagiarism can be any of the following:

  • Passing off someone else's words as your own
  • Passing off someone else's ideas as your own
  • Rewording a source but retaining the original ideas it contains, without giving due credit
  • Failing to put a quote in quotation marks
  • Copying large sections of someone else's words or ideas, even if credit is given or quotation marks are used
  • Giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation - for example, citing a source that the real author has found and used, that you do not have a copy of
  • Changing the words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit

(Source adapted from http://www.plagiarism.org). These are just examples and are not exhaustive.

Your university will have their own guidelines on plagiarism which you should familiarise yourself with, but in short, your lecturers will be looking for original work.

To be original your work must not contain words or ideas copied, paraphrased, edited, summarised or rearranged from any website, book, journal, essay or any other source, either in whole or in part.

Where it is necessary to include a direct quote, particularly for law pieces or where analysing a piece of text, you should ensure that direct quotes appear in quotation marks and are fully referenced.

Extensive use of direct quotations is not permitted.