8. Making the ideas your own
8.1 Re-presenting material
Wherever possible, you are encouraged to write in your own words, even when note taking. This is for a number of reasons: firstly, it gets you actively working with and processing key ideas; secondly, as noted above, it allows you to check that you have understood – if you can explain it to someone else using your own words and without relying on those of the authors you have cracked it; and thirdly, it enables you to demonstrate your understanding, especially to your tutor, in assessments. To rely on an author's words and not acknowledge it through referencing (see Section 8.3 below) is to plagiarize. Plagiarism is where you attempt to pass off other people's ideas as your own. In academic life this is considered a form of cheating as all work submitted for assessment must be your own. That said, academic life depends on engaging with the work of other authors and commentators. In order to do this without plagiarizing it is important to re-present ideas in your own words, acknowledge the sources of the ideas you use and, where you quote directly from a source, provide a full reference. This section of the course takes you through each of these practices.