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Developing good academic practice
Developing good academic practice

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6.1 Common problems

If you feel you don’t have the language skills to be able to express your ideas clearly and therefore rely on using other people’s words, you are plagiarising these materials. When your plagiarism has been discovered, it will be penalised.

It is, therefore, important to develop your language skills. Although this will slow down your present study, it is a good investment for the future – you only need to do this once in your academic career and so it’s worth doing early on.

If you feel you don’t have the time to read the course materials or write the assignment yourself and rely on reproducing other people’s words, you are plagiarising these materials.

You may have an exemplary record of study and only need to plagiarise at one specific difficult time, but nevertheless this is still inexcusable – it’s cheating. At these difficult periods it is much better to think about how you can manage your time better.

Some students will take notes from a text, or notes of a tutorial or video and end up copying the words that were written or said. When these are reproduced in an assignment they become plagiarism.