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Plagiarism and Correct Referencing: Don't Get Caught Out

In academia generally, and at CDU particularly, the issue of plagiarism is taken very seriously. The reason for this is that researchers, academics, creatives and others that produce original work and ideas put a lot of time, effort, energy, resources into  developing their original ideas and theories. Some of these ideas may have a significant impact on what is considered to best practice in a given field or may have even changed our values or beliefs as a society. So given the importance of original work, it is right and fair that those that created it, receive due acknowledgement for its creation.  As students, we are constantly absorbing and interpreting other people’s work, so in honour of the contribution this has to our own learning , it is critical we acknowledge where that learning comes from. To do otherwise is essentially stealing.

Specifically, we define plagiarism at CDU as “the presentation of the work of another without acknowledgement”. And while most students or academics would not go out of their way to deliberately plagiarise, it can be easier than you think to get caught, despite your best intentions. In creating assignments, reports and essays as part of your academic career, you will inevitably need to draw on a wide variety of sources of information.  The key to not inadvertently getting caught out by plagiarism when submitting academic work is correct and proper referencing.There are a large number of referencing styles used in academia, but different disciplines prefer different referencing style guidelines so check with your lecturer if you are unsure. Two commonly used styles at CDU are the Harvard Referencing Style and APA . The CDU Library  can be a fantastic source of information on different types of referencing styles, so it’s worth reviewing proper referencing techniques before , during and after you complete your assignments. Not referencing properly can at best cost valuable marks and at worst, can lead to penalties under the CDU’s plagiarism policies  which can affect your entire academic life.

As well as making sure you are up to speed with proper referencing techniques for both in-text and end of text reference lists, do make sure you use the plagiarism software that is a part of all online assignment submissions. This will allow you to see where you may need to correct your referencing to avoid any suspicion of plagiarised work. The CDU Bookshop also has a number of resources and study guides that can help you navigate your way through plagiarism and good referencing techniques. 

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