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Citing Information: About Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a serious offense against academic honesty which may result in disciplinary action or even legal penalty.

This guide would help you understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid committing plagiarism during your study. You will also learn how to cite the sources you have used in your scholarly written works.

Avoiding Plagiarism

According to Oxford English Dictionary (Online), plagiarism is:

"The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft."


It is plagiarism when you:

   Present the ideas or words of someone else as if they were your own work. It applies equally to published sources as well as unpublished works of other students.
  Copy words, sentences, or passages written by someone from any sources without citing them, e.g. book, article, works of other students, web site, etc.
  Paraphrase or summarize someone's words or ideas without acknowledging the source.
Insert your own words into someone's work and pretend it's your original idea.

All of these practices are offenses against Academic Honesty and are clearly unacceptable.

The University upholds the principles of honesty in all areas of academic work. All students are required to abide by the University policy on Academic Honesty. Breaches of such policy may lead to disciplinary actions resulting dismissal from the University. Students must read and observe the University regulations on Academic Honesty http://www.eduhk.hk/reg/student_handbook/main.html

The following examples demonstrate a few varieties of textual plagiarism, from verbatim copying to thorough paraphrasing. The original text is extracted from the article:

Kennedy, K. J., Chan, J. K. S., Fok, P. K., & Yu, W. M. (2008). Forms of assessment and their potential for enhancing learning: Conceptual and cultural issues. Educational Research for Policy and Practice, 7(3), 197-207. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10671-008-9052-3

 

Original Source

One way to judge whether these assessments are useful is to examine specific assessment tasks in terms of their consequential validity. The only tasks chosen should be those that will assist students to learn. Feedback to students on their performance on these tasks is essential to help students understand their own learning. The results of internal summative assessments can be fed back in such a way that problem areas are highlighted, new strategies are suggested and recommendations for further study are made. That is to say, internal summative assessments can be designed in ways that reflect the principles of assessment for learning referred to earlier in this article.

 

 

 
Unacknowledged Direct Quotation Different forms of assessment can assist to improve student learning. Feedback to students on their performance on assessment tasks is essential to help students understand their own learning. The results of internal summative assessments can be fed back in such a way that problem areas are highlighted, new strategies are suggested and recommendations for further study are made. Internal summative assessments can be designed in ways that reflect the principles of assessment for learning.

The original source material was copied word-for-word. No credit was given to the author. No quotation marks were used.                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Paraphrasing Without Proper Acknowledgment

Internal summative assessment is one of the educational tools frequently used for enhancing student learning. The assessment can be designed in a flexible fashion that accord to the principles of assessment for learning. To evaluate the usefulness of the assessments tasks, the consequential validity of the tasks would be scrutinized in the context of specific learning setting. Based on their performance in the assessment, teachers should provide feedbacks to the students to help them understand their own learning achievement and weakness. The feedbacks can be presented in various ways, e.g. highlight of problem areas, suggestion of new strategies, recommendations for further study, etc.

 

 

Key concepts in original source are used without giving credit to the author.

More plagiarism examples from School of Education, Indiana University

To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use somebody else's words or ideas. If you fail to cite your sources, no matter intentionally or unintentionally, you will be found responsible for the act of plagiarism.

  Give credit to sources. Always give credit for any ideas that aren't yours by citing the sources.
  Use your own ideas. It's your paper and your ideas should be the focus. Use other people's works only to support and reinforce your ideas
    Provide citations. You can use in-text citations to acknowledge ideas of others and provide the complete citation information in the reference list at the end of your work.
  Use quotations. If you need to re-state another person's words or ideas directly, use double quotation marks to quote the text.
Use paraphrasing. Rather than simply restating the text, you can re-write the idea in your own words and acknowledge the source, e.g. author, year and page number.

Take the Quiz to check your understanding of plagiarism!

If you feel uncertainty about plagiarism, please contact your librarian or instructor for advice.

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