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2020 Avoiding plagiarism


What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is taking someone’s work or idea and passing it off as your own. It is a form of cheating which the University of Worcester takes very seriously, as you'll see from the University's Procedures for investigations of cases of alleged Academic Misconduct (2016).

Be aware of the different types of plagiarism so that you can avoid them.



How can I avoid plagiarism?

Time management is essential

Plagiarism often happens because you lack time and are under increased pressure to submit work. Plan a schedule for each assignment which includes reading, notetaking, writing and proof-reading. There is lots of advice available to help you plan, prioritise and focus your time.


Learn to reference

The Cite Them Right tutorial is a great place to start to learn how to cite and reference accurately. We have further information on our referencing page, and you can ask your Academic Liaison Librarian for advice.


Improve your academic writing style

Avoid plagiarism by integrating the work of others with your own ideas, arguments and critical evaluations. A key skill to learn is paraphrasing, putting something in your own words, complete with a reference. You will also need to quote and summarise accurately.

Help is available. The University's Language Centre and Writers-in-Residence offer excellent writing support to both native and non-native speakers of English. The University of Manchester's Academic Phrasebank has lots of vocabulary you can use to integrate the work of others in your essays. These will enable you to be critical, make comparisons and give definitions and examples.


Develop your reading skills

Try reading first and then writing about what you've read, rather than copying out quotes. This leads to a better understanding of your reading, how it relates to other sources and ideas, and a structure for your assignment.


Learn good notetaking skills

Keep track of where you take quotes and information from. Record the details of what you have read including page numbers as you go. Make folders of resources for each assignment. Some students use a reference management tool to store their references.



How can Turnitin help?

Turnitin detects potential plagiarism in your assignments. Turnitin matches the text of your assignment to millions of sources. You receive an originality report which can help you check the accuracy of your citing and referencing. The Technology Enhanced Learning Unit (TEL) provides more information about Turnitin including a video on how to submit your assignment (video 3:50)