How to Avoid the Worst Academic Ain

PlagiarismEvery third level student is told from the first day they enter college that plagiarism is the most serious academic sin. Gaining credit for someone else’s words and thoughts is taken so seriously by some universities and colleges that any student found guilty of plagiarism, can immediately fail the year and be asked to leave college.

As a large part of final grades at university are made up of coursework submitted throughout the term of a degree, we at Examtime want to clarify this issue to all the students who are reading this. As students are getting more familiar with the online study, they need to be careful about their study content. There are several websites that can review your work and let you know if it detects a high level of plagiarism in your paper.

We think that Turnitin is a great website for checking your work. Another excellent on-line resource is Anglia Ruskin University’s Harvard System of Referencing Guide. This is basically a complete guide to referencing and quoting work from a variety of sources in an academically acceptably way. Check out this nifty little video from you-tube on the subject:

If you are still unsure ask your head of year or a lecturer for further clarification. Your University does not want to give you a hard time about this. They simply want to make sure that you are undertaking best academic practice from the very start of your college life.

Some students may think that the fact that they are quoting from multiple sources in their work is seen as a negative factor by their lecturers. In fact nothing could be further from the truth. Third level students are always encouraged to read widely around their subject and to incorporate opposing theoretical arguments and view point’s into their work.

As long as you reference all your sources clearly and avoid plagiarism you will not be marked down based on the amount of works you have cited in your finished essay. However if anyone thinks that they can get away with plagiarism then they are very much mistaken.

Your work can be marked by up to three different people. Added to this most third level institutions also put a sample of all work submitted through computer programmes specifically designed to recognise plagiarised work.

This is something that if done out in the professional world can even result in you losing your job. The recent examples of Independent Journalist Johann Hari, and novelist Quentin Rowan are graphic illustrations of how being exposed as committing plagiarism is very damaging both to your reputation and your future job prospects.

Let us know how you are getting on avoiding the big P! Do you think it is a waste a time or can you see the method behind the madness? Either way we would like to hear what you have to say, after all you are actually in the field, we are just observing from the sidelines!


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