Avoiding plagiarism

Plagiarism is using somebody else’s work without referring to them. It could be demonstrated as:

    *using another author’s text without quotation or references
    *using another author’s ideas or theories without referring to the source
    *paraphrasing written ideas without referring to the source

Learners with little study experience may not have undertaken research before so are unaware of the dangers of accidental plagiarism. It is important therefore to draw your learners’ attention to plagiarism because of:

    *copyright law
    *the moral imperative to correctly acknowledge the use of other people’s ideas, texts, etc.

The important things that your learners have to know is how to use quotations and how to make a list of references. However it should be noted that there is no universally accepted format for this and you need to advise learners about what exactly is expected.

Below are some basic guidelines that learners should follow when using quotations:

    *copy words and punctuation exactly
    *use three dots (.) to indicate omitted words
    *put quotation marks around the quoted words
    *say exactly where the quotation comes from
    *indicate the name of the author when paraphrasing somebody else’s ideas

A list of references is an obligatory part of every written task when different sources of information are used. It often includes:

    *the name and initials of the author(s)
    *the full title
    *the year of publication
    * the edition, if relevant
    *the location and name of the publisher
    *relevant page numbers
    *for journal articles, the name of the journal, the volume and the number
    * for Internet materials – the web page address
    *for audio and video products or CD there are no unified rules, but it is better to involve the names and some additional data, if it is written on the product

The reference list has to present the information resources used, in an alphabetical order. In some East European countries there is requirement to order references by putting the sources in Cyrillic at the beginning, and after that the sources in Latin.

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