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Finding my Voice: Techniques to Avoid Plagiarism

This guide provides information and resources in relation to QMU's approach to plagiarism prevention.

Techniques for avoiding plagiarism

If you are directly quoting other people's ideas or expressing their ideas in your own words (paraphrasing), you need to show the readers (and markers) that there is an expert source. In order to do this you need to reference correctly.

You also need to consider the following two areas:

Further steps to success in your studies include:

Examples of Plagiarism

The table below provides some examples of plagiarism and poor referencing. These examples are based on an original piece of text taken from Mennell (1996, p.17):

"Tastes in food, like tastes in music, literature or the visual arts, are socially shaped..."

Examples of what is and what isn't considered plagiarism

Example 1

Tastes in food, like tastes in music, literature or the visual arts, are socially shaped.

IS THIS PLAGIARISM?

Yes, this is an example of plagiarism because:

There is no reference provided and the text is copied word for word from the original without any quotation marks.

Example 2

Tastes in food, like tastes in music, literature or the visual arts, are socially shaped (Mennell 1996).

 IS THIS PLAGIARISM?

Yes.

Although a reference is provided there is no reference to the page number. Furthermore, the text is still copied word for word from the original so quotation marks should have been used.

Example 3

Food tastes, like music tastes, and tastes in literature or the visual arts, are socially shaped (Mennell 1996).

IS THIS PLAGIARISM?

Yes.

Although a reference is provided and the text has been changed a bit, it is still too close to the original to be considered an acceptable paraphrase. A paraphrase must be SUBSTANTIALLY different to the original.

Example 4      

Society helps to form fashions in food, as it also does in the visual arts, music and          literature (Mennell 1996).

IS THIS PLAGIARISM?

No.

A reference is provided and an acceptable paraphrase of the original has been made.

Example 5

"Tastes in food, like tastes in music, literature or the visual arts, are socially shaped" (Mennell 1996, p.17).

IS THIS PLAGIARISM?

No.

A reference has been provided, quotation marks have been used to show that the text has been copied from the original, and a page number has been given.

 

What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is a web-based service that we use at QMU with the intention of helping you to check that your assignment work does not contain plagiarism. You will normally use this service prior to submitting your work for marking and can access Turnitin via your Hub module area.

Turnitin works by comparing your submission with millions of web pages and with a range of electronic resources. It then returns an "Originality Report" highlighting any instances of matches with external sources - this will help you by highlighting areas of poor referencing, or where you need to improve your paraphrasing.

 

How do I Submit to Turnitin?

The student guide to Turnitin provides information for students about how to use QMU's plagiarism detection service, Turnitin. This guide can be found on the Effective Learning Service web page, along with guides to interpreting originality reports and submitting to GradeMark.

Source Reference

MENNELL, S. 1996. All manners of food: eating and taste in England and France from the Middle Ages to the present. 2nd ed. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.