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FEBE- Construction Management and Quantity Surveying: Plagiarism and Copyright

Guide to Information resources for Construction Management

Plagiarism definition


Many people think of plagiarism as copying another's work, or borrowing someone else's original ideas. But terms like "copying" and "borrowing" can disguise the seriousness of the offense:

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means:

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
  • to use (another's production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward   Plagiarism Policy

Types of Plagiarism

  • Cut/copy and paste material from the Web
  • To download documents from the Internet and hand this material in as your own work
  • Copying the work of another student (past or present), including essay material, laboratory data or computer source code;
  • Copying course material or lecture notes without acknowledging
  • Copying material out of a textbook or journal, without citing & referencing the source

Plagiarism Test Online

Click and Play our Plagiarism GAME and LEARN how to avoid PLAGIARISM 


How to avoid Plagiarism

To Avoid Plagiarism:

  • Never Copy Directly                                          Never Print Directly                         
  •    Never Copy From Other Students

 To Quote a Source:

  • Always Use “Quotation Marks                           
  • Always Give Credit to the Source (Citing & Referencing)

To Paraphrase:

  • Always Use Your Own Words                                     
  • Always   Give Credit to the Source

 To Use Common Knowledge:

  • Always Use Facts Known by Many People                         
  • No Citations Needed 

Consequences of Plagiarism

  • Plagiarism is illegal: It may be regarded as a criminal  offence
  • If a student is found guilty of plagiarism: He/she may be expelled from the university
  • By a court of law: a fine or imprisonment may be imposed
  • Plagiarism is unethical because it is intellectual theft – the plagiariser stands to benefit or gain an unfair advantage from the theft.
  • It is in conflict with  UJ values of trust and academic integrity.
  • It is dishonest (a form of theft).
  • It shows disrespect for the rights of the original author.
  • It tarnishes the University reputation, and diminishes the value of your qualifications
  • It casts suspicion on the honest work of other students

How to avoid Plagiarism UJ Library video


What is copyright?

Copyright can be defined as a form of Intellectual Property aimed at preventing unauthorized persons from copying certain types of works. 

Why the concern about copyright?

It is the University’s policy to comply with the Copyright Act and Regulations and in so doing to respect the rights of the authors and publishers and to pay reasonable license fees where required by law. Infringement of copyright by the Universities, Heads of Departments or lecturers, and students could result in legal action and possible awards of damages.       

The Copyright Act currently protects literary, artistic, and musical works, sound recordings, cinematograph films, sound and television broadcasts as well as published editions and computer programs.  


Turnitin can be defined as an originality checking and plagiarism prevention service that checks your writing for citation mistakes or inappropriate copying.  When you submit your paper, Turnitin compares it to text in its massive database of student work, websites, books, articles, etc.    

Turnitin is integrated into the Assignments tool, this means that when you upload your paper to your classroom for grading, it will automatically be sent through Turnitin's repository, with no need to log in separately at  The Similarity Report that it generates will  help identify possible instances of plagiarism.